Close to Home


When November comes around here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s hard to make myself get out to take photos.  The weather is usually dreary and cold which does nothing to inspire picture taking.  But I did get out a couple times.

On November 12, I  took a drive over to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.  I’ve been here many times before, but there is always something going on there.  On this day I particularly wanted to practice with my 200-400mm lens mounted on just a monopod instead of the full tripod.  I also wanted to play with the ISO on the Nikon D3S to see how high I could push it and still get usable images.  So I set the shutter speed at 1600th of a second, Aperture at f/4 and enabled auto-ISO.  In most cases I was shooting at ISO 1000 or less, but in the case of the deer in the woods, that image was at ISO 12,800.  After applying the noise reduction feature in Lightroom, I think that image came out fine.

A few days later I ventured into Mason County to explore some areas I hadn’t been before and found a nice state park on Hartstine Island.  Jarroll Cove is a boating state park that also has road access.  There are mooring buoys as well as drive in campsites.  I found a couple nice waterfront locations and shot a some sunsets.  On the way home I stopped at the top of the hill outside of Shelton to shoot the lumber mill at night.

I really love the D3S for wildlife, especially birds in flight.  My Mason County landscapes were all taken on the Nikon D800E and I love that camera too.  They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but together give me everything I need.

Here is a sampling of what I shot those days. For the complete Nisqually gallery, click here.  For the complete Mason County gallery, click here.

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