View 380: Sunflower Maze

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A honey bee visits the Sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

Every three years, a few miles east of Camillus, New York, The Inn Between restaurant hosts a Sunflower Maze inside acres and acres of sunflowers planted around the business. Besides harvesting the crop, the sunflowers provide nectar for the Inn Between’s bees which provide honey for the restaurant and its customers.

Last weekend, I visited the maze for the first time. It has been a very dry and hot summer and the sunflowers were past peak. I still found a few posing for me.

Being I visited at mid-day on a bright sunny day, I used fill flash to open up the shadows and make the colors pop.

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People walking through the sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 17mm Focal Length,Fill Flash.

Being the day before the last time anyone could visit the maze before the sunflowers would be harvested, many people were in the maze with me.

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The Inn Between restaurant as seen from inside the sunflower maze near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 26mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

As you can see, most of the sunflowers were drooping but some were still standing tall.

These photos gave me the chance learn more about Adobe Lightroom which I switched to a few months ago. While I have processed thousands of sport photos in Lightroom, landscape photography allowed me to delve into using more of the software’s tools like brushes and the graduated filter.

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Sunflower maze at The Inn Between restaurant near Camillus, New York on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

If you would like to see what the maze looked like from the air, check out this wonderful drone video. If you can, watch it in full screen.

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View 379: Sloppy Track

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Thoroughbred horses round turn four in the 5th race at the Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 13, 2016 in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Nikon D500/70-200VRII, 1/4000s, f/8, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 200mm (300mm DX) Focal Length.

My day at the Saratoga Race Course last Saturday started out very hot and humid. Forecast was calling for wet weather to include downpours and thunderstorms. Before the start of the 5th race, the track had experienced both. This created what race officials call a sloppy track. I called it a great photo opportunity.

In between storms, the Sun came back out for the 5th race to give optimum light allowing me to shoot fast (1/4000th of a second) with an aperture of f/8 for good depth of field.  I photographed from a location to catch the field as it rounded turn four and the start of the home stretch. As you can see from the top photo, the inside horse was the leader from the start of the race as she (this race consisting of all female horses) had a clean face and front.

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Heading into the final stretch, Adulation (2), Thirst for Victory (3, middle) and Baseline (4) kick up the sloppy track in the 5th race at the Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Thirst for Victory won the race.
Nikon D500/70-200VRII, 1/4000s, f/8, ISO 2200, EV +0.3, 92mm (138mm DX) Focal Length.

As the lead horses passed my position, I kept shooting and zoomed out to keep them in viewfinder as they kicked up the slop heading for the finish line. Eventual winner, Thirst for Victory is the middle horse in the photo above.

Soon after the race was over, Saratoga decided to cancel the rest of the races for the day. More sever weather was seen on the radar and many horse owners were taking their horses out of the rest of the races due to the track conditions. I was told this was only the second time in the 100 plus year history of Saratoga. It proved to be a good choice as more storms came through within the hour.

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View 378: Castaway Magic

On my last adventure, it was very cold and wintery. On this one, the weather was not ideal for the location but much warmer and tropical.

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Disney Magic cruise ship moored at Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Caribbean.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/16, ISO 100, 16mm focal length, HDR Image.

My wife and I took a three-night Caribbean cruise on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic cruise ship. The only port of call was at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. As you can see, the weather was a bit cloudy and cool compared to what you would associate with a Caribbean island. Still, it was a far cry from the 25 degree F weather back home!

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A trio of catamarans with colorful sails sit on a Castaway Cay beach across from the Disney Magic.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV +0.3, 35mm focal length.

While the weather was not the best, I did manage to find some color and a beach.🙂

This trip gave me a chance to continue to learn using the Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR FX Wide Angle Lens I got last month.

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View 377: Winterlude

Visited Ottawa, the capitol of Canada, on the last weekend of Winterlude, an annual celebration of Winter, held the first three weekends of February. It was a cool -11 Celsius (12 Farenheit) on the evening of my visit. There was a breeze so if felt much colder.

Ice sculpture at Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Ice sculpture at Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 500, EV 0, 30mm Focal Length.

There were large and small ice sculptures at the Crystal Garden in Confederation Park. Some of the more intricate ice sculptures had been damaged in the warm weather of the previous week. The larger ones were mostly intact like this one featuring Big Horn Sheep found in the Canadian Rockies.

Ice sculpture of Big Horn Sheept at Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Ice sculpture of Big Horn Sheept at Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2800, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Next to the Crystal Garden is the home to the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world. The Rideau Canal Skateway is 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) long and stretches from Ottawa’s downtown to Dows Lake. Access to the canal is free. If you do not have skates you can rent them.

People skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

People skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 8000, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, cropped.

No only can you skate on the canal, you can stop at one of the food vendors found right on the ice.

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A group of skaters stop at the Beavertails Pastry on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in enjoy a favorite Canadian treat, Beavertails.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Intensify Pro.

I was thrilled to find a Beavertails Pastry food cart on the canal. Beavertails were sold at Epcot in the Canada pavilion but disappeared a few years ago. I enjoyed a hot cinnamon covered beavertail. What’s a beavertail? Click here to find out: Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Beavertails.

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View 376: Monorail Monday

For Disney themepark fan photographers, the first day of the week is celebrated with photos of monorails. Simply called Monorail Monday…

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Monorail Green heading into Epcot over the entrance to the park.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0.

 

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