Friday, October 13, 2006

Sugar Maple, Sept 20 thruough Oct 11

Here is the same tree over a four week period, starting Sept 20 and going through Sept 27, Oct 4 and Oct 11. Each photo is one week after the one before it. This is a sugar maple. Shots were taken from more or less the same location. I got closer for some and not so close for others, but basically, this is how the tree changed over four weeks. It is neat to see how much the tree has changed.

Fall Color Almost Gone

Here is that same Sugar Maple that I have been photographing all fall, since Sept 20. It not only has reached it peak, but it has also passed it peak. Its leaves are almost gone! This was Oct 11, 2004.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Foggy Valley Near the Smokies

Just a few minutes after getting the cloudy photograph shown below, I shifted my gaze slightly toward the west. There was a gap in the big fluffy clouds toward the south, which allowed some diffused sunlight to pass through, making these trees in the foreground glow. It was October 24, 2005.

Clouds Above the Smokies

As I left the Smokies on Oct 24, 2005, it was a rainy, cloudy day. But the clouds began to thin, and were starting to clear up when I reached the Foothills Parkway just north and east of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. As I stood at an overlook on the Foothills Parkway, this was my view looking south. Clouds were moving across the Smoky Mountains, and some sunlight was reaching through.

Smoky Mountain Sunset

This was one my last photographs of the day, October 23, 2005, during my first fall visit to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This shows the view looking toward North Carolina from Newfound Gap.

Fall Color in the Smokies

Here is some fall color in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I saw this view on Oct 23, 2005 along Little River Road, near the head of Laurel Falls Trail.

Early Fall at the Pond

Here is a view of Cattails from across the pond. Fall color was just starting to appear, September 27, 2006.

Late Summer in UP Michigan

Two swans swim at sunset at Seeny National Wildlife Preserve in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on August 28, 2006.

Here is a foggy pond at sunrise in Seeny National Wildlife Preserve in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, September 1, 2006.

Prairie Dog in the Badlands

Here is a prairie dog that I met in the Badlands, South Dakota, in September 2004. This guy came right up to my tripod and started to sniff it. I had to wait for him to back off before I could get his photo.

Frosty White Oak Leaf in March

Here is a frost-covered White Oak leaf that I found in March 2005. It was a foggy morning down in the valley, so I went up the mountain to the pond to see whether I could get some foggy pond shots. Well, the fog had already burned off the mountain, so instead I focused on the neat little patterns I could find on the ground.

Wood Anemone in April

This is Wood Anemone. It is one of several woodland wildflowers in the buttercup family. It has one white flower, about 3/4 inch across that rises above a whorl of leaves. Each leaf has three leaflets. The plant stands about 3 to 4 inches high.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bishop's Cap in April

This is called Bishop's Cap or Mitterwort. It grows well in the wet low-lying area of forests, often near streams. The flower is somewhat smaller than the head of a traditional thumb tack. I used my micro 200 mm lens with a 1.7 tamron teleconverter to get as much magnification as I could. I cropped of the sides of the frame, but the height of the image is full frame(using my Nikon D-70). It is almost impossible to photograph this plant because even the tiniest bit of wind will cause the stemr to wiggle and the image to blur. However, on this day, the air was rather calm. Also, this plant was growing between two large rocks in an area protected by the wind. It was somewhat dark between the rocks, so I needed a long exposure. I used f-22. Below is a wider view showing a group of Bishop's Caps. As you can see, this small flower is difficult to photograph well as a "scenic" shot. The flowers are small and the bacground is extremely distracting.

Sugar Maple at the Pond

I like this way of presenting the changes in a Sugar Maple at a nearby pond. Each photo was taken on a Wednesday morning, one week apart. The dates were Sept. 20, Sept. 27, and Oct. 4. I cannot wait to see what it looks like next week! (I made this image using Photshop. I simply opened each seperate image and then used Automate to make a Contact Sheet. I had to open the files in a certain order to make this work, but I was able to get it set up so that the images appeared in chronological order.)

Christmas Fern in April

Here are two fiddleheads from Christmas Fern, an evergreen fern that is common in the eastern forests. I wanted to incorporate repetition in my composition without having the fronds overlap. Since there was too muck depth-distance between the fronds, I could not get both in focus, so I intentionally put the front frond in focus and the back one not.

Here is a slighty different perspective of the same shot. I shifted my position slightly to get better separation between the two fronds.

Trillium in April

This is Large-Flowered Trillium, and it's one of my favorite photographs ever, which is why it may look familiar (I posted it last year). I am currently preparing to build my own website and part of this process involves revisiting favorite photographs and getting them ready to post (full sizes and thumbnails). The site, which I hope will be up and running in a few weeks, is called
I made this photo of large-flowered trillium during a slightly windy, partly cloudy morning on April 19, 2005 under a sparse forest canopy in southern Virginia. I used my Nikon D70 and my favorite lens (a Nikon 200 mm micro). I set up my tripod about twenty feet from this flower and waited for the wind to slow down so I could get a long exposure at f22. Clouds diffused the sunlight, which provided a nice soft light for this shot. I got one shot that was backlit, but I think this one is overall a better shot--and this was the first one of a set!
The following photograph shows the stage of the forest the day I got this wonderful shot of Trillium. As you can see, the leaves were just starting to fill in on the trees, producing some speckled shade on the forest floor.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sugar Maple Fall Color

Here begins a sequence of three photographs of the same Sugar Maple during a three week period. The photos were taken on Sept 20, Sept, 27, and October 4. Even in the first photo, the hint of fall color is visible. As compared to other trees at the pond, the Sugar Maples were the first to change this year. The white oaks are starting to show signs of turning a deeper red color, as are dogwoods and other trees. But the Sugar Maple is the leader in terms of when it changes and how bright it gets.

Here is the same Sugar Maple, but one week after the photo above. This was Sept 27.

Here is the Sugar Maple today, October 4, 2006.