Tag Archives: bokeh

“Reaching for Spring”

“Reaching for Spring”

“Treasure the people who are willing and able to help you reach your goals.”
― Jeffrey Fry

The title for this image came so easily. As I hiked the forest path, I noticed these small red leaves beginning to unfurl, backlit by the late afternoon sun. As I composed the shot, I could not help but envision them as delicate hands, reaching for something.

The wide aperture of my 90 mm macro lens also created a wonderful soft bokeh in the background, isolating the bud in the foreground, yet leading the eye back along the slightly blurred stem to which it is attached.

It’s a scene that’s playing out everywhere in my area right now. Though still cooler than I’d like, nature continues its cycle of rebirth and presents me daily with new experiences and treasures.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Cedar Waxwing”

“Cedar Waxwing”

“When you gaze out on a quiet, peaceful meadow, next to a still pond, under a motionless blue sky, you wonder how the noisy, busy cacophony of life could have arisen from such silent, motionless beginning.”  – M.

It would appear that I’ve gone to the birds, at least for a short time. The past few dull days have not offered much in the way of material to photograph, so I’ve gone back and reviewed a few from the past summer. I’m not sure why I did not post this one earlier but I recall the moment very clearly. I was at Secord Pond making some images of flowers and this beautiful bird landed in the tree right next to me and allowed me to get quite close and make multiple images of him. He did not seem to mind me at all. It brought on a wonderful stillness, as I simply observed him and made the ocassional photo, the the moment was right

This image is the best of the bunch and I’m really pleased that I was able to capture the reflected light reflecting from the water beneath him. It casts a bit of a shadow on his neck but lights his belly up nicely. I was also fortunate that the light conditions enabled me to produce the lovely bokeh at the wide aperture, diffusing the background colours.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 280 mm
1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Balancing on a Log”

“Balanced on a Log”

“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. So I take the memories as they come, accepting them all, letting them guide me whenever I can.” 

― Nicholas Sparks

While on a recent excursion to Lynde Shores, a conservation area on the shores of Lake Ontario, for some bird photos, I took a few minutes to walk the lake shore and enjoy the gently rolling waves. The stone ‘beach’ is made up of water polished rocks of varying sizes. I used some of these rocks, stacked on a piece of driftwood, to make this balanced stone sculpture. Just a bit of whimsey to share with you today.

As to the photo itself: I narrowed the aperture just enough to keep the stones in focus, while allowing the background to blur

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 270mm

1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Spring Droplets”

“Spring Droplets”

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
― Ernest Hemingway

After a few ‘false starts’ it looks like spring has finally arrived. I awoke yesterday morning to a snow covered, foggy world. The forecast called for mild conditions as the gentle rain began the work of melting off the prior day’s snowfall (barely visible in the background).

As I made my coffee, I noticed the bright water drops on the branches outside my kitchen window and grabbed my camera, knowing (hoping) this would be the last we’ll see of snow for some time.

I’ve made a few similar photos, in various locations. The soft bokeh and colours in the background tend to make the photo a bit dreamy.

Goodbye winter, hello spring, hope you can stay a while!

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Winter Dreams” – Seaton Trail

“Winter Dreams”

To start this out, I’m stealing a wonderful quote from a fellow blogger spanishwoods.

“In my opinion, the most ordinary things, the most common and familiar, if we could see them in their true light, would turn out to be the grandest miracles . . . and the most marvelous examples.”
—Michel de Montaigne

The above statement resonates with me on so many levels. I don’t live in an area with grand vistas, mountains, or oceans. The countryside surrounding my home is, at first appearance, quite bland.

But, if you have the eye to see deeper, and appreciate the fine details, the landscape opens up into a world of light and colour.

Today, after nearly two weeks of not venturing very far afield, I got up, looked at the stunning, clear light, and despite it being -12 degrees celsius outside, headed out with the intention of a much needed walk in the woods (and some photos). I made about 40 photos of forest trails, frozens creeks, and plants along the way. As the quote above states, it’s often the ordinary things, that on further observation, become quite spectacular. On occasion, I’m surprised by some detail I did not notice as I made the photo. After all, I’m limited to what I see through the viewfinder. Along my walk I stopped in a few locations to photograph the tiny seed pods of a plant called Dog Strangling Vine. Apparently, it’s an invasive species, imported deliberately or accidentally from Europe some 150 years ago. I don’t know that a dog has ever actually been strangled by it. The plant’s real name is European Swallow-Wort. These plants often grow in thick tangles, clinging to and climbing up trees, but every now and then a single tendril reaches between trees and those tend to make good subjects for photos where I can isolate a single seed pod or two. They are quite ordinary, but unique in how they grow.

I was very surprised today, in reviewing my photos that, despite it being mid January, my camera picked up the most awesome purples, and pinks as a burst of colour bokeh behind the seed pods. I don’t recall seeing anything pink or purple in the background when I made the photo. So, I’ll take this as a special gift. It adds a real dream-like effect to the image, coupled with the burst effect of a few background branches. If I had planned this, I would have been pleased. But, to have a complete surprise is awesome and keeps me inspired to seek out more of these special moments.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @200mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 -0.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Bejewelled in Raindrops”

“Bejewelled in Raindrops” - Fraser Lake

The final installment of my raindrops in fall series, for this year.

This photo was made a few seconds before my “Unexpected Beauty” image. The difference is really the background. This one is a bit darker and lacking the blue background of the forest.

It does show more of the raindrops, which is what initially drew my attention. I did not want to open close the aperture too much because I wanted to retain some of the soft bokeh in the subsequent layers. This one highlights more of the droplets on the branches, which really look like tiny glowing jewels against the greens and oranges of autumn.

Of the three images, this one is my favourite, because of the layers and how it really captured my viewpoint effectively. It is important for me, creatively, to portray things, as I see them, and I’m learning daily just how to do that, though the lense and through my words.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/13 sec @ f/2.8 -.33, ISO 250

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