A friend of mine recently passed away. Some people may find it odd that I considered a cougar a friend, but I did. Every time I visited Panther Ridge Conservation Center I’d always stop by Charlie’s habitat. Often he’d be on top of his platform above his house looking down at me. I knew what he was thinking. From the first time I photographed him, I knew he didn’t like flash photography. But a simple growl and a piercing gaze told me all I needed to know. From then on, I didn’t use a flash around him, and encourage others as well.
Charlie would often come down to the enclosure fencing to see me. As a volunteer at Panther Ridge I knew what types of interactions were allowed and what wasn’t allowed. No, I wasn’t going to stick my hand in an enclosure, but I sure could use a scratcher to give him a treat. His soft blue eyes, and powerful purr told me he liked it. He would sit at the enclosure near me and we would just talk.
Charlie came to Panther Ridge in 1998, after being kept in the garage of a South Florida resident. He was three months old and had a severe case of metabolic bone disease. But that didn’t stop him. One of his favorite toys was a plastic boat bumper. He would gnaw it and bat it around his habitat. When a 200 pound cougar smacks a boat bumper, it goes pretty far.
People who have toured Panther Ridge may have experienced his kind nature with Judy Berens, the owner and operator of Panther Ridge. Charlie was a shining example of what humans and animals are capable of … harmony.
You will be missed Charlie. I’m sure you are in a better place, where there is no flash photography allowed.
Nikon has finally released it geotagging dongle for several DSLR models. The dongle attaches to the flash hot-shoe, and automatically geotags your photos. Latitude, longitude, elevation and time are recorded to the meta data on your photographs.
Priced at $240, the GP-1 GPS is available for the D200, D3, D700, D90, D300 or the D3X. A single LED on the dongle tells you its status and whether it has a satellite signal.Â It comes with the necessary cable to connect it to your camera and doesn’t have to be attached to the hot-shoe. It also comes with a Strap adapter to connect it to your camera strap.
According to Nikon it takes about 45 seconds to acquire a satellite signal from a cold start, and 5 seconds from a hot shoe start.
This is a great gift for any Nikon enthusiast who travels a lot.
Check out Nikon’s GP-1 page for more information.
Next year I am planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park. In order to get those magnificent shots I can only imagine I will have the opportunity to get, I will need at least a 500mm f4 lens. I could pop over to bhphoto.com and drop $8000.00 on a lens, and spend the next 3 years trying to pay it off on my credit card. Or, I can choose another option, a more fiscally responsible option.
Lens rentals has recently become a booming business, and one company has stood out among the rest as a leader. I recently had the opportunity to correspond with Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com to discuss what makes his company stand out. He was kind enough to answer several of my questions.
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