I saw a pair of these Tiger Swallowtails flitt'n around the yard the other day and just like a "pretty flower" sometimes you just have to make a picture of them. Snapped off a bunch and liked this composition. I do find the real shallow DOF fun here also.
I've been playing around a little with photoshop to convert my digital color images to black and white-as I've written before, the woods right now are so green, too green, so I start to look for textures and patterns instead and it matters little what the actual subject is. Ferns are cool. iphoto does a good job in B/W conversion, but I thought I try PS and see if it could be better using color channels. It is, just a few more steps.
Made the trek to Ladysmith this weekend for Christen's graduation. I was in charge of grilling while the actual ceremony was taking place. Of course, when C-man arrived back at the house I needed visual proof that he had indeed, graduated. Yep, and the diploma was even signed. I think he was truely proud and ready to move on. The image? I don't know-I flipped the flash up and got a really slow shutter, but like the effect-seemed to fit him and the occasion.
I'm still getting used to the 85mm Canon lens so when I get a chance I slap it on and just head outside. I do like sudo-macro photography and with the wide aperture of the 85, I thought I could get some narrow depth of field. Well, yes-it sure can and like I discovered before-to focus, I have to just move slightly ahead or back. Trying to get the bumblebees infocus was another matter-they don't stay still....ever. It took maybe 50 frames to get these two on Lupine, but it was a keeper to me. The underside of an American Mandrake-the white flowers are just coming to bloom. Osage Orange? I don't know my shrubs well enough, but had to take a few frames here. Ferns again. I liked the spire standing up and the out of focus background. Blackberry blossoms in black and white. Color? Again, too much green.
So this isn't a photo related post, but rather one of those little things that is teacher pay. With just 7 days to go (yes, teachers count down too) and a 90 degree art room, this 4th grade girl walks in and hands me a folded piece of paper. Just thought I'd share:
"MY HERO" My hero is Mr. Murett. He is my hero because he taught me all about art. Art is my favorite subject. Thursday is my favorite day because we have art from 10:10-10:50.My favorite project was rainstick. (she draws a small drawing of it) He taught me to try and always say "you could do it." I did things like that I did not even think I could. He inspiers me so I'm gunna use some creations next year in the fair.The best Part was when we had to draw cow skulls. He said "mine looked like the real thing." On my b-day he made me a sailors hat with feathers, yellow paper and scented markers. (small drawing of it) I love drawing. I like Mr.Murett a HERO BY Brianna R
(another drawing-me with a cape and big arm muscles and baret ;)
Twangfest is a bow hunting weekend we've been gathering for for 27 years in the Black River Falls area-thanks to a kind landowner, we've been able to continue coming together, even though the 7 of us are scattered all across the country now. It's always been a November tradition since we were all in college. The same guys gathered for a "SummerTwang" with families years ago and now we've come up with "Turkey Twang"....a spring hunt during the last turkey season of the year. Usually pretty warm, buggy, humid and quiet (on the hunting side) but still a chance to meet and enjoy some comradery. I buy calls all the time, but seem to always come back to the slate. Too bad it didn't fool any toms this day. Iridescent Jake The story, as told by Kirk
Okay, so this will only be funny to me. My Twangfest brothers started calling me the Edge many years ago because I'd wear this watchmans hat to TwangFest sitting around the fire on cold November nights. "The Edge" of course is U2s guitarist, probably my favorite band of all time-he'd wear mostly hats like this so the nickname stuck.
So this little grasshopper wasn't going anywhere soon-too cool yet in the morning. That little drop of dew on his antenna was great-just one more point of interest in the image. Managed to get a focus on it and it worked for me.
Sometime nature doesn't do a bad job of flower arranging you know? So I took about 10 frames of this spider web, and I liked this one the best-it just is a strong abstract composition to me and the dew looked like pearls on a string.
Thistle-the finches love 'em and in the prairie they are one of MN's best flowers. Dew and morning light-does it get any better? Well, yeah, but sometime it's too good to resist.
"Magic Light" is so true, and I think there is a magic hour also when everything just looks so rich. So I've toyed with the idea of just hopping in the truck and driving around at daybreak lately. It's almost full light at 5:00am and I rise early, so that is no challenge. The cranes usually start in their calls about that time. This shot is from an old abandoned fox farm in Columbia, now just a weekend place for a retired CIA guy-it's in my (country) neighborhood and I drive by all the time. Pretty common to see deer in the field, but the cranes were interesting to shoot-not my camera of choice, but the little canon compact did alright. It's so true you always need to have a camera at the ready.
Although I don't have a macro-specific lens, the 70-300mm Canon works well with a close up ring on the front. The only problem is you can't get very close and "focusing" is done by moving an inch closer or further away. It seems when I'm not "seeing" well, I just need to focus on the smallest of things. Or..when in doubt, make a few pictures of flowers. ;)
So I took my class for a photo walk in the Listeman Arboratum Friday. I knew some Trilliums would be out and other spring flowers, but was struck by how there is "too much green" in the woods. I carried my camera for a long time and finally took 3 or 4 shots at the end. I thought if I turn it to black and white, maybe I'll have something. The patterns and textures come forward when color is taken out of the picture (pun intended). In any regard, this shot was better and glad I pressed the shutter.
Now onto this 360 thing. Should I take it on? Alex Lindsey and his sister talked about 360 projects on This week in Photography, and just mentioned that it forces you to get better-because you're looking more. Seeing more? I think so. It "makes you feel like a professional." Hummm, I think I'll do it. Now, to pick a starting date.
Hauled my camera around a lot today-hunting, biking, scouting and felt I needed to stop at the "baby grave." I drive by it all the time. I think my next stop is to just clean it all up, arrange all the toys there, plant a flower.
Once again, the woods are full of wild geraniums. Love it. Lots of Leeks in the Reeds woods also and I'm starting to appreciate spring more-as everything comes back to life. Birds are just great and they really do start at 5:00am. Everyone should check it out. Saw one tom, 3 hens, 3 does and and few squirrels. Overall a great morning in the turkey blind. Plenty of Camerons Coffee.
First really decent day in a long time. 70degrees, no wind, sun. Just great. Hunted in the morning (no luck) and decided to ride later. A perfect weather day. Legs were okay, although, riding by myself made it easy-push when I wanted to, rest when I had to. Sidewinder is still the very best trail out there. So glad we built that one.
Just got my 84mm f1.8 Canon-nice. I bought it for portraits and wedding shooting, but wanted to try it. Tons of Wild Geranium out now all over the forest floor. Hard to pick one out to shoot. I liked these two open ones and the bokeh looked great from the f1.8. I liked the leaf below contrasted by the sharpness of the two flowers. Success?
Early morning in the swamp usually always yields something interesting to shoot. Back light is just the cure for less than steller subject matter. Not that Fiddleheads aren't interesting......it's just that there are a million down there.
So with the speaker I had come into my class this week-it kind of spurred me on to start getting my blog flowing again. Her blog has great photos on it and then, of course, you start looking at the links. http://lschmittphoto.blogspot.com/ Laura Schmitt is a photojournalist in Marshfield. http://steveappsblog.com/ Steve Apps was an instructor of mine last summer and I like his work very much-his blog always has something creative on it. He's a photojournalist at the Wisconsin State Journal. So on my walk yesterday I just started shooting things. Maybe too much "pretty" but I thought I'm not going to feel guilty about that and just get them out of my system. I shot this flowering (crab?) in the back yard-the usual...morning light was good, but as I walked around the back side, I saw how much better the pedals looked with sunlight going thru them. Pretty happy with this shot-it was more than just a flower pic. Tulips.....I suppose I had to get this out of my system. Too Pretty? Maybe, so cropping tight in the viewfinder seemed to make this a little different and I thought not bad. The swamp is just a great place. Near the woods pond, there are always cow slips coming up, but I love ferns....especially Fiddleheads. More interesting to photograph. I've been looking for some species to harvest, but haven't found any yet. These are not edible.
Went riding with Ricky today at Levis. His first time out on a mountain bike trail. Went well-he only hit dirt twice I think. Bumped into L. Schmitt-the News Herold photojournalist who spoke to my class this week. A lot of other people out there- UWSP had an adventure race going on and a few camper/riders also.