About My Blog

My photo
I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Visiting Rockport, MA - 2019

I visited Rockport, MA a couple times over the summer to see the sunrise.  Throughout the summer there are many people walking around and many boats in the harbor.  

As the sun came up the lobster boats would head out.  A drone gives the ability to take pictures of the sun shining on the buildings also.

On December 16, I decided to go to Rockport so I left mid-morning.  There was no sunrise for me to

see, it was cloudy, it was windy, and it was the day before a predicted snowstorm.  The sky was grey and made some of the other colors pop a bit.

I stopped by Good Harbor beach on the drive to Rockport.  The full moon made the low tide very low.  Not many were walking on the beach because of the wind.

When I arrived in Rockport the harbor had a few fishing boats but the summer sailboats, kayaks, and cabin cruisers were gone.  It was 30 degrees with 10 – 15 mph winds.  My hands got cold when taking pictures because of the wind.

Since it was below freezing, I let the controller, batteries, and drone get used to the cold.  I hovered the drone for a minute or so before flying off to get the motors warmed up.  The cold will shorten the battery time for flying.  From my reading, the cold shouldn’t be a problem but moisture in the air combined with the cold is something to watch out for.  Drone propellers and the body itself could ice up just like an airplane and could cause the drone to become unstable and crash.  Below freezing temperatures, damp weather, and altitude changes when flying are things to consider.

There weren’t many people or cars around.  It was still early so many of the shops weren’t open yet.  I like this town picture.  My RAW version has so much detail.
It did get me thinking about what Rockport would look like at night all lit up.  Hmm … maybe another excuse for a visit.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

"Gibbet Hill Grill" in Groton, MA.

I took Pam to Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton, MA for our anniversary.  We have been there several times for other occasions.

The food was great.  The service was great.  Our waitress was outstanding.  As it is a converted barn. I talked a bit to our waitress about the history of the restaurant. 

I told her I had a barn blog and took barn pictures.   The farm has a pretty hill with roaming cattle and what looks like the foundation of a castle at the top.  They have another building for weddings also.  It is a working farm so they grow their own vegetables, raise their own beef, etc.  I thought I would take a couple pictures.

I took sunrise pictures when the foliage was past peak.  The rising sun did make the early morning pictures pop with color.  I went back one afternoon also.  Enjoy …

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Kennebunkport Maine vacation - 2019

We had 10 days of vacation in Kennebunkport this year and rented the Federal House again for the 5th year.  There were 19 of us but many drifted in and out because of work schedules, etc.  It was great family relaxation time for all.  The weather was great with temps in the high 70’s to low 90’s and only a couple humid days.  As usual, I went picture hunting every day.

This was the first year I had a drone.  I bought a camera pack so I could carry the drone and my camera… NO !! I didn’t forget to take camera pictures ...  I got to be pretty good at maneuvering to get the pictures I wanted.  You see things differently from different heights and I was no longer confined to taking pictures from the shore, a dock, a parking lot, etc. flying out to boats, etc.  Basically a 360-degree option with a 400-foot ceiling.

I sync up my controller to an iPad instead of my phone.  The large screen makes it much easier to see and read the flight data and is great for viewing and setting up my pictures. Flying around seeing what the camera sees by looking at my iPad is like looking through the window of an airplane.  I can also fly using the GPS map.  One setting looks like google earth so you see houses, streets, fields, water, etc.

I enjoyed early morning and late day pictures as usual.  When on vacation most people sleep in.  The location and distance I had to travel determined how early I got up.  I was up between 3:50AM and 5:10AM every day.  ISN’T THAT NORMAL??!!

I had a lot of fun in “Ogunquit, ME” at “Perkins Cove” taking pictures of the boats in the harbor from high up.  I was chased by 10 or so barn/tree swallows at one point.  They seem to perceive my drone as a predator and want to push it away and give chase like they do with crows and birds of prey.  Needless to say, they couldn’t keep up with me.  All the other birds I encountered seemed to avoid me.  I have been told many times that I am supposed to avoid predator birds.  I saw several red-tail hawks in different locations so didn’t take off or I landed quickly so my drone wouldn’t be looked at as a potential snack for them.

I parked at Ogunquit beach to take pictures of the “Marginal Way”, a walk along the rocky coastline. In the lower part of the picture on the right, you see a person in a yellow kayak. The tide was starting to come in. I got closer and took a picture of him riding a wave like a surfer. He turned around and hopped over another wave going out. I liked the way the water looked.

I took pictures up and down the river in “Kennebunkport, ME”.  You get a different view up high.  I liked the shape of a dock I spotted on the river. I also took pictures of more boats up and down the river. 

I drew a crowd a few times when flying.  Several times the family paddled the kayaks to where I was flying so I took some pictures of them.

I was excited about pictures at “Cape Porpoise”.  I took pictures of the lighthouse, many boats in the harbor, and the dock from positions only accessed by using the drone.  I did have one near miss here when talking a boat picture.  I moved the wrong control and went down instead of backwards.  Alarms sounded and it was telling me I was landing on the water.  With 18 inches to go I made a save … Whew … would have been an expensive lesson.

One of the lobster boat owners liked my drone and we started talking.  I landed my drone and showed him some of my photos.  Turns out I had taken pictures of his boat, his sons’ boat, and his daughters’ boat … I guess It’s an all in the family profession for them.  After vacation I sent him some pictures of his boat from years past and some drone pictures.

I went to “Wells, ME” harbor a few times.  Seems like there are more birds around there so I was cautious.  One time before I took-off I saw a hawk being chased by those swallows.  I know I can outrun the swallows but not the hawk.   I took camera pictures instead. 

I decided to take pictures of the “Nubble Lighthouse” in “York, ME” at sunrise.  These were early mornings because of the distance. 

I arrived at 5:05AM the first morning and the lighthouse was lit up with Christmas lights.  I asked a woman who told me they were celebrating Christmas in July.  This was to show the people vacationing what it looks like in December.  There were already a couple people there with tripods and cameras ready to go.  I fired up the drone and was able to start taking pictures and mover around before they could as I was taking advantage of the sunlight due to increased altitude. 

FOG … yes fog rolled in … I wasn’t very far away but used the GPS map to fly back and land.  It cleared and I went up again.  The fog rolled in and out several times, so it was neat to photograph.  Dilemma, should I take sunrise pictures facing the sun or fly to the other side where the sun is backlighting the picture?  I did some of both. 

I went to the Nubble a second morning.  Again Fog … I didn’t want fog a second time but you must make the best of things.  Interesting how the fog was rolling over the water.  Looked more like the top of a mountain.

My picture taking pattern was to fly in the early morning, mid-day, then again late day.  I enjoyed experimenting with the drone camera. 
For me the drone has opened up a new way to explore and take pictures.