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Animal Spotlight- Jaguars Mia and Rosa

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 23, 2013, 2:52 PM
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I had a nice venture to Turtleback Zoo today.  The cool weather made a lot of the animals wonderfully active and today the beautiful jaguars were really in the mood for play-fighting and all around silliness.

I think Mia here is wondering, "How do I get myself out of this mess?" while Rosa has no idea her sister is just about ready to plop down on her head.  But cat's are really nimble, elegant creatures, right?  Riiiight.

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And here poor Mia really does look least for the moment. LOL
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Also we must never forget that even jaguars can get looks like Rosa has had enough.
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I adore these two sisters they are very fun and entertaining.  One must have patience though...if a big cat is doing nothing within the next moment they may decide to get up and sometimes in a split second you can miss something very spectacular.  Today I did catch a mid-air jump, what an exciting thing. But it was over in a second. A fast shutter speed is essential.
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The amur leopards are also magnificent, the zoo has a breeding pair and are keeping their fingers crossed.  This is the male, whose name I have not yet heard.
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Last but certainly not least, Kira the lovely bobcat seems to be comtemplating the cloud patterns.  Or maybe she is wondering just what makes that big bright light in the sky.  :)
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I have several more photographs to share from this zoo trip.  Photography is always such stress relief for me, especially when lately negativity has been tightening around me like a constricting snake.  I'm also fighting a cold now, yay, second one already this year and it's not even officially winter yet!  *sigh*

Well enough of that. Enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for more shortly.  A big :huggle: to all of my watchers and commentators.  I appreciate everything.

Playful Cougars on a Warm Day

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 16, 2013, 1:49 PM
The Bergen Zoo is now off-season and free until Spring :D So I decided to do a quick run through but forgot to bring my 300mm zoom, I only had my two shorter lenses.  :roll: The two pics of adorable Michael playing with a new toy aren't the greatest, but still so cute I had to share them.  I'll put these up as stock photos due to the sub-par quality.
Hope you enjoy them anyway! :sun:

A Day At Merrill Creek Reservoir

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 2, 2013, 6:54 PM
Nature walks in Autumn are so amazing! The smells, the sounds...the animals :3
The Merrill Creek Reservoir is incredibly beautiful and I've been there three times now. Today was really awesome, I saw more birds than I managed to photograph (like a trio of swans) but I did get some cute rodents.  And some skyscape shots, please critique and let me know your thoughts.  :D

Five Mile Nature Walk

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 27, 2013, 3:12 PM
Ok maybe for some of you that is not a big walk but my feet are killing me! :XD: Enjoying nature on a walk is refreshing, relaxing, and full of great photo opportunities.  So I'm going to put up some more nature/landscape shots, I know this isn't as popular as animals, but I need practice in this.  So if you have any time, leave some critiques I would appreciate it!
There is one bird picture in which I will need some help identifying ;)

Love This Season!

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 20, 2013, 3:46 PM
I think I'm in love with
Beautiful reds, rusty oranges, chrysanthemums everywhere (some of my favorite flowers) pumpkins, fall knickknacks for the house (like a deep burgundy red leaf plate my aunt found), and best of near-perfect cool weather with a hint of warmth still lingering.  While my allergies have been acting up (I get sinus pressure and sudden coughs) I still enjoy it.  The firey orange and reds some of the trees produce is so breathtaking.  I really wish I had a nice wide-angle lens so I could photograph some of the incredible scenery in Sussex, NJ.  It is so beautiful down there.  Anyway I got some more photos put up :)  I hope you will enjoy them.  Have a great Fall season!

Guys I've been feeling really LOUSY lately...I got over the cold long ago but I'm just not doing well this season.  Either my Fibro is flaring up bigtime or my health is overall crashing.  I try to stay upbeat, I really do, but I'm having memories from about ten years ago when I went through some of the worst times with this illness. My goodness some days I couldn't even get out of bed, it was that bad.
I got this new bike recently that I spoke of before and I barely use it. Before it was a little too hot still because it was summer, but now even with the weather cooling I find I teeter out so fast I can ride maybe fifteen minutes before I feel like total and utter crap.  I get so tired and feel on the verge of passing out or get ridiculously overheated.

I don't know if anyone understands (who reads this) what Fibro is but it's horrible.  It's not just achy muscles and fatigue. It's heart issues, problems controlling body temperature (Raynaud's syndrome), all types of digestive issues like bloating, bad gas (so embarrassing), cycle problems, weight gain, and general malaise which is sometimes the worst.  You can have really good days and you can have really bad days.  The change of seasons can really flare things up (which I think is happening now) because I feel the sinus pain, I'm having allergy issues, and it just seems to trigger overall misery.

*SIGH*  I hate to be a complainer, I really do.  I just need to get it off my chest though! Last night I kind of got really ticked off at my uncle and I'm glad he apologized for his behavior because otherwise I would have stayed mad at him all next week.  (Which is not a very Christian attitude...)

OK I'm done with the health rant. ;)  

I have some more pictures to get up sooner or later.  When I can find the energy. :sniff:  I hate that sometimes this prevents or hinders me from doing what I love to do!!  Especially when I want to keep up with my successful group :iconanimalsoftheworld: and I just can't do what I need to do....thank goodness for all the lovely deviants helping me with that page I appreciate it so much! :heart:

UNGH....I feel so tired and weakish today.  I better take it easy.

Thanks everyone who takes the time to read or even comment, it means the world to me.  :huggle:

It Must be Fall...

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 1, 2013, 4:24 PM
UNNNNNGH I have a cold...been sneezing my head off all day. It was strange on Sat. afternoon I suddenly had a huge coughing fit out of nowhere while walking in the park after my zoo trip.  Then I had a strange irritated throat on the right side start up. When it got worse and spread...I KNEW.
Damned colds...they just love to sneak up on you.
Thankfully I have Sambucol and Umcka...this stuff WORKS and this COLD will NOT get me down! LOL
So far I've been able to go to work but I am using lots of tissues to catch sneezes and hand sanitizer. It's too bad most people at work aren't so careful and love to just sneeze or cough into the air without covering.  You've got to ask these people...did you ever learn about germs in school, you know like around third grade or so?? Did your mother never teach you good hygiene? Gee I mean if you can come to work looking all nicely dressed and freshly washed...WHY CAN'T YOU COVER YOUR D*MNED MOUTH WHEN YOU SNEEZE?!

  • Reading: Her Mother's Hope
  • Watching: CPU SCREEN
  • Eating: chinese food REAL SOON YAY!

Better Photo Day :)

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 28, 2013, 1:57 PM
So today I went to Bergen Zoo, and it was a nicer shoot. :3
Still wish they would stop with the double barrier thing though...makes getting good photos of the ocelot darn near impossible.  :shrug:

  • Reading: Her Mother's Hope
  • Watching: CPU SCREEN
  • Eating: something soon i hope

Gallery's Been Slow

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 27, 2013, 8:31 AM

Well I have some pictures from a recent trip to Turtleback Zoo, but...they are absolutely craptastic. Thick cloud cover did not make for a good shooting day. (And it was sunny when I left home.) I long for a pro lens with 2.8 aperature...some day...some day! :XD:
There are perhaps 2, maybe 3 I can work with but we'll see. As more time goes by I have less and less tolerance for "OK" pictures in my gallery. I want to get better quality, but I don't have the right equipment. Photography equipment is oh so expensive! :(

MLP Deal With it Discord Stamp by Kevfin:thumb202933901: BerryDoc Stampu by StarlightLore Thistle Stampu by StarlightLore Berry Stampu by StarlightLore

  • Listening to: crickets chirping
  • Reading: Her Mother's Hope
  • Watching: CPU SCREEN
  • Eating: nothing cause my stomach hurts
  • Drinking: nadda

IMPORTANT- Deviant Needs Help for Stolen Artworks

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 19, 2013, 1:33 PM
  • Drinking: I need coffee

More to Come!

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 17, 2013, 8:54 AM
  • Listening to: fan
  • Reading: Mercedes Lackey
  • Drinking: I need coffee

On Vacation and More Pics :3

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 13, 2013, 4:14 PM

My Interesting Birthday

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 11, 2013, 4:46 PM

Canon SX50HS review- with pics!

Sat Jul 27, 2013, 5:23 PM
Skin by CypherVisor

Well the camera has been tested and I am giving my nod of approval. :nod:  While this bridge camera is not really a "beginner" camera, with a little manual reading and practice, it SHINES.  I am absolutely thrilled with some of the results.  I've tried it at a few parks and a local zoo.  I was able to get great shots as long as lighting was decent.  While not a good low-light camera (it does have high ISO capability but of course will make photos grainy) it still does really well with know-how and of course a tripod if you need it.

I did all of my shots hand held.  At first I used full auto and while OK in most situations, I didn't like going to high ISO levels all of the time. I did some manual studying and went to P mode, allowing me to control several things while the camera does aperture and shutter speed.  This turned out to be a great mode and I liked it the most.  I also watched a great tutorial where an owner of this camera gives tips on birding and macro with the camera. It's excellent and if you care to you can check it out here:…  He knows his stuff and makes it easy to understand C1 and C2 custom modes (VERY awesome feature) and how to use exposure bracketing, etc.  This camera has an amazing 50x OPTICAL zoom that really magnifies the subject. I loved its close-up potential, which could far outperform my Tamron 70-300mm. Looking at the results, I'm not so sure the image quality is all that different although certainly the 60D can get better color.  (I had to use color enhancing for most of the photos.)

The examples below were taken in JPEG format at highest quality and using 4:3 aspect ratio.  I had control of the ISO and bumped it up only when necessary.  Post-editing was minor using my favorite program Photofiltre, and adjusting only brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, color, and a little sharpening as needed. I still have much to learn about RAW and have not used that format yet, although I did take some RAW photos to practice with later with a free version of Photoshop I have. (Which I still have little clue how to use properly.)

So see for yourself...this little superzoom shines...although the user MUST get to know the camera a little in order to get best results.  This is NOT a beginner P&S. If you want that try the smaller cousin the SX500 IS, goes for about $200. It is said to be better for more automatic use. Otherwise you might become frustrated and end up returning the camera.

Please do comment and let me know what you think of the pictures. :) This little camera is a keeper for me! :love:

5) EASY TO UNDERSTAND INTERFACE (typical of Canon in my experience)

1) BATTERY LIFE ISN'T GREAT, 300-330 SHOTS AT THE MOST (Get yourself a spare.)
2) TINY BUTTONS SOMETIMES CAN BE HIT ACCIDENTALLY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE LARGE HANDS (Not a problem for me but I could see a big guy having issues using it.)

Lastly if anyone has any questions/comments, please do ask, you can comment here or note me. I would be glad to offer advice but keep in mind I'm not a professional just an advanced amateur who is obsessed with photography. :)

(Please note- Because the pics are so big they may look a little soft.  This tends to happen with any photos that are blown up to big size.)

Brocketdeersig by SilkenWinds
Elksig by SilkenWinds

Flowersig by SilkenWinds

Groundhogsig by SilkenWinds
Treeswallow2sig by SilkenWinds

Treeswallowsig by SilkenWinds

New Zazzle Account- SilkenCreations

Sat Jul 27, 2013, 3:59 PM
Skin by CypherVisor

Hey everyone I'm trying out my hand at making some things with my photos and have created a Christian calendar for 2014.  I would be thrilled if you'd check it out.
12 beautiful photos from my gallery with words of inspiration. :)

A Year To Inspire You
A Year To Inspire You by SilkenCreations
Create a unique custom calendar online at

Skin by CypherVisor

Hello all watchers! :)  I have recently purchased a new camera as a sort of "step down" from my I didn't sell my 60D and I doubt I will, but I wanted to replace my little P&S and decided to try out a high quality superzoom.  After reading boatloads of reviews, ratings, and watching some tutorials....AND having to consider what I can afford, I got a Canon  (yeah so call me a loyalist LOL) SX50HS… which set me back about $450 in store.  I have no patience to wait for snail mail and at a difference of maybe $60 (brand new) I didn't really feel it would be worth waiting for a mail order.  But that's just me.

Anyway, I will be doing a sort of comprehensive review of this camera, although I am no beginner I'm not a pro either.  I'm merely an advanced amateur who enjoys photography in a big way and so couldn't resist having a new little baby in my snap happy hands. :XD:

To be honest many dslr owners would tell you they get tired of carrying all of the gear and lenses around. I'm no different.  When I want to get the best pics possible I will always go for my Canon 60D (and hopefully in the future with even better lenses) but when I just want a fun outing without having to lug loads of crap around, these bridge cameras fit the bill. But I wanted one of the highest rated ones, and this is surely it.  Every time I looked for "The Best Superzooms of 2013" the Canon SX50HS kept popping up. Another strong contender was the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 but unfortunately
 this was just a bit too expensive for me and not available in stores.

So for a camera like this you have to consider what a 50x OPTICAL zoom really is.  This is basically like having a 1200mm lens on your DSLR.  Dude....Canon will special order these for customers at some insane cost of around $100k.  YES ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND.  And while I'm sure that bad-ass lens could take award-winning photos and at super fast speeds, I DO NOT have that kind of money. I can't even yet afford Canon's L Series 70-300mm that's going for under 1k now.  So you can see what I mean here.

This little super zoom is not going to give dslr quality, but it can get darn close.  I have seen examples of this baby and am BLOWN AWAY. I intend to fully test this out within 30 days (so I can return it if need be LOL) and will go to a zoo or two, or at least the park and try some birding and other such wildlife shots. It is also supposed to do some pretty good macro so I will test that out too.

Once this is complete I will post another (LONG) journal and give my rating and review. I will also post pictures. If they are good enough I might even submit them to the gallery.

I am doing this for fun but also to give a user-point-of-view, which might help you decide in the end whether or not to buy this puppy.

As always thanks for your continued watches, comments, and faves.  You have all inspired me to keep on going and really deviantart, while it has its flaws, can be a great and wonderful community. :heart:

Animal Videos- And Some Pet Peeves

Wed Jun 26, 2013, 7:14 PM
Skin by CypherVisor

Hello everyone! I'm starting to make it a point to make short videos of animals on my adventures now, I have only a few so far, but my YouTube account is here:

I'd be very happy to have some subscribers and views. :B

And now for a random list of things that annoy me (just for the heck of it) If by chance this kind of thing bugs you, well don't let me know or I'll add you to this list.  :XD:

1) Deviantart DEGRADES quality of photos.  They look better on my computer screen than after uploading them. What's up with that??

2) Kids stepping all over you at zoo enclosures. Seriously?! That's getting on my nerves.  I don't appreciate trying to photograph the tigers whilst your kids are shoving themselves between me and the Plexiglas, and stepping all over my feet to boot while causing my shot to be ruined.  Moms, dads, I get that your kids love the zoo and that kids belong at a zoo, but TEACH YOUR KIDS SOME MANNERS.

3) Zoo staff who don't have a clue.  
Actual conversation with a staff member at Lorikeet enclosure:

Q- "Do your lorikeets breed here?" A-  "Uhm... I don't know."
Q- "Well are they both male and females?" A- "I'm not sure...I think they are on birth control, as most animals here are."  (BIRTH CONTROL?! That sounds so...wrong.)
Q -"Do you know what the red ones are called with the blue streaks? What type are they?"  A nervous chuckle.  "Uhh I'm really not sure. I do know the really colorful ones are Rainbows." (Thanks GENIUS.)

Ok really so she is asking everyone if they have any questions ABOUT THE BIRDS and then this happens.  Why do I even bother? It makes people like me feel like an idiot for even asking when the staff member has absolutely no idea about the animals they are caring for.

4) Drivers who stop at a 4-way at almost the same time you do. They wave you on, but as you start moving, they start moving, causing you to feel like you might have a collision.  (Happens because said driver has NO IDEA HOW TO PROCEED AT A 4-WAY.)

5)Someone who is standing in line in any kind of situation (ice cream place, movie theater, etc...I've seen it all) and then ten of their friends come in and join them making the line much longer. Their friends should not have this privilege after others behind you have been standing there for a long time and now your little cluster of  loud, obnoxious friends joins in and makes me wait ten times longer. THANKS VERY MUCH.

6) Getting a magazine or comic in the mail and the edges are bent or the entire reading material itself is bent even though the package clearly states "DO NOT BEND".  Gotta love the postal service.

7) People at work...I'm sure we all have many of these, here's a few of mine:

a) Having loud conversations right behind someone when they are trying to work.
b) Leaving your cell phone on your desk, turned on, so that when it goes off, we are all subjected to your very loud ringtone of "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy several times until it finally goes to voicemail (or insert your various, obnxious songs here). Next time that happens, I'm going to take your phone and throw it in the paper shredder.
c) Talking on your cell phone in the PUBLIC BATHROOM. Not only is it gross, it's annoying as all get out! I don't need to know about your female health issues or your best friend's dog's tumor. And here's a clue, no matter how much you whisper I can still hear you because you're in the stall NEXT TO ME.
d) Taking the stall right next to me when EVERY SINGLE OTHER ONE IS EMPTY.  There is seriously something called bathroom etiquette. No I don't feel lonely and neither should you, I don't need a 'pee-partner', go find another stall farther down!!

Folks that's just a few. But I don't want to write a whole book here so I'll leave it at that.

LOL And remember this is for fun, please don't get all offended.  But by all means if you choose to do a pet peeves list let me know, I want to read it! :XD:

Exciting News!- I sold a photo!

Wed Jun 19, 2013, 8:36 PM
Skin by CypherVisor

No not a print :) I'm speaking of actually selling non-exclusive rights to a company in New York! :iconladanceplz: 

That's right this photo right here: Judge and Jury by SilkenWinds was requested by someone who works for

Due to client discretion I can not know exactly what it is being used for, although I was told it was for a creative project involving all kinds of media!

The forms are signed, everything is done, and I made a nice bit of $$.  I am very psyched, this is a good omen for me, I feel it's a sign that I need to keep on keeping on...practice, practice, practice...and maybe I'll sell even more photos!

I'm grateful to everyone who watches my gallery and leaves nice comments or faves. I hope to bring you many, many more great photos in the future. :D

PS- If you see my photo somewhere on a journal, notepad, or who knows what....let me know! ;)

Skin by CypherVisor

EDIT: So I did get a response from the equine group, and basically they said the pictures were boring, dull, or the horses's eye looked "dead"? :confused: Uhm...ok.  Well I don't agree of course, but I just found that not really to be a critique of any fair value but rather just one's nose-in-the-air opinion.  Sorry, but it just comes across that way to me. Ah I mentioned below I'm not holding grudges and I don't even really care what they think anymore, but now it just kind of amuses me actually.... :lol: :XD:
The poor horse, calling his eye "dead"...and he's such a pretty horse, too... :shrug:

I felt a strong need to post this journal, but please if you disagree about anything I don't mind your commenting and stating as such, just please remember to be kind...there is nothing that irks me more than trolls or snobs or people who like to post rude comments because they are amused by other's reactions.  Still, a friendly debate is always welcome.  ;)

ANYWAY, here's my mild rant...well not really even a rant persay, more of a confusion. :confused:

I decided to try out another higher-end group simply because I feel I've improved quite a bit over the past year or so, so I submitted one of my recent and favorite horse photos called "Play the Chase".

-------------------------->     Play The Chase by SilkenWinds

And this nice group accepted it! :heart: They are called :iconfinest-photography: and indeed, there is some very nice photos in this group.

But then I tried this equine group called :iconequine-photography: and I smiled at all the nice horse art...looked like a good group and the rules seemed fair enough. IN fact I really liked the part where they say that pictures don't have to be 100% sharp because softness can be part of the effect, etc.

So...they declined the above picture, AND another one I submitted (you can only do 2 a week I think)  "To Live is To Jump" To Live Is To Jump by SilkenWinds

What I don't understand is why, I received no explanation, I guess they don't bother unless you ask...but I won't ask because frankly, I doubt I'd like the answer.  I got that first photo also declined by another group (that I won't mention for a few reasons) THAT INVITED ME to their group and the explanation was some stupid thing like "The second horse could be showing more in the shot, etc..." But well who can time things that perfectly? And what says the horse being  more behind doesn't actually add to the composition, by making it look like he's sneaking up behind the grey one? See they didn't reject it for clarity, color, exposure, or anything like that....just because one person (or possibly more, I don't know) had the opinion, and I use that word strongly opinion, that the 2nd horse could have shown more but mind you, that wasn't the whole point of the photo! The focus was on the first horse and was supposed to convey the feeling of motion and a chase that was starting as the horses began playing. So....that kind of thing irritates me to no end.  I know I could have better lenses (not that pro lenses necessarily make better photos but they do help), or that I still have much to learn, sure I do!  But I think I do pretty well as a photographer considering the comments and faves I get, and well....I'm even in the process of selling one of my photos to a company to use in a project involving all kinds of media! :D
SO...I think that says a lot.  I'm by no means bragging, I'm happy about it, but considering the confusing declines by some of these groups it just gets frustrating. I mean if the rules were very specific and I neglected to see one of those rules I'd understand.  I even thought the group had some great guidelines and I liked what I saw...and of course I'd only submit my best.  A really good example of this is with a great group called :iconanimalreferencephoto:, I get several things declined there (they just let it expire usually which is kind of a good tactic if you think about it) but on the same note I have LOTS of other stuff they did accept in to that group. It doesn't bother me, because I understand the kinds of things they are looking for, and often when one gets declined I realize it really didn't follow the rules well, etc.  So I can understand and accept this group's declines, because it's just done in a whole better fashion, and they aren't being elitist snobs  (keep in mind the tagline is for HIGH QUALITY reference photos), the Founder even states it's not because it's a bad photo, etc, she just doesn't find it to be a good ref photo or perhaps it's too far away, etc.  But all of this is stated in the rules....

Eh, I'm not sure I'm making sense anymore (lol) but I hope you do understand a bit of what I'm talking about here. I'm not here to bash any of the admin of these groups or make personal attacks on anyone, but sometimes I think there's a lot of unfairness going on.  I do my very best to be as fair as possible in my own group :iconanimalsoftheworld: and you know what we have over 2k members so I think we've succeeded in that!  Occassionally we run into an issue, and I do try to do the best I can, but you know what I had a few people question why they got declined and with a nice, friendly explanation (and it was clearly stated in our RULES) they were accepting of that and stayed with the group. See what I mean? We even put explanations without even being asked most of the time, it helps a lot.

Of course I left the group, there are so many out there that it's really not worth stressing over and there are plenty of communities out there that are decent, fair, and fun so I've learned to just take it as it is without holding a grudge and move on, whole main point to this is....

please judge a photo based on factors like exposure, focus, overall composition, etc....not some nitpicky reason that's more personal opinion then a real fair assessment of someone's talent.

OK, I'm done. ;)

  • Drinking: water

New prints site at ImageKind

Mon May 27, 2013, 8:43 AM
Skin by CypherVisor

Well I'm sick of trying to figure this out on deviantart, so if anyone is interested in prints, you can see all I have to offer at ImageKind, I have uploaded high quality images there, with no watermarks.  (The ImageKind watermark does not show on actual print.)  I am starting with red panda photos :)

Thanks everyone!  I hope you will continue to enjoy my photos. :heart:…

  • Drinking: water