Duck-A-Thon Weekend at the Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach

Rubber Ducks being dumped over the Huntington Beach Pier Saturday at the Duck-A-Thon Fundraiser

This is the second year I’ve attended the Duck-A-Thon fundraiser at the Huntington Beach pier. However, this time I arrived a little too late to purchase a duck. The cutoff time was 5 minutes or so before I got there, so no duck for me.

But I was there in time for the big dump of the rubber ducks into the side of the pier. That’s really what everyone is there to see. The weather was nice, the skies were blue and it was a grand event. Unlike last years event, this time the young volunteers who pick up the ducks seemed to assemble down at the beach a little late.

In fact, when the ducks started to arrive at the beach, regular beach goers began to pick them up instead of the organizers. Since this was a fundraiser and prizes are awarded to the owners of the 1st to 75th duck to arrive on the shore, you can see how this can create a problem.

The “first” duck didn’t float to the shore, instead a regular beach visitor ran out to the breaking waves and simply picked one up and ran back with it. One of the main Duck-A-Thon organizers stopped him from taking it away and that one became the “winner”. I guess you can say the winner was almost ducknapped!

Either way, it was all in good fun and for a good cause. If you missed it this year, mark your calendar, it normally takes place around mid May of each year.

Taking a picture of bird in mid flight with my Nikon D7000

Huntington Beach

Photographing a bird in mid-flight with my Nikon D7000

Capturing an image of a bird in flight may be easy for most bird photographers, however in the past I’ve had trouble taking one that resulted in a sharp picture. This time, with the image above, I had luck and timing on my side.

I was able to accomplish it by steadily panning the camera and keeping my AF setting on continuous mode and having a high shutter speed. These were my camera settings:

  • ISO 200
  • f/7.1
  • 1000/sec
  • 200mm focal length (with the D7000 crop factor it was like shooting at 300mm)
  • Plus my shutter drive speed was set to C/h
I actually fired 4 shots, this was one of the better ones.

Once at home, looking over the image, I was so happy that it was sharp and in focus! Sure it’s not the best, but for me it’s a keeper!

I was using a  Nikon D7000 and my 80-200mm 2.8AF D lens. Image was taken next to the Huntington Beach Pier. You can click on the image to see it larger.

SCRPA Railroad Days at Fullerton

Fullerton

Railroad Days at Fullerton California

My wife and I spent a couple of hours today at the Southern California Railroad Plaza Association (SCRPA) Railroad Days event in Fullerton. It was my first time attending and it turned out to be a very cool festival.

Not only did they have full size (old and new) railroad trains to board and explore, but they had so many model (small scale) working trains. There were teams/clubs that assembled elaborate miniature villages and towns with their working model trains traveling around.

The image above was setup on the floor with a full size locomotive in the background. I got down on the ground and tried to include the moving small scale train (it was moving fast so that’s why you see a little blur on the front of it) with the toy  people on the right. However, I made sure to also include the “real” people in the background. Other than the blur, I think the shot came out pretty interesting.

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