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Posts from the ‘Natural world’ Category

Get close, really close…

 

As a photographer, I, like many others, find myself often in the quest for the quintessential landscape. And just as often, when I go out to scout a location, that “Ah!” factor is somehow missing. Granted, I need to spend more time scouting and not delude myself that it’s somehow going to appear without putting in a little legwork, but practically speaking, sometimes you just aren’t in the right place, at the right time.

Such was my evening last night, when I had an hour to myself just before the magic happened at sundown and the sky looked marginally promising for a nice sunset. The place was a local park close to my home and I thought–surely there is a spot in this park where the vista will afford me the shot I am imaging? Brilliant skies, dramatic clouds, tree silhouettes just peeking through the horizon? After driving and walking around for about 30 minutes, it was oh so apparent that I had been deluding myself. No vistas… only garish park lights, flat obstructed views, and cars meandering around as they picked up or dropped off children for sports practice. OK–face it, I thought. This is not going to work.

But luckily, I had armed myself with my macro equipment, just in case. Here is where it all paid off. I settled myself into a remote corner near a bike path, and found a panoply of subject matter. Those little dots of color we all see when we cruise down the road at 40 miles an hour just came alive under a macro view. I spent the next 45 minutes having a ball with the little gift nature had presented to me.

So to paraphrase Churchill, “never, never, never give in”–nature is all around, large and small, and there are often great shots right under your nose. Hope you enjoy…

 

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Nature at her best…

 

I was recently perusing some of the photographs I tool while on a walk through Muir Woods last year, and just the sight of those giant, lumbering trunks, the shafts of sunlight pushing their way through the thick foliage to offer twinkling beams in between the branches, made me wish I could close my eyes and teleport back there for just one more look. I was there on a family trip and it was a relatively quick walk through the forest, but certainly enough time to drink it in, and take a few shots I am thankful for. Interestingly, while the shots of the towering giants are probably the ones that capture the most iconic memories, the one above perhaps captures the essence of Muir best for me. While the striking Sequoia may be the stars, the rest of the forest was to me, equally delightful. The lush ferns, thick with morning dew and spiderwebs, the sprouting young Sequoia, pushing through the undergrowth to begin a life that will surely last longer than several generations of my own, and the fuzzy moss that provides a moist blanket on every living surface–these also resonate in my mind, and refresh my soul like a long, cool drink. Hope you also enjoy…

Prickly subject…

 

This is a second take on the subject that appeared in my last post. I liked the monochrome treatment as I felt the stark contrast worked well with catching the light on the prickles. But here, the warmth of the scene gives an entirely different feel. You can truly close you eyes and imagine being bathed in that morning desert light. The subject however, is not any more inviting! Ouch! Hope you enjoy…

Green symmetry and sunlight…

 

I recently completed a WordPress survey that asked the question: Do you ever have trouble coming up with something to write about. I answered truthfully, “never.” Maybe that is because I don’t put any pressure on myself to post daily, or on any regimented schedule, so I write when the spirit moves. But I think it has more to do with the fact that when I view the images I’ve created, the words simply flow. That to me is the heart of photography–not simply looking at a pretty picture–but the fact that the image “says” something to me.  I never fail to be inspired for a post, because I am communicating here the feelings and thoughts I had when I originally composed the shot. Sometimes with time, I even see more than I thought was there, which makes it doubly interesting to write about. But no matter what, there is always a message–an inspiration–in every photograph I post.

This photo was taken in Seagrove Beach this summer. An ordinary palm branch, right outside the condo where we stayed. I was struck each morning, by the beauty and symmetry of the leaves as they spread out from the center, and the gorgeous golden light that illuminated its natural, yet graphic design. On the last morning there, I decided to capture it. Today, it makes me smile each time it pops up in my gallery viewer. I hope you enjoy it, as well…

Signs of spring…

 

I know it’s practically summer already, but this image of a newly hatched baby Robin certainly screams “springtime.” Of course, Baby is probably screaming something more along the lines of “Breakfast!” I was lucky enough to have mama Robin build this nest and lay her three eggs right near a corner of my house. Lucky me–a short stepladder was all that was needed to provide me a surreptitious peek into the first hours of life of this tiny chick. I will attempt to sneak back over the next few days, and see how the little family is doing. Hopefully we’ll have siblings, soon! And more than ever, this shot proves that you don’t have to travel the world over to find engaging and rewarding photographic images. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes, and be open to what is in front of you. In fact, with all the technology, gear, and high-tech equipment we sometimes feel we need as photographers, I have to say thanks, Mother Nature,  for giving me the perfect photographer’s gift! Hope you enjoy…

The Supermoon consolation prize…

There were quite a lot of shots flying around photo sites this last week after the famed Supermoon made its appearance, and I’ll admit I would have been right there, too, if a fair amount of cloud cover in my area hadn’t knocked my opportunity out of the running. Oh well. The day after, however, I was up around 5:15 when I looked out and saw this striking image. The moon was simply glowing in the dark sky, which only had whispers of morning light beginning in eke in. Now, not having seen the actual Supermoon, I cannot say how much bigger it would have appeared to the naked eye, but to me, this was simply stunning. So I moved quickly, set up the tripod and gave it my best shot. Taking a high contrast shot like this is tricky, so I ended up bracketing and merging exposures after the fact, because I wanted to capture the halo and a bit of the sky and trees without blowing all the highlights out of the moon. Sometime I hope to perfect this technique, but for now, it’s a fairly good representation of the way my eyes saw it that morning. I have a few other shots I am working on from a few minutes later, as the sky turned blue, then purple, then pink… so those might appear in subsequent posts. I’ll just leave you with this one, for now. Hope you enjoy…

On high alert…

Well, hello there, Big Ears! This mother bunny has been a resident in our yard for a couple of years now, and I have photographed her many times. (She has a little notch in her far ear that makes her distinctive.) But the story that unfolded the day I shot this image was something I’d never seen before. If she looks like she is on high alert–pink ears standing at attention–it’s because she is. Paraphrasing the veteran radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, stay tuned to the next post for “the rest of the story.” Hope you enjoy…

Serenity…

Muir Woods offers visitors a serenity that seems worlds away from the day-to-day life most of us lead. I am posting an image of these magnificent Muir giants early this Monday morning, in the hopes that it will offer me, and perhaps others, a sense of peace and calm to carry throughout the day. No matter how stressful life can get, I can close my eyes, or revisit these images, and remember that there are places in the world, where serenity and balance exists. Hope you enjoy…

 

f/6.3, 1/100th, ISO 800, 11 mm

Pacific giants…

Sometimes a photograph needs a bit of perspective. This shot, of one of the starkly beautiful craggy rocks that jut out from the Pacific coastline, is given a more awe-inspiring perspective by the rowers who are dwarfed by its presence. It adds a nice element of interest to the shot, too, and while I wish I could brag that I’d planned it that way, the truth is, the final product was more of a happy accident. I did see the canoe approaching, quickly previsualized the image, and waited until they hit the sweet spot in my composition. What I did plan entirely was the soft yellow flowers in the foreground, which I felt would soften the overall scene and provide a natural contrast to the sharp edges of the rocky subject. In the end, this was one of my favorite images of the Pacific shore, which is awe inspiring to behold, but whose magnificence is more difficult than one might think to portray in a single image. Hope you enjoy…

 

f/9, 1/250 sec, 115 mm, ISO 100

 

Nature’s canvas…

If Jackson Pollack worked in pine needles (haha)… hope you enjoy.