Posts tagged “Nature

Female Goldfinch (Two Photographs)

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I saw a larger than usual number of Goldfinches in 2019, and for the first time several female goldfinches. I doubt this translates into a regional statistic but it speaks to the changing nature of the sites I visit.


Canadian Colour (Two Photographs)

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The waterways in Fall always have wonderful reflections, and Canada Geese are usually well represented too. Although the geese are often considered pests, that’s not always the case.


Macro Gear

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My preferred gear, for many years, when shooting insects was my Nikon, a 105mm macro lens, an extension and a soft box on camera with flash. This worked well for insects in the wild. But I rarely if ever took photos at life size 1:1. During the pandemic I am avoiding the parks, too many people. From previous experiments I had an original Nikon bellows, and a really good 50mm Nikon enlarger lens (recommended by http://extreme-macro.co.uk/) but I had a hard time getting good results with that and a generic focusing rail. It was clear I needed to find another way. The photo here is of a small part of a candy wrapper . My new set up has the bellows automated on a macro rail (wemacro rail and stand). That and some specialized software looks much more promising.

 


Macro

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This seashell was taken with stacked shots at larger than life size. There are three types of macro: 1) pseudo macro, what most of us call macro but is really close-up photography. It seldom if ever gets to life size shots. 2) Macro, the real thing, This results in photos where small things are larger than life (e.g. over 1:1), and then there is extreme macro where images are 5 times life or more. This photo is are over 1:1, less than a centimetre of shell filling the frame (cropping does not change magnification). It’s a project to help avoid boredom during the pandemic. I don’t pretend to be an expert. I have had many failures and still working for the best results.

 


Cones (Two Photographs)

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As a photographer I am always drawn to shape and form. I could be in a minority, but I suspect that shape and form influence our view of many elements of life, and that our minds have a particular affinity for symmetry.


A Couple (Two Photographs)

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It’s always nice to see a wood duck pair close together, especially in good light and colour. We are very fortunate where I live to have so many of these colourful ducks. But before I get too romantic, wood ducks like most ducks form seasonal bonds and do not mate for life.

 


Bored (Two Photographs)

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Up until now I have never seen an animal that looked bored. I strongly suspect that like many people, the wood duck got a bit fed up with the constant snapping of photographs. Or was it the people throwing bread?


A Berry Thief (Three Photographs)

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This cardinal did everything to make me think he was illicitly munching on someone else’s berries. In late summer the cardinals feast on the berries and it provides a good opportunity to shoot the birds after they moult and display their fresh new colours.

I am in my ninth year of posting every day. I am hoping to make it to ten years, but with a whole series of things going on like the pandemic I may lack the content for this blog. I have decided therefore to focus on some indoor photography projects. Hopefully I will still be  posting everyday but it is not certain.


Depth of Field (Two Photographs)

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I was surprised to learn that creative use of depth of field is not one of the first things taught in photography. It’s a technique that is immediately attractive and engaging for the photographer and I think encourages further study of photography in all its forms.


Cantankerous (Three Photographs)

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The word cantankerous is one of the wonderful Irish-english gifts to our language. It also catches the mood of a disgruntled Cardinal caught over lunch. I am always surprised when animals clearly see you and start a stare off, rather than fly away.

 


Explosive (Two Photographs)

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I like how these flowers seem to be coming out of the ground in an almost explosive spray. It happens in nature just like florists arrange their bouquets. A great deal has been written about composition, but in the end it comes down to personal choice after trying all of the “expert advice”.


Majestic (Two Photographs)

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One thing that can be said for raptors like the Osprey is that they have a certain majesty. That far out in the distance adds a slight bit of humour to its look. The photo is much more ominous in black and white.


That Bee (Two Photographs)

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Another sweat bee, doing its thing and taking off. Because of their colour and antics they are the most popular type of bee in our local woods. They are best found in late summer when they are looking for their final meals of the season.


Lovely (Two Photographs)

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This is another female cardinal, this time a bit more curious about her surroundings. I recall she stayed on the branch for less than a minute and I was not sure I had any good shots until I reviewed them at home.

 


Reach (Two Photographs)

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I have a few new projects I would like to work on which is good thing with the pandemic still around or ready to come back. Increasing skills, reaching new goals is a great way to keep the love for photography fresh.


OSPREY-Classic Pose (Two Photographs)

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I wish all birds would take a classical pose every so often. These poses give a clue to character and their “look”. But like many things in nature photography perfection is rare, very rare.


Love and Hate, Macro (Three Photographs)

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What I like about close-up photography is that I get to see things I otherwise would never see. On the other hand narrow depth of field, difficulties with light and capturing detail lead to some effort in achieving a good result.


Not as Angry as She Looks (Three Photographs)

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Female cardinals are hard to see they almost always hide or fly away on sight. A few however, hold their ground, and like many animals get on with life. I have been lucky with cardinals over the years and have some very good shots of both male and female cardinals.


Poppies (Two Photographs)

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I love the wild poppies we get in my area. At the same time there is their majesty and what they represent to us because of Flanders Field and WWI. I cannot make up my mind, colour or black and white.


Hairy Woodpecker – 2 (Three Photographs)

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The unusual lighting in these photographs appealed to me. Cameras and their light meters sometimes come out with surprising results, usually poor. This time things seemed to have been for the better. Nature photographers seldom get a choice of lighting, except by choosing a day with good weather, some clouds and of course the time of day.


Another View of Fall (Two Photographs)

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My favourite camera is the Fuji XT-3, it makes taking a slightly more artistic approach to the world so much easier. It handles like a charm, the 18-55 f2.8 lens is especially good. Sad to say but with the complications of the pandemic I am not getting out enough nor am I taking many photos.


Garter Snake (Two Photographs)

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I see the occasional garter snake, usually just. Glance their way and they move away rapidly. They are not dangerous, though I was advised by a student who was studying them that they do bite. We have no poisonous or venomous snakes in our area, only water snakes and these garters; these are our most beautiful.


Bee Fight (Two Photographs)

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I was very surprised to learn that bees fight. This bout took about 4 seconds, and in the last round the bee on the right chose to fly off, leaving leftie to carry on pillaging the flowers. Nature Photographers are always on the look out for the unusual. This time it just happened while I was trying to shoot a metallic bee.


Hairy Woodpecker and Choices (Two Photographs)

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If you follow me you will know I pay close attention to eyes, posture and impact in my nature photographs. I usually take many photographs of the same subject both to overcome errors, and to have a choice of shots (not too many and no motor driven machine gunning shoot, just a few). In this case seven. These two shots were the best.