Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Shortened Trip for Lens Testing

While we had originally planned a trip to Muskogee, Oklahoma on Saturday, May 12, to see the USS Batfish and its location at Memorial Park and take pictures, the weather prohibited that trip. We woke up that morning and checked the forecast for various parts of the state. While Oklahoma City would only have a 20 percent chance of rain, Muskogee was having 79 percent chances.

Rather than take a chance of having to change lenses during a rain storm, we elected to first go south to Turner Falls Park near Davis, Oklahoma. As we started that direction, continued checking of the weather on our smart phones fairly quickly let us know it was going to be completely overcast with less than good conditions for photography.

So, we elected to cancel the photography trip and went to get some things that Jo had wanted to do as well. She wanted to check for “boat shoes” in a couple of different places. She had been told that boat shoes would be good footwear for exercising on her small exercise machine. She has a small walker machine marketed by Gold’s Gym called Twist and Step.

Golds Gym Twist n Step

Because that walker gets very warm on the footpads, it is important to have some protective footwear. That and the traction of the shoes make it very helpful with using the walker. Walmart has them shown at this link:

Gold’s Gym Twist and Step at Walmart

Since we decided to go to Bass Pro to look for shoes, I thought that I might go ahead and take some pictures at the park near there where the Land Run commemorative statues are located. Going into Bass Pro first to look for shoes, we stumbled upon some folding reclining outdoor chairs. We had been looking for some time and hadn’t liked what we sat, but we tried these out and really liked them.

Normally, we never buy a product with a name brand on it, thus giving that company free advertising. Our clothes never have brand names on them. But, these chairs were so close to what we wanted that we elected to bend that rule a bit. We got them on sale that Saturday for $49.99 instead of the normal $69.99. The chair is at this website:

Bass Pro Reclining Camp Chair

We then goofed around the rest of the afternoon until about 4:00pm so that we could go to Outback restaurant for Jo’s Mother’s Day dinner. Eric, our youngest, bought the meal. After that, our day was pretty complete.

So, all that is left is to show some of my test photos. I kept the camera at the same settings and on automatic focus. With the 18-200 Nikon zoom, I set it at 70mm so that it would be similar to the lowest setting of the 70-200 mm zoom.

First, here is one taken with the 18-200mm.


Now, with nearly the same scene with the 70-200mm, one can note that the image seems to be quite a bit lighter, especially by looking at the tall grass on the small “point of land” in line with the waterfall.


To show something of some close-up photos, I chose some Magnolia blossoms. This first image is with the 18-200mm.


This next image shows somewhat lighter conditions using the 70-200mm.


As one can see, I’ve got some experimenting and learning to do in order to better acquaint myself with how to set the camera and lens. When we returned home, I was looking at the new lens and noticed that I didn’t have the switches on it set correctly. So, I see the likelihood of another excursion to take more pictures.


  1. Just curious, what photo editing software do you have/use?

    I joined a the local Photographer Group in Blue Ridge so I can network with some pros. I also took a class at the art center on basic photo editing. I use Photoshop Element and found it does just about anything an amateur like me could use. Then I found a photo blog that has lots of useful info about using POS Elements. http://www.texaschicksblogsandpics.com/

  2. Jerry,

    I don't do a lot of post-processing of my photos. I'm using two different programs for any processing that I do work with. One is an old one (no longer available) which is Microsoft's Digital Image Pro 7. The other is Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, which I bought because a new photo printer I had purchased wouldn't recognize any of the other imaging programs that I had.

    I use Digital Image Pro 7 mostly for resizing of photos because it is easier and quicker. Otherwise, I try to use Elements.


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