Salt Lake is the only alkaline lake in the state of MN (1/3 as salty as sea water) and attracts a remarkable variety of birds. Located in Lac Qui Parle County, this 312 acre lake is known as one of the state’s top birding spots, supporting a large diversity of shorebirds and waterfowl.
It was through Mae Nisbit Peterson’s interest in birds that Salt Lake, was preserved as she brought this area to the attention of naturalists.
Click on the video link to take a virtual tour and learn about “The Bird Lady” of Lac qui Parle County, MNb.
Marietta Legion Post #156 in Marietta, Minnesota has chosen to honor these fallen soldiers with commemorative metal displays. While working on the images and designs I couldn’t help but wonder about the anecdotes and stories behind these young farm boys called to duty during WW II.
Did soldiers from the farm really make better soldiers? I’d like to think so. Farming in our agricultural region along the Minnesota-South Dakota border couldn’t have been easy during the Great Depression that preceded the war. They would become competent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engine mechanics and general tinkerers. If they didn’t have a part they made their own and jury-rigged items together just to get by. Transfer these skills to military life and the powers that be would have considered them invaluable assets.
These were not the only soldiers from our area to die as a result war. The list above includes all Lac Qui Parle County casualties during WW II. I recognize familiar surnames from the area and wonder about their stories, as well.
A prime lens has just one focal length (in contrast to a zoom lens that covers a wider range of lengths).
Back in the day I used prime lenses while shooting with medium format film cameras, but the digital world has found me using zoom lenses exclusively for several years.
Why would I want a prime lens when I could have a zoom that covers a variety of lengths? Easy answer – money. In the midst of downsizing equipment, I’ve found myself in need of an affordable lens to go on an older body. Quality and price are both factors and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM seemed to fit the bill. My other lenses open to 2.8, so having a faster lens at 1.8 could be interesting. Maybe I’ll reinvent myself as a low light street photographer – you never know.
So, at sunset I took my new little lens to our nearby slough to try it out… pretty much straight out of camera except for tweaking exposure.
Used this 50mm lens while trying out a DIY beauty dish, of sorts, with equipment I already had on hand – cheap $37 slave that screws into a regular light socket inside a silver chick warmer. Not much for catch lights, but kind of worked.
Price for this handy little lens? $125 – much less than the $1600 price tag for a new 24-70 Canon 2.8 zoom. While I like the lens for stationary subjects, I did find the autofocus slow when trying to capture moving subjects.
‘Tis the season… to photograph children and holiday lights.
I had the opportunity to photograph this little tyke at a festive location: Santaland in Madison, Minnesota.
Available light gives such a “magical” look when photographing children with holiday lighting with the goal being a pleasantly lit face with glowing lights. So… shut off your flash.
Tips for photographing lights:
Basic camera settings:
1) Set a wide aperture (low f-stop number) like f2.8, or as wide as your lens will go.
2) Bump up your ISO to around 800-1250 (not an exact science) I topped out my ISO on some of these since it was such a dark area with no outside lighting.
3) Make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/100th to freeze the subject. I had an active 1 1/2 year old subject so I cranked the shutter up to around 200.
Now those numbers above aren’t a magic formula, but they give you a good starting point. If the Christmas lights aren’t bright enough, bump up the ISO or slow down your shutter speed (just not too slow unless you are going for a blurred motion look!!). It may help to have a little available light coming in through a window to light the subject, but not too much and no direct light since that would overpower the glowing holiday lights. Even lighting on the face is important.
Image color look pretty weird? Either set the white balance in your camera while taking photos or adjust it in the post process in Lightroom or Photoshop. I shoot in Raw so I worry about it during the post-process steps. More information can be found on white balance here: What about White Balance?
I’d highly recommend a trip to Santaland located upstairs above Heather Floral right on Main Street, Madison, Minnesota.