Posts tagged “Photography

Numbers (Two Photographs)

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I have done more than one series on numbers, I might collect them into gallery. Numbers are a great theme for street photography, they may be the focus of the shot but the frame is often just as interesting.


Looking Down in the Fall (Two Photographs)

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There is a saying in photography, “look up, look down, look around and you will find something to shoot”. It got hammered into me when I started photography and it has stuck with me as a mantra about finding things to photograph.


A Canadian Sparrow

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It almost looks like the bird is embarrassed by its gaze on the maple leaf. Or do I read too much into a bucolic scene that almost appears staged. Last year sparrows were one of my birds of choice, their speed made for a great challenge in many cases.


Brass Measuring Weights (Three Photographs)

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These are 3.5x life, just to make them interesting. The third photo here shows their size against a quarter. American and Canadian quarters are the same size. There is no history to the one ounce weight (Z), (above) but the second one I can date to between 1858 and 1901, with a high probability of 1901. Unfortunately it was officially cancelled and the cancellation stamp makes it hard to place. The 1/4 ounce weight (third photo) has clear marks on it. What you are looking at is the VR and the crown, the piece dates from Queen Victoria’s reign and was stamped under the Weights and Measures Act of 1858 in London. I was not aware there were collectors of weights and a wealth of material on British weights on line. Its amazing where photography takes you.


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.

 


How much magnification? (Two Photographs)

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I am told that to get to 10x life size, a microscope and loan from the Government is required. 3-5x life size is a fairly good extreme to begin with. My bellows with a 50mm enlarger lens, and a 24mm extension tube can manage about 4:1. To get some context, here are details of Canadian and US dimes. Specifically the Queen’s profile and Roosevelt’s ear.

 


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.


Urban Grunge (Three Photographs)

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In any modern city there are these grungy dark corners. The shapes and colour remind me of some of the older forms of modern art in museums. The composition can add to the inadvertently attractive  grunge.


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.

 


Old (Two Photographs)

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These were taken outside an antique store. The objects are much bigger, but I have chosen a closer look. When the owners permit, any antique store can make for a wonderful photographic safari, just erase the price tags.


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.

 


Banal (Two Photographs)

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The word “banal” is more substantive and positive sounding than boring. The banal sights around us sometimes need to be captured by artists not just for historical reasons, but because we forget the complexity of modern life. The hydrant goes down a story underground to meet up with water pipes but all we see is a colourful and functional tool.


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.