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Grumpy Old Guy

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Jan 25, 2021, 02:27 AM
Number of posts: 2,202

About Me

Thank you Democratic Underground for keeping me sane for the last four years. I think I was probably the longest lurker here. I started following DU during the Dubya administration. I was first attracted to the "Top Ten Conservative Idiots of the Week." I've been following along ever since. I always felt guilty for not participating, but refrained from doing so because I already spend way too much time online. However, after recent events, I just can't sit back any longer. I had to log on and thank you folks for all that you do. I'm a retired TV newscast director with forty years experience and more than eighteen thousand broadcasts under my belt, most of them live. I now travel the country (when I can) shooting landscape, astro and wildlife photography. You can see some of my photos at Ross-Kestin.Pixels.com or on Instagram at @oldguywithacamera. Thanks again! Ross K. Grumpy Old Guy

Journal Archives

A Perseid Meteor with the Milky Way, straight out of the camera.

I drove two hundred miles and stayed up all night to get this shot. How is this for a "brief moment in time?" Get out there and shoot folks!

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Aug 12, 2021, 03:08 PM (18 replies)

In the spirit of the August photo contest...

... and since I can't enter, I thought it would be okay if I shared a few pics of my own. The theme of the contest is "A Brief Moment in Time." Sometimes timing is everything. Thanks for looking. Get out there and shoot!

Ninja Squirrel

A C-130 in Star Wars Canyon

Breakfast at Bolsa Chica Wildlife Preserve

Sunset at Lake Nagawicka

A juvenile bald eagle attacking a tern. He didn't get it.

A cliff swallow approaching its nest.

Conducting the orchestra

"I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine."
(I always liked this one).

The Alaska Railroad roars past Potter Marsh.

Final Approach

Suck it up!

Coming around the bend in Turnagain Arm.
(I was waiting to catch that headlight).

Pelicans at Dusk, Asilomar Beach

Thanks for indulging me.

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Tue Aug 3, 2021, 11:58 PM (52 replies)

Two more wild horse photos.

I was browsing through my files and found these two images of the wild horses that I missed last month

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Jul 22, 2021, 11:38 AM (24 replies)

I'm soliciting ideas for the next photo contest.

Hi there,

I'm looking for suggestions for the subject matter of the next photo contest. I have a couple of ideas, but I sure could use some suggestions as well.

Here's what I've been thinking of.

1) "I had to pull over for this one."
Have you ever been driving along and seen something that you just had to stop and take a picture of? It might be a sunset, a beautiful mountain or seascape, a wild animal, a street scene, a cool car or a funny sign. It could be any subject at all, just as long as it was something you had to pull over for. It could be something you shot out the window, or something that you actually had to park the car and get out for. We would have to trust that you wouldn't cheat, but including your vehicle in the shot would certainly help your credibility.

2) Shot on film.
Any subject you want, just as long as the original image was shot on film. There are still labs out there processing film, and they make digital copies of the images. You could always borrow someone's old film camera if you don't own one. The only downside would be that us old farts have boxes and boxes of old photos we can scan, so we would have an advantage.

3) The Rules of Composition
The rule of thirds, the golden spiral, leading lines, S-Curves, balance and symmetry, negative space. etc. Maybe this one is too vague, but your entry would have to have at least one of these elements figuring prominently in your composition.

Those are my ideas so far, but admittedly they aren't great. I think #1 might be fun. However, if you have any other ideas, please post them here.


Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Sun Jul 18, 2021, 01:21 AM (12 replies)

Other "Abandoned" photos

Hi folks,

I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the other images I considered entering in the contest.

I had originally uploaded this old tow truck as my second entry, but I deleted it and entered the abandoned hogan instead. I really love this photo, but it occurred to me that it wasn't really abandoned. If you look closely, there is air in the tires, and a chock in front of the rear wheel. Also, there is no vegetation growing on it. Someone is taking care of this old workhorse.

I found these old burned out cars on the road to Hana on Maui. However, I'm still not sure if they were abandoned or if someone torched them.

I love this photo of the Filosena Ranch near Lee Vining, California. There was a real live old west gun battle here in 1915, which resulted in the murder of a local sheriff the next day, and a huge shootout between a posse and a band of desperados. I was asked to find and photograph this old homestead by a great granddaughter of the original owners.

I absolutely love this next image. This is a section of the old, abandoned Highway 395 which runs from the Canadian border down to the San Diego area. (It wasn't called 395 in those days). This particular stretch is near the Filosena Ranch pictured above. This is the road that Sheriff James P. Dolan drove down in his old tin lizzie the day he was murdered by bandits. He was there to investigate the shootout that had taken place on the ranch the day before.

I found several of these old landing crafts in a shipyard outside Seward, Alaska. My guess is that they were used for servicing remote villages, or used as car ferries.

Here is a color version of the abandoned hogan. It's beautiful, but I feel the structure stands out from the background better in the B&W image. Also, I think the B&W version evokes the images of the first photographers to reach this area in the 19th century.

Here is a side view of the hogan.

Finally, here are a few more shots of the 395 House and the other house on the property. I shot the winning photo with a telephoto lens to bring the mountains in close and show their proximity to the house. These ultra wide angle shots show just how desolate the surrounding desert is as well.

The other house on the property.

Sadly, the little house isn't there anymore. It finally succumbed to the elements about a year ago.

Thanks for indulging me.


Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Sat Jul 17, 2021, 01:25 AM (28 replies)

Burrowing owls

I went to play with some burrowing owls today.

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Jul 15, 2021, 09:58 PM (25 replies)

The Columns at Crowley Lake

Scientists believe these remarkable columns were created 750,000 years ago when snow fell on fresh volcanic ash. However, they were buried beneath the soil and unknown to humans until Crowley Lake was created in the 1940s as part of the notorious Los Angeles Aqueduct, the subject of the movie "Chinatown." The erosion from the waves of the newly formed lake washed away the soil surrounding the columns, leaving these spectacular formations.

Some of these pics may seem repetitive, but I just can't get enough of this place. It was another bucket list item for me.


Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Sun Jul 4, 2021, 03:33 AM (19 replies)

Yes, we have wild parrots in Los Angeles.

EDIT: i added one of the original uncropped images to this post.

Don't ask where they came from, because everyone will give you a different opinion. Some people think they escaped from Busch Gardens. Other people think they just escaped from their owners, or were released by them. There is also a theory that an aviary caught fire in the fifties and they were released then. Still, some folks think they just flew here from Mexico. You can hear them passing over nearly everyday because they are extremely noisy and can be heard from a good distance away.

No matter how they got here, they are always a treat to see. They are, however, very difficult to photograph, because they are extremely fast and never stay in one place very long. They also prefer very tall trees.

My wife and I were walking our dogs the other day when we startled a small flock that was perched in a very low tree. They flew right over my head, missing me by inches. I followed them down the block where they had landed in someone's apple tree. These are pics of them gorging themselves on the apples.

I've been told that the official species is mitered parakeet or mitered conure. They are much larger than the pet parakeets we are familiar with, almost as big as Amazons.

For those who are interested in the technical stuff, here is the info. I usually take my Canon EOS T6s crop sensor DSLR on my neighborhood walks. Lately I've been using the EF-S 18-135mm lens, which is equivalent to a 27-200mm on a full frame camera. I shot these at f/8, 1/2000th second, ISO auto. The really cool thing is that these are extreme crops. A 200mm lens really isn't long enough for wildlife and birds. However, I'm able to crop down to a very small percentage of the original image using Topaz SharpenAI. Topaz really has changed the way I shoot. These shots would not have been possible with this camera and lens without it. The last image is one of the original uncropped files.



This next one needs a little work. It's too dark.

This is one of the original uncropped images. It's the first photo that I posted above.

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Wed Jun 16, 2021, 01:31 AM (33 replies)

Thank you! 😊

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Jun 3, 2021, 09:32 AM (0 replies)

Wild horses couldn't drag me away.

EDIT: I am deleting the first photo, because it has been suggested that the location could possibly be determined by the mountains in the background. Thanks!

I had a real bucket list experience last week. I hope you can find it as breathtaking and amazing as I did.

I've known about this herd of wild horses in the California Mountains for a few years. It took me over a year to learn their location, and due to Covid, another year to finally get to see them in person. Please don't ask me where they are, because I won't reveal it. The last thing these beautiful creatures need is for a horde of Instagrammers to show up with their selfie sticks. We've all seen the incidents at places like Yosemite and Yellowstone. I do have mixed feelings posting them online myself, but I may delete them after a week or so.

I hope you enjoy them. I'll eventually be making prints available if anyone would like them. Also, I have about eight hundred more images to sort through.



Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Tue Jun 1, 2021, 05:51 PM (69 replies)
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