“Return of the Day Lilies”

“Return of the Day Lilies”

“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.” 
― Suzy Kassem

Today marks just about a year since I started into my studio based floral photographs. What started in my mind, as I drove past ripe wheat fields, as a vision of photographing some of the wheat under controlled lighting, quickly changed gears when those images did not materialize as I had envisioned them.

At that time, the day lilies in our gardens were blooming and I took a few in to see how they would look. After fiddling with my exposure settings and using my trusty 70-200mm zoom lens, since I did not own a macro lense at the time, I got images that stunned me. I could not believe how the isolation against the black velvet backdrop made the flower ‘pop’ and fine details emerged so clearly.

There has been no turning back from this. Though I enjoy being in the outdoors and photographing the wild world around me, there is a satisfaction in these florals. They continue to stun me with their vibrancy and detail and I enjoy the process of composition. The lighting and settings have become second nature. It’s just a matter of having enough subject matter to photograph.

So, to mark this milestone in my photographic journey, I decided to grab a stem of day lily and bring it to the studio for a couple of quick shots, two to be precise. This is the first one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.5 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Sharing in a Cinquefoil”

“Sharing in a Cinquefoil”

“What will remain is neither you nor me but what we shared among each other.” 
― Santosh Kalwar

Every now and then, an unexpected image just ‘happens’. Yesterday, as I went for a lunchtime walk to the meadow north of my house I came across these three hoverflies positioned perfectly on a cinquefoil blossom.

I could not have asked for a more cooperative group of insects, as they sat there, seemingly unbothered by the approach of me and my lense. As I leaned closer and closer to compose this shot, I fully expected one or all of them to fly away, leaving a nice blossom to photograph. It just worked out, all three remained in wonderful symmetry.

Shooting macro without a tripod is still proving an interesting exercise. Not only do I have to make sure I have a high enough shutter speed to negate even the tiniest movements, which can soften the image, but I also have  to contend with my own back and forth movement as I work within a fairly narrow depth of field. This one is a bit soft and would have been a sharper image, had I used my tripod, but the moment may have been lost, so I’m content with it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/16.0 ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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Tuesdays of Texture | Week 29 of 2017

“Red Clover Detail”

“Red Clover Detail”

Here is my entry for Del Monte Y Mar’s Tuesdays of Texture Challenge Week 29 of 2017

It’s been many weeks since I posted a texture image but thought that this close up of a clover blossom was a good candidate. What looks like a single pink-purple flower from a distance is in fact a series of delicate striped flowers. Even the leaves have fine hairs adding another bonus texture.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Up Around the Bend”

“Up Around the Bend”

“You can ponder perpetual motion,
Fix your mind on a crystal day,
Always time for a good conversation,
There’s an ear for what you say

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend. “
– Creedence Clearwater Revival

As I considered this image, the words to the Creedance Clearwater Revival song came into my head and I could not shake them and thus, the title came to be.

It was simply chance that I looked over towards the goldenrod plant and noticed the ladybug as it made its way up the bent stem, here pausing at a leaf node, considering the best path to follow. I don’t imagine that it climbed the entire stalk, but rather, landed at some nearby point and began its short trek. Yet, this moment is subject to interpretation, is it not? We don’t know how far it has walked or when it will decide to fly off to the next plant. It remains a single moment to enjoy and ponder.

I had another surprise as I was editing the image. The day I made the image was one of those days of variable sun and cloud and when I look closely at the ladybug’s shell, I can see the sun and cloud reflecting on them. Something I had not noticed before.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Not everyone takes action to harvest the experiences of the seasons of life in order to enjoy their bounty.” 
― Andrea Goeglein

This image is quite similar to yesterday’s Bee and Thistle image, but the thistle here is white and the pollinator is a hover fly. I made the photo a few minutes after the bee image, and in a different patch of thistle. I was quite surprised to see white Canada Thistle and it’s the first time I have seen this variety in my many years of hiking.

This patch, as with the pale purple ones, was teeming with life, all anxiously drinking in the bounty of nectar. The hover flies seem ore partial to the neighbouring chicory but did not pass on the chance for a meal from the thistles as well.

Out of focus, in the background, the bright orange soldier beetle is only one of thousands partaking in the bounty as well. More to come from this hive of activity.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

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“Bee and Thistle”

“Bee and Thistle”

“Mindfulness is not the path of chasing. It is the path of beautification. When flowers blossom, the fragrance spreads, and the bees come.” 
― Amit Ray

I stood among this patch of Canada Thistle, enjoying the activity of bees, bugs, and beetles, noting just how much activity there was. One could stand for only a few minutes and see the incredible diversity of life drawn to a single species of flower in bloom. As I stood and scanned over the thousands of tiny blossoms, I could not help but be amazed at just how important this colony of thistles really is.

To many, this weed field would be a wild and unkempt eyesore, were it not for the tiny purple flowers. The thistles stand over a meter tall, shaggy and thorn covered, yet they provide sweet, life sustaining nectar to a multitude of insects. It was also nice to see so many species of bees, from honey bees, to carpenters, and bumble bees, each busily gathering nectar and distributing pollen.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Ebony Jewelwing”

“Ebony Jewelwing”

A small black gem,
floating on gossamer wings.
Flitting and fluttering,
till the summer’s end.
– Ed Lehming

A member of the damselfly family, this ebony jewelwing floated from branch to branch around me for several minutes before finally settling on a leaf.

It required a slow and cautious approach to get within shooting range and I only managed a few shots before it took to the sky once more.

I really enjoy the way jewelwings float and flit, unlike dragonflies and their deliberate and rapid flight. The wings seem to be so pliable and ineffective but the random flight protects them from predators.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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