Sunday, June 11, 2006

Washington Monument in Washington DC

Here is an interesting perspective of the Washington Monument, which I captured on June 9th during my recent trip to Washington, DC. I know it has nothing much to do with Woodland Spring, but I decided to include it anyway. To get this photograph, I sat on the ground about 100 yards (100 meters) from the structure, and tilted the camera UP.
I like the way this image shows some of the history that went into the building of this monument. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848. Ten years later, they were nearly 1/3 of the way into the structure when they ran out of funding. The monument stood unfinished for 18 years until President Grant approved funding for the project to continue. The work resumed in 1878 and they finally finished in December of 1884.
A faint horizontal line marks the location where construction had been haulted. The lower third of the monument is somwehat lighter in color than the upper 2/3. Though they got the marble from the same location during the second phase of construction, but the new marble was darker and more red than what they had excavated before.
I am glad that the clouds came along while I was walking from the Metro stop toward the monument. Without the clouds to add texture, the sky would have been a little bit boring as a solid blue.

Monday, June 05, 2006

May Apple Flower at Mountain Lake

Here is a closeup shot of a May Apple flower in full bloom. I found this flower and many others on May 25, 2006, at Mountain Lake in Giles County, Virginia.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

May Apples at Mountain Lake

Here is a closeup of a May Apple flower just beginning to bloom. This is the first time I ever got a shot of the May Apple flower in this stage. It is difficult to get a good shot of a May Apple flower due to its location under the leaves and due to the way it normally tends to kind of lean downward toward the ground. But here at Mountain Lake I was able to get several good shots, partly because there were so many from which to choose, and partly because the slight slope of the hillside made it easier for me for look "uphill" and directly into the flowers. For more shots of May Apple at Mountain Lake, check the images below.

Here are some May Apple plants that I found at Mountain Lake in Giles County, Virginia, on May 25, 2006. Compared to the nearby valley, spring comes a little later up here on the mountain. I like the way this shot shows the entire May Apple plant including its single stem that goes up about 6 inches to the flower and then splits into a "Y," each with an umbrella-shaped leaf on top of each stem. The entire plant is about 1 foot high. Some May Apples have only a single stem, topped with a single leaf. These single-stemmed plants lack flowers.

Here is a closer view of the flower shown above.

A View Through a Tilt-Shift Lens

Here is a view of May Apples, showing their leaves from above, but not their flowers (which are found below the leaves). I am excited to FINALLY be posting a shot that I got using my 85 mm tilt/shift lens. I use the tilt function of this lens to shift my focal plane from being directly FLAT in front of the camera to one that "reaches" into the frame. Instead of just having the leaves in the front of the frame in focus while the ones toward the back begin to blur, I am able to align the focal plane with the top surface of the leaves and therefore all the leaves are in focus. The only challenge on this day was waiting for the wind to stop long enough to snap the shutter. And since the wind was sporadic, that was not much of a challenge at all. I found this and other large groups of May Apple at Mountain Lake on June 25, 2006. I have been wanting to get a full-frame shot of May Apples all spring. Now, I just need to get one that also somehow shows the flowers as well.