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Grumpy Old Guy

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Jan 25, 2021, 01:27 AM
Number of posts: 2,028

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

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, 02:33 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, 12:31 AM (33 replies)

Thank you! 😊

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Jun 3, 2021, 08:32 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, 04:51 PM (69 replies)

For your viewing pleasure: The Blood Red Moon Lunar Eclipse

I was vey fortunate to be able to "shoot the moon" in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. It was an experience I won't forget. These are rough edits. I may be posting them again when I return from my camping trip and have a little more time. I hope you enjoy them.


Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu May 27, 2021, 02:14 PM (7 replies)

Warning - Photo heavy - Some of my critter pics.

Hi folks,

I thought I would share some of my critter pics, since I'm ineligible for the contest. I'd like to point out that although many of these photos were shot in far off national parks or wilderness areas, quite a few of them were captured in my own backyard, neighborhood parks or on my morning walks.

Just for fun, see if you can guess my favorite image.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks for indulging me.

Get out there and shoot!



Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Sun May 9, 2021, 01:40 AM (36 replies)

For your viewing pleasure

Here is a butterfly that I captured in my backyard yesterday. It was backlit by the late afternoon sun.

This is a testament to heavy photoprocessing. This is a heavily cropped image from a 45mp raw file, processed with Adobe Camera Raw and enhanced with Topaz SharpenAI and DeNoiseAI.

Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Sat May 1, 2021, 11:49 AM (19 replies)

Possible subject for the May photo contest

Hi folks,

Tell me what you think of the following subject for the May photo contest.

"Critters of the world"

This would include any and all creatures, as long as they're wild. No pets, farm animals, zoo animals or wildlife sanctuaries. They have to be wild. It could be mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish or other sea life, bugs, insects, or any life forms I've forgotten.

I checked the list of winners, and I think the last time you did something similar was "animal planet" in 2016.

What do you think? Yes or no?


EDIT: It wouldn't have to be a Yellowstone grizzly bear or an Alaskan eagle. I've grabbed some good pics on my neighbhood walks and in my own backyard. It's the shot that counts.
Posted by Grumpy Old Guy | Thu Apr 29, 2021, 01:09 AM (22 replies)
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