Brisket for lunch!

Went to the Central Florida BBQ Blowout at the Oveido Mall parking lot today. At this humongous two-day barbecue competition/celebration, more than 80 teams – both professionals and backyard amateurs – compete hard for the win, and visitors get to taste the luscious spoils of war.

Competition categories include brisket, chicken, pork and pork ribs, and the winner goes on to the World Food Championships in Vegas.

Sand Crane Streetwalkers

These guys roam the neighborhood regularly. Took this just before sunset from about a foot away. No Fear.

[f/2.2, 1/120, ISO 40, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2]

[f/2.2, 1/120, ISO 40, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2]

Mead Botanical Gardens

Took a walk to the gardens while my car was being serviced this morning. Ran across a bird acting a bit strange. He landed and then fidgeted around a lot.

[f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO 1600, 130 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO 1600, 130 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

After watching him a bit and zooming in I discovered that he apparently pushed his beak into some sort of material and is having difficulty getting it off. He rubbed it on the branch numerous time to no avail. Hopefully he will have success shortly.

[f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

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English can be weird…

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Took my camera and went to Wekiwa Springs State Park today. Walked all around the springs for a bit, then took off on a hiking trail to Sand Lake, a two mile walk. Ambled around the lake taking pictures and then returned to the swimming area. Although I didn’t activly start a Runkeeper session, my hiking was picked up by Runkeeper’s ‘Pocket Track’ feature that constantly checks for walking activity longer than 15 minutes. Seems I covered a lot of ground; it says I walked almost 14 km! Got a few good photos I think as well.

[f/3.5, 1/4000, ISO 400, 18 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6\

[f/3.5, 1/4000, ISO 400, 18 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

Above is Sand Lake.

And below is my buddy Rocky.

 

[f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

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Oakridge Gun Range

Haven’t been out shooting in a few years.  Picked up a box of shells and went with a few friends to see how much edge I have lost.  To my surprise I seem to be at least as accurate as I was when I was going regularly.  I’m not really great, but I can still hit the target in the right spot — and that’s gun control I can support.

[f/2.2, 1/4, ISO 80, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2]

[f/2.2, 1/4, ISO 80, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2]

The only pistol I have with me is my HK USP Compact in .45 Auto.  It has been a great weapon for many years and feels like a second skin.

 

2015-05-15_untitled_006

[f/2.2, 1/4, ISO 80, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2]

Night shot iPhone 6 Plus, grainy but nailed the shot.

[f/2.2, 1/4, ISO 1000, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 using ProCamera Night Mode]

[f/2.2, 1/4, ISO 1000, 4.15 mm, with an iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 using ProCamera Night Mode]

I really like ProCamera.  It is easy to use but has depth, allowing lots of control including separate exposure and focus points, shutter or ISO priority and bracketing.  I’ll be trying some even darker night shpts soon. Adjustments in Lightroom 5 include crop, straighten, noise and WB adjustment.

 

Sunset in neighborhood

Just a quick snap taken during my walk/jog around the neighborhood on my birthday.  No exposure information saved since it was taken within the Runkeeper app on my iPhone 6 Plus.  Editing with Snapseed app to underexpose the lower section and with Touch/Retouch app to remove a light pole in the center of the photo. Amazing what you can do on an iPhone.

 

A Taste of Sanford

Went to the food and music festival A Taste of Sanford 2015 and got some nice photos. Lots of local food, great band playing and fun stuff for the whole family.  Even the local birds got a treat.

[f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

Another view of the same bird was captured against the sky, rendered in both color and B/W

 

[f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

[f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200, 200 mm, with a NIKON D5500 and a 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6]

 

Losing weight and lowering BP

Regular exercise like walking 2.5-5K a day and eating right is paying off!  Goal for now is to drop 47 pounds, hope to be there by mid August.

▼  UPDATEs