Thursday, February 21, 2019

How's the WH?

Just polished off a goodly portion of white rum leftover from Ocracoke Island, that infamous seat of the ragged pants of pirate Blackbeard, which celebrated the 300th Anniversary of His Decapitation last summer while we there; what a festive occasion I would have been proud to see Theodore Roosevelt celebrate, given that the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, ordered the Lenny, what's up? This rum just did not work against my insomnia, so I've come downstairs, drinking milk I heated almost to boiling...the...I forget the name of the substance, starts with an t, I think.

A good Governor, Spotswood. No affiliation, by merit of a joke, I agree, with the KKK.

I see trout in the river lost to vagaries of my imagination, but I know firmly that so long as they still get stocked, that portion of the river is exceptional...I like to hope a few escapees make it into stretches beyond.

WH is a tough job, but I know you have a nice chair and desk. Think of you on frequent occasion, so here's to history, as Boss would have it. He tell you that? Told me that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Got Out in the Snow

Told Joe Landolfi it's a cancelation today, unless he has four wheel drive and would pick me up in Bedminster. Judging conditions at 3:00 p.m., I sort of wish I had gone on and met him at Laurie's. The roads aren't really very bad. I've had some wonderful times ice fishing during snowstorms, although I did consider this time around that with ice safety dicey after all the mild weather and rain of recent, snow cover would make judging that safety less sure, if the ice isn't thoroughly whitened underneath by re-freezing anyhow.

I had phoned Stanhope Bait and Boat and asked about safety on Tilcon Lake before arranging today with Joe. She didn't know, but she told me Lake Musconetcong has eight inches of ice over it in the back. I doubt Tilcon is safe. It's a deep lake with shorelines that drop off almost vertically. The main lake of Hopatcong is mostly open water from what I gather, and it's no deeper than the deepest depths of Tilcon. Besides, when the bait supplier for so many who ice fish Tilcon hasn't any word to offer on the lake, that probably means no one is going there because it's not safe. If they were going, some would probably tell her so.

At work yesterday, facing coming snow and really not only my wife's prohibition about my driving in it, since at my age I don't feel the same excitement on snow-covered roads as I did when younger, the idea of at least getting out for a camera shoot at the river nearby popped into mind and I committed to this immediately. I went to bed at 1:30, set my alarm for 10:30, when I looked out the window, saw no snow, and slept another half hour. When I got up is when it began flaking out there. About an hour later, I was at the river with nearly an inch on the ground.

So I got about 25 shots on my new Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art lens, concerned about the contrast. I was shooting from shadow, underneath that bridge, and obviously with all the white of clouds and snow, contrast overdone might be expected, but I wasn't sure if it was the lens...or my new Nikon D850 camera. So I put on my trusty Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. This is a DX lens. On my full frame camera, I can use only 14-16mm of the focal length or the edges are shadows, since the sensor on my camera is a lot larger than a DX sensor like that of my D7100. Which is OK. When I can use 14-16mm, great, that's ultra wide angle and has its uses. But I went on photography message boards to get the scoop on using a DX lens on an FX camera, and a lot of people feel that though it works, sure, you should really use FX lenses on expensive FX cameras, and some have done tests to show that on an FX camera, the sharpness of the Tokina lacks out from the center of the image on FX, while it doesn't on DX. (I never was informed on why this is, but I saw the comparisons.)

Anyhow, I shot another seven or eight photos with the Tokina and got the same high contrast, so either that was how it is, or my camera needed attention, me vaguely having wondered if, once I would begin editing, I would judge all OK. Which I have. There's no camera, no matter how expensive, which can balance light between shadow and brightly lit subject matter as the human eye does. The more I shoot, the more I become aware how badly a camera gathers information (in the form of light) compared to my own brain. I sometimes feel my endeavor is ridiculous, compared to contemplating scenes freely without any stupid electronic device, but mostly I play it out as the game of getting the best I can with electronics, and always, without fail, I'm fascinated in shots that draw a "wow" response from me. After all, without a camera, you cannot "freeze time" as you can on pixels. Memory serves you more like a movie camera, but no matter how vividly memory remains intact, and it's better than vivid in two dimensions, it doesn't give you an image "out there" to contemplate. And if you have it on file and own an image processor like Lightroom, you can edit it to your own likings.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 Fisheries Forum at Batsto Saturday

Division of Fish & Wildlife is holding a public forum Saturday at Batsto. Topics are largemouth bass sampling in Central/South Jersey and restoration projects. Afterward, there will be open discussion with fisheries biologists. Here's a link: