Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two Posts In One Week...

Two posts in one week, maybe I am getting back on track, now to make time to post on my Shippensburg fire history blog. Like I mentioned in my last post I have not been out using the camera so I will be digging into last years files. I do have some ideas for future posts like crappy photos of interesting subjects. We have all taken crappy photos, some of us more than others. Many times they were something that we would have loved to have nailed but didn't for one reason or another.

Today's shots come from the rut at SNP last November. The first photo is a small buck and one that many would not even consider photographing because of his size. As you all know by now from looking at my blog I photograph all deer from fawns to does and small bucks. This one begged me to photograph him standing behind the split rail fence. I just really liked the look and the lighting. The second photograph is a fine example of when the lighting is really bad. I followed a couple of bucks into the woods one morning only to find that there was five or six of them. They spent the next 30 minutes chasing each other around grunting and doing what they do best in the rut. They did make getting photographs difficult because of all the contrasting light and flat light. The break areas were also very small giving one little time to make adjustments and focus on the shots. I came away with what I would consider no keepers but really enjoyed the time I spent with them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Catching Up...

Did you ever wonder how you schedule can get so full? That is what I have been trying to figure out lately. This winter was filled with work, scouts, bears games and everything else including work. Yes I said work twice, it seems like I spend allot of time there and this is the first time I have felt like it really interrupted my non working life. After photographing the whitetail in SNP for the rut I only made one day trip to the Connowingo Damn for the Eagles, and that trip was a bust. I never made there again, didn't get to Middle Creek for the migration, no walks around the local watering holes, no local wildlife, no Black Water for the foxes and worst yet no winter trips to SNP and Elk County for the big game in the snow. The cameras have sat doormat with the exception of one fire all winter. I didn't even take it along to the battle of the Buldge at the Gap this year. I hope all that changes soon. I really need a wildlife fix.

With everything going on my life has been going through many changes. Linda and I have begun selling off many of the things we have collected over the year in a downsizing process to make retired life easier. Most of my fire service collectibles and antiques are being sold, the fire engine should be gone soon. I recently purchased a new Harley Davidson that should be in this week. Wow! after 21 years without a HD I will finally be riding again and this one will last me the rest of my life. I just hope I find time to ride it. And speaking of Linda yesterday was her birthday soooo HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDA. You still look like that young girl I married almost 27 years ago.

Now for the photos, when I last left you sometime last year I was posting about the whitetail rut in SNP. I don't remember where I left off and don't feel like looking back so I will start be saying it was not like the previous year. Acorns were so abundant that the whitetails were not as easily found and that you actually had to work for them. Even with that said it was still great to get away, be in the mountains and spend time with wildlife and great people. I will make time for it again this year no matter what. The first photo is sunset from one of the lookouts in SNP. I am not much of a landscape photographer but is was a beautiful scene and I had to snap a few photos. The other photo is a nice nine point buck that just got his butt kicked by another nine point buck. This buck came across the Meadows hoping for a chance at a couple of does only to be ran off each time. Of course this all had to happen during the mid-day harsh sun. The fight was exciting to listen to if only they had not been in such a thick area I could have seen it also. I was one of the few lucky ones to photographs this big guy as he came out all dejected since everyone else decided not to lay by the rules and approach the animals in the woods. The effect uneducated people have on the wildlife is the subject of a whole other post.

That's all for now, maybe I can get another one in this week since it is only Monday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Catching Up On The HFD...

Battalion Chief Dan Hartman on his last night and one of his last runs with Emanual Stoute (T1).
BC Hartman on his last night with retired Assistant Chief Bownaze and retired Lt. Doug Bair.

Dustin Ventresca and Mike Souder getting signatures on our petition in the uptown section of the city. Dustin resigned last month to move into a more stable job (who would have figured the job of a firefighter would not be a stable position).

December 2010 uptown B platoon crews worked this accident after arriving to find a SUV on its side with a man trapped underneath it.

"B" platoon uptown extinguishes a tan bark fire next to the Governors mansion.

"B" platoon members Billy Holtzman, Wil Turner and Deshawn Dennis take a break after working a multiple alarm house fire in the gut earlier this year. This was the second day in a row that a "Mayday" was called by one of our firefighters in trouble in a burning building. For real!, one of us could die doing this, can't be this is the sweetest job on earth (sarcasm and I will leave it go at that).

One of those busy days from bank robbery crashes, gas leaks, automatic fire alarms to car fires uptown. The city firefighters just keep getting the job done no matter what.

Nothing like rolling in at 3 a.m. to find eight vehicles involved in an accident with ejections and truck well involved with a running gasoline fire like the "D" platoon did a couple of weeks ago.

All photos were taken with my point and shoot, I may not be the best photographer but I wouldn't want you to think that this was the quality I get from my DSLR's.

The last time I left you with the HFD we were fighting for our jobs. We managed to keep them for a number of reasons but we can't leave our guard down as I am shore we will be going through this in just another few short months.

The department still dwindles down as the once proud department of 105 is now down to 78 after BC Dan Hartman (32 years), Robbie Sullivan, Lt. Andy Weaver and firefighter Steve Snoke have all retired long before they wanted to. Along with firefighter Dustin Ventresca resigning to take a job in HAZMAT in our nations Capitol after working so hard and long to get on the HFD. In all the slots and seats still need to be filled no matter how many men are on the job and overtime is the norm instead of the occasional. I remember when I hired on you took every o.t. offered to you because it only happened a few times a year. Now you can work one, two and sometimes three in just your four day break.

Through all of this the men and women of the department continue to come to work and provide the citizens and guest of the city with the best fire and ems protection possible. Calls have not decreased even thought manpower has and even with the quantity going down the quality remains the same. I just hope that the toll does not become to much that one of my brothers has to make the supreme sacrifice. This year alone we have had two mayday calls and three near misses. That is more than should occur in a lifetime.

Next post I will bring you up to date on my outside life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It has been a long time since my last post...

Hello everyone, it has been a long time since my last post. I have plenty I could post but nothing is prepared. I could be revisiting the Elk and Whitetail ruts that I was posting when I stopped or I could be posting a few HFD calls I photographed or even bringing you up to speed on what has been happening at the Harrisburg Fire Department, but I won't for now. Instead I think I will bring you something new since it is prepared.

If you have been reading my blog for sometime then you all ready know that Shane and I are very much into history and World War 2. His paper work is in everything he needs to go to war (summer time anyways) from the HBT uniform to the belt, haversack and small items right down to the Springfield M1 Garand have been purchased, now it is time to face the enemy. His first encampment should be the beginning of June in Reading. If I have everything I need for battle I just may join him in camping out that weekend.

We have already attended one event this year, the Battle of the Buldge with about five more planned. Now it is time to read all we can on the 45TH infantry to really play the part and pass on the living history. It is always fun to find things to do with your children and even more so when it is remembering those who served this country. It will be an honor to keep their memory alive and pass along history to the next generation.

I guess now is the time to give you a little back ground on the photos. Late last year Nikon came out with a new body the D7000 that took what was good about many of their DSLR's and incorporated new features like full 1080 HD video capabilities with auto focus and stereo audio recordings. Needless to say I was a little excited about a new camera body. The camera had been unavailable at every location until about two weeks ago when one of the large New York dealers got some in. I had been very active selling items on eBay and other places in an effort to downsize with retirement potentially nearing. Along with that I sold the D70 and passed along the D90 to Shane with the intent on getting the D7000. About two weeks ago the camera arrived at the front door and from the time I unpacked it the excitement level rose.

Things have been busy and weather lousy so I had not used it except to photograph my feet and the cats as I played with it learning the new controls and menu. A couple of days ago Shane's M1 helmet arrived and before you knew it he was dressed and ready for battle. Wanting photos for his face book page was perfect, I can try out the new camera. It felt great, I played with high ISO settings and was surprised at the low noise on the LCD, it even sounded different than the other four Nikon DSLR's I have owned. Now it was time to download the card and get his photos ready for him. With the card downloaded and in Adobe Bridge it was not allowing me to open them in camera raw, I could not even open them in Photoshop. It was time for some research even though I already had an idea of what the problem was. Shore enough CS3 is not capable of handling the new NEF files from the D7000 just like CS2 was not able to handle the new NEF files from the D300 when I purchased it. I found that the only way to work the files was to upgrade to CS5 or Lightroom 3. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time so now I have to.

I have not gotten the new programs yet, I am excited about them but not the learning curve required of someone with my computer skills. So you are wondering how did I post these photos if I didn't purchase the programs yet. I remembered that if you use the in camera editing features and save the new file to the camera it keeps the original raw file but the new file is saved as a jpeg. That is exactly what I did then opened them in Photoshop cropped and resized them for Shane too use.

For all you bloggers out there that I frequent I know I have not been commenting lately but I am still looking, Willard is still teaching me thing and posting great stuff, Coy's photos are always awesome and I enjoyed your Florida birds (I am not getting there this year), Woody, I am glad to see some new post, you catch to many jobs to not share them with us and Haney's is always interesting. Are you shore that is you at the snow bank, wow we looked young once. I am hoping to start posting more often on both sites very soon, but for now thanks for stopping by.