Sunday, April 20, 2008

BeachHunter's New Camera: Sample Photos

After using my $1,000 Nikon Coolpix 5000 for 5 years to take all the Florida beach photos for, I decided to "upgrade" to a $300 Canon Powershot S5 IS camera.

It is amazing how many improvements have been made in the last 5 years and how far the prices have dropped. Now I'm shooting at 8 megapixels instead of 5, and I have a 12X zoom instead of 4X (BIG DIFFERENCE, as you will see).

I thought about getting a Canon Rebel, but considering the necessary dollar investment in lenses and with the thought of lugging around a big camera weighing in on the decision, I decided to go with the Powershot.

I've used the camera on two occasions, both at Fort Desoto Park. So far I've just used it straight out of the box--haven't read the users manual and haven't monkeyed around with any features--just point & shoot on automatic. I am completely thrilled by the 12X zoom, which is going to contribute immensely toward making my photographs much more interesting.

Both photos above were shot at full zoom. Neither of them would have been possible with the Coolpix 5000's 4X zoom.

The lifeguard tower in front of the setting sun was taken at North Beach, and the American Egret photo was taken on the Bay Pier. A tripod was not used. The optical image stabilization feature of the S5 works wonderfully.

After reading all the reviews of the Powershot, many of which complained about "noise" in the pictures at high ISO settings, I was concerned a bit, but so far I'm very happy with the results. After a few weeks of using the camera I'll post a more detailed review, and more photos of course.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wherefore Art Thou, Loggerhead?

What do the above 2 animals have in common? Bird and reptile. It's all in the name--and the head.

The bird is a Loggerhead shrike, infamous for impaling its prey (mostly insects)on the thorns of trees, which practice has earned it the nickname "butcher-bird." Nice.

The reptile is a Loggerhead turtle.

So what, exactly, is a "loggerhead" and why do these two unrelated creatures bear the name? To find out, I Googled "loggerhead," and scanned the definition.

It is the fourth entry in the definition that catches my eye:

4. Informal:

1. A blockhead; a dolt.
2. A disproportionately large head.

A disproportionately large head is what these two animals have in common that has earned them the name of "loggerhead." It's pretty easy to see that Mr. Turtle has a large head, but I seem to have misplaced my micrometer and average-bird-head sizing chart, so I'll have to rely on the description of the shrike on, which is, in part:

"Big-headed, slim-tailed; gray, black, and white, with a black mask."

I have to admit, Loggerhead turtle sounds better, if less obvious a description, than "big-headed turtle."

I learn something new every day.

Note: If you are wondering why there is a human hand on the turtle's back, it is because this turtle is one that was rescued and rehabilitated by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and is being readied for release. I'm happy to report that this turtle is now swimming in the wild again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Daytona Beach Surfing Surf Report, Website:

Daytona Beach Surf

Keeping up-to-the-minute on surf conditions is getting easier every day. If you are interested in surf conditions, tides, surfing news and forecasts in the Daytona Beach area, a new website, is up and running to provide you with the latest info.

The geographical area covered by DBSurf includes Flagler, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Wilbur-By-The-Sea, and Ponce Inlet.
DBSurf offers:

Kudos to the site designer, Munz, who made a site that is useful, easy to navigate, and is easy on the eye.

Best wishes for total success to!