New Lens: Depth of Field

Wild Rose and Cow Parsnip at Fort Casey

I recently bought a new lens: a Tokina f/8 400mm reflex. It is a wonderful lens for its small form and cost (less than 10% what a Nikon 400mm ‘normal’ telephoto lens lists for). There are some trade offs for any reflex style lens: you get a fixed aperture and some artifacts from the front reflex mirror. I took it on the Port Townsend – Coupville ferry run and while on Whidbey Island, I walked around Fort Casey.

One of the characteristics of long telephoto lenses is relatively shallow depth of field. You can use it to your advantage, but it can be a challenge getting your image to work out. In the image below, I was focused on getting the kite in the image … which I did successfully. But the kite is just about all that’s in focus.

Kite at Fort Casey

Whale Bones

Whale Skeleton Skull

This is a rather new exhibit in downtown Port Townsend, on one of the public docks: an entire gray whale skeleton. It was washed up south of town near Port Ludlow and the people at that location contacted NOAA and local authorities and got permission to leave it for the critters to pick clean. They then worked with experts to prepare the skeleton for display. It’s amazing. No way to get a good show of the whole thing, since the space is narrow and the skeleton is long. So, here are pieces of it.

Whale Skeleton Flipper
Whale Skeleton Tail

Standing Stones

Standing Stone (Avebury)

Avebury is a collection of Neolithic henge stones (near Avebury, Wiltshire, England) including three stone circles … including the largest in the world. These standing stones were not part of a circle, but I thought the one in the foreground was amazing. They were set in the ground around 3000 BC. While not as famous as Stonehenge, it is a much larger complex.

Stone Circle 2

Stone Circle 2 with rainbow

This is another isolated stone circle that we found driving backcountry roads in southwest England (back in August 1999). I liked the double rainbow (the second is very faint) in the background. There were no other folks around and no real signage. Just a stone circle that had been there for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Stone Circle 1

Stone Circle 1

Years ago I went to England to try to capture shots of the total eclipse. It was cloudy (in August), so I got no photos of the eclipse … except a couple that looked like it was dark. Well, I guess it was.

But there was side trips driving around and seeing the countryside… and finding many stone circles … many of them unsigned and hanging out just waiting. This one did have a sign, but it didn’t say much.

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