Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ant Lion Hole near Paradise, Michigan

This was one of my favorite shots during my mid August trip to northern Michigan back in 2002. That was FOUR years ago, and I will be heading back up north this weekend for another 8-day adventure. You can bet I'll be looking for more ant lion holes! This was one of the first photographs I took using my Nikon 200 mm micro lens along with my N-80 camera body. This is a scanned Fujicrhome Velvia slide. I did my best to adjust the color and all that sort of thing, but this was also one of the first slides I ever scanned! So I will definitely have to revisit those old slides and see what I can salvage, scan, and save!

August Sunrise in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Sunrise near Paradise, Michigan, August 12, 2002. This is one of my first ever sunrise shots, scanned from a Fujichrome Velvia slide. I got this photo during my first workshop with Rod and Marlene Planck just four years ago, and I have accomplished much since that time. I'll eventually need to go back and re-scan many of my earlier slides since not only do I have a better scanner now (Nikon Super Coolscan 4000) but I also know more about working with digital images. I will be heading up to Michigan this weekend to spend 8 days at another Rod Planck workshop and to hang out with a few of my photography friends. This gives you some idea of what I will see.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mid May Stream in the Smokies

A stream in the Smokies, May 21, 2006. This is the first of three photos of a stream in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I got this and the next two shots while standing on a narrow bridge along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a one-way loop through an area of the Smokies near Gatlinburg. I think I like the third (widest) shot best, followed by this first closer-up shot, and my third favorite is the one in the middle. One thing I can say for sure is that I much prefer the vertical view on this scene than the horizontal. That perception was obvious as soon as I glanced through the view finder and compared horizontal versus vertical framing. Still I did get some horizontal shots just for fun, and might use them someday for "teaching" purposes to talk about issues relating to framing a scene.

This shot is a little wider than the previous one, but I think that maybe the photo is a little off balance due to there being so much dark near the top and so much light (without much texture) near the bottom of the frame. Then again, maybe it looks fine?

Here is the widest view, which I think I like best. Though the bottom of the frame is a lot brighter than the top, the texture in the water helps reduce the sense of being off balance. I would be curious to know what other folks think, and which of these three stream shots is their favorite.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tiny Oak Leaves during May in North Carolina

I did a lot of work with tiny oak leaves this spring, and it's hard to decide which image(s) I like best. But this one is certainly near the top of my list. I love the texture of the white oak leaf as it first starts to grow. I also love the color and shape. I like this image because it shows the wavy edges of the leaf and the layering of two leaves gives some idea of the three dimensionality and thickness of the leaf. This is another mid May photo from the Mountain in southern North Carolina.

Flame Azalea in May

I found this Flame Azalea tree in mid May in a forest in southern Virginia. I stood on the pathway that rose above the forest floor, and was able to look across straight ahead into the branches of the tree. Other shots, looking up into other trees were more difficult to compose due to the bright gray sky showing up in the background. It was overcast, but still the sky seemed too bright to be included in the image.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mid-May Mountain in Southern North Carolina

Click on the image to see a larger view so that the slight contrast between the sky and mountains shows up. Here is a mountain scene from mid-May in southern North Carolina, not far from Highlands. I like the layering in this image, including a couple layers of trees toward the front and a few layers of mountains in the distance. I would prefer to have less of an even split between the foreground trees and the mountains behind them, but it is less of an issue in this image as it could be. I normally try to put a significant break or line at the 1/3 or 2/3 from bottom (or either side) position, but that "rule of thirds" can sometimes be broken. After all, it is a rule of thumb, and not a law. Below this image, you will see a couple "patterns" of branches, which I posted earlier this week. Those images came from the white oak trees in the very foreground, but below the current frame.

More Patterns in Trees

I made this photograph during mid-May on a mountain in southern North Carolina. Here is another attempt at finding patterns among the tree branches, something I especially enjoy doing with white oak--as shown here. For another but wider view from the same day, see three photos below (Patterns in Springtime Trees).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shadow On Cinnamon

This may not be a photo of springtime wildflowers, but I like it just the same. Here is a pretty nice photo of Shadow and his sister Cinnamon. I like the way he rests his arm across the top of her head. They cuddle a lot, and play together too. I am glad we got BOTH kitties and not just one from the litter. Having twins is really fun.

Tiny Oak Leaf

During my mid-May visit to the Mountain in southern North Carolina, I found many oak trees with tiny leaves just starting to grow. I got this picture during that same rainy morning as the other small leaves (below). I like the way this photo shows the fuzzy surface, and the bright red color of the leaf, which later gets "hidden" by green when chorophyll is produced as a result of exposure to the sun.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Patterns in Springtime Trees

For the sake of challenging myself, sometimes I try to do mini landscapes of trees. I usually try to get close enough to fill the frame with the branches. I look for patterns and try to isolate them through the view finder. Sometimes it works out amazingly well, and other times the image is rather cluttered and confusing. This shot is somewhere in between. I inlcude it here just for the fun of it. I got this photo on the same mountain top during mid May as the baby oak leaves and blueberries shown below.

"Baby" Oak Leaves -- Second Try

I worked on this image a little bit more to try and reduce the brightness of some of the bright spots. You can compare it with the image below (two photos down) and see which one you prefer.

Springtime Blueberries

Here are the fruits of a blueberry bush during mid May on a Mountain in southern North Carolina. Just beside this bush, I found some "baby oak leaves" (see below) just starting to grow. It was a rainy morning, but the wind was calm. Aside from getting wet, the conditions were perfect for photographing.

"Baby" Oak Leaves

These white oak leaves are still fuzzy, soft, and pinkish green. The oak flowers hang below them like beads on a string. I got this photo during mid May on a mountain in southern North Carolina. It was a rainy morning when I went scouting for "baby oak leaves," which I found growing beside a blueberry bush with firm, green berries.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Twins

Here are Cinnamon and Shadow, the two youngest members of our family. I will not be posting a lot of kitten shots here on this website, but I wanted to post a few. I do plan to return to my typical theme of showing nature shots, particularly wildflowers and spring. But from time to time, I like to include something else. In this case, it was fun to have practice working on photography of a black cat. It can be difficult to get the exposure right. If set on auto-exposure, most cameras would cause the black cat to appear washed out or gray.


This is Shadow, a sweet cuddly kitten. His sister Cinnamon is shown below.


This is Cinnamon. She is 6 weeks old. We adopted her and her brother just a few days ago. She and her brother were two of four litter-mates. Of course wanted to adopt all of them, but decided that two would be a good number.

Praying Mantis

Here is a praying mantis that I found in September of 2005. I used a tripod (set low to the ground) to catch this guy, and had to do a lot of moving around. I posted this image nearly a year ago, but have worked with it again and decided to repost it.
Now that summer is nearly over, I plan to start posting again more regularly. Here is the first of several photos I will post this August--during which time I plan to include a rather wide variety. Then, I plan to start posting LOTS of wildflower photos this fall as I return to the theme of Woodland Spring and begin preparing to build my own website.