Panorama Vista Photo Outing

Bakersfield is dry. The only water not miles under the earth mixed with oil is the Kern River which flows from the man-made Lake Isabella Dam. Contrary to popular belief, there are hills in Bakersfield. This hill is more of a cliff.

Saturday I trekked out in the 108 degree heat to make some images. Unfortunately I didn’t have a telephoto to really reach out and show the expanse of oil wells. I did make some images worth sharing.

Panorama Vista Reserve

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My new lens: Canon 40mm f2.8 STM Pancake

My new lens

When I read Canon was releasing a new pancake lens for the EF lens systems, I couldn’t stop myself. I had sold some previous lenses and picked up the lens from B & H Photo. Initially I was confused that the lens wouldnt not manually overcome autofocus when set on auto focus — even when twisting the focus ring. I posted thoughts along these lines on Flickr, only to be corrected.

In fact the lens can override autofocus provided you keep the shutter depressed halfway. This is much different from my other collection of USM and L Canon EF Lenses.

I took the lens with me to our softball game tonight, and came up with some images worth sharing.

Rain Storm Softball

Softball Bleacher

Softball Field Sunset

Softball Field Sunset

HDR Bakersfield photos

While on Safari in Bakersfield last weekend, I stuck my head in the optical viewfinder of my new long telephoto lens for some fun Bird photographs. One thing that lent itself to the quality of those bird images was the quality of light. I took the chance with my new, smaller Olympus camera with its wide angle pancake lens to take a stab at some HDR images.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did when tweaking the levels of tones in these sandwiched images to make some beyond realistic compositions.

If you didn’t already realize it you can click on these images. They will take you to my Flickr page where you can see even bigger versions.



Most of my bird photographs were taken in this drying wetland pictured from a much wider angle in the photo below:





There is a lot going on in this image I made below with my larger telephoto lens.

  • Oil pump bobbing up and down,
  • Winds blowing a dust storm in the background,
  • Carrot harvesting in the mid ground,
  • Tumbleweeds on the right,
  • A field of carrots ready to harvest in the foreground,

This is the industry of Kern County:
This is Kern County


I know I live somewhere where it rarely rains and we hardly ever see clouds. But I could look at these images for a long time.

On safari in Bakersfield

Saturday I spent some time with my new lens. Bakersfield has many watershed areas. Some are for flood control, others are reservoirs for farmers who store water to irrigate in dry times. This is a dry time. We haven’t had any significant rain for nearly a year.

This gave me a good chance to take some photographs of some of Kern County’s resident feathered creatures.

Bakersfield wetland drying up


This first bird, some type of bird of prey, I’m unable to identify. If you know it, please share in the comments.

American Kestrel looking very colorful on the power lines.




This Turkey Vulture didn’t land close enough for me to get any close ups, but looked majestic in the wind.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture Wingspan

There was a very large flock of Egrets clinging to the last remnants of water in the quickly drying marsh.

Great Egret and Snowy Egrets in flight over Bakersfield

Great Egret in flight

Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets

Great Egret in flight

Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets

Great Egrets sparring

Great Egret in Flight over Bakersfield

There are dozens of different gulls in Bakersfield, but I enjoyed the quality of light here.

Gulls in flight over Bakersfield

Surprise, these are not ducks. They are American Coots.

American Coots in Bakersfield marsh


Killdeer in Bakersfield marsh

Killdeer in Bakersfield marsh