Tag Archives: meadow

“Poplars by the Meadow”

“Poplars by the Meadow”

“A good roast of sun, it slows you, lets you relax–and out here if there’s anything wrong, you can see it coming with bags of time to do what’s next. This is the place and the weather for peace, for the cultivation of a friendly mind.” 
― A.L. Kennedy

I made this image on the Thanksgiving weekend, recently past, while on a hike with my son. Despite being well into October (Thanksgiving in Canada is in October), it was beautifully warm, almost hot. Leaves were just beginning to show the early signs of colour, with slight splashes of yellow starting to show on the poplars.

The wildflowers of the meadow had completed their bloom and were beginning to yellow and become dormant. This is the same meadow, where just weeks ago, the honey bees were busy collecting pollen from a thick crop of goldenrod, no longer golden, but a dull yellow and drooping.

Along the edge of this meadow, is a tall stand of poplars. I could barely get a good angle of them in the tall grasses, but found a suitable vantage point. The bright trunks of the trees flash brilliantly against the thick spruce which lie directly behind them . Once more, this is a scene that I have hiked past numerous time and considered it as a subject, but conditions have never been quite right. That day, the afternoon light and colours combined to make it something worthwhile. The delicate structures show in the image in thread-like lines, which pull me in for a closer look.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32, ISO 64

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“Golden Moments”

“Golden Moments”

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?” 
― Jodi Picoult

While on an extended hike yesterday, making photos for my next series, I entered a large meadow, filled with bright yellow Goldenrod. The plants were in peak condition, having just started blooming a few days ago. The entire field in which I stood, from treeline to treeline, was alight with gold. As I stood looking across the expanse of flowers, my ears became aware of an incredible buzzing sound. Upon looking closer, I noticed thousands of honeybees at work, extracting nectar and collecting pollen. I was literally engulfed in a sea of flowers and bees. Wow!

For a few moments, I stood there, eyes closed, the sun shining warmly on my face, savouring the moment, thrilling in the warmth and listening to the thrum of the bees. Everything else melted into the background as my senses drank in the sounds of life. I was blessed to be part of this moment, also thinking how awesome it was to see a significant population of honeybees, which have been on the decline for the past few years.

After pausing to enjoy this experience, I set out to make a few images to remember it by. It did not take long, as every flower has at least two bees on it. That is how many there were. As I said in previous posts, I used to have a fear of bees. What I have experienced lately is that honeybees are very gentle and could care less about me as I lean in close for a photo. I also noticed that as I pushed though the bee laden goldenrod, they simply flew into the air and landed back on the plants after I had passed. They bounced off my arms and chest as I waded through the flowers, simply another participant in the life of the meadow. By the way, for those not familiar with goldenrod, it grows on tall stalks and the flowers are at face level to me. I’m six foot one. So, the bees are right in front of me as well.

So, here it is, a “Golden Moment” to remind me of my time with the bees and the joy of that moment, in the flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400 

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“Hawkweed Blossom” – Secord Forest

“Hawkweed Blossom” - Secord Forest

“Spring turns to summer and delicate pinks and whites, give way to bright reds, oranges, and yellows, as nature shifts her palette to match the temperature” – Ed Lehming

Today’s photo is another attempt to understand and enjoy the world of macro photography. The bright Orange Hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca) is a smallish meadow flower that is common in this area through June and July. It blooms a few weeks later than it’s yellow relative, Mouse Eared Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella).

This image proved a bit challenging as I’m shooting with manual macro extension tubes and it was a bit windy, which made good focus at such a narrow depth of field very difficult and I’m still trying to get a ‘feel’ for this technique which is very new to me.

Despite the challenges, I’m still quite pleased with the results and am looking forward to other opportunities as they present themselves. I’m seeing great beauty in common things.

Nikon D800
Nikkor AF 28-70mm f/3.5~F/4.5D
@ 70mm (28mm extension)
1/500 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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“Pondering”

“Pondering”

“When photographers get beyond copying the achievements of others, or just repeating their own accidental first successes, they learn that they do not know where in the world they will find pictures. Nobody does. Each photograph that works is a revelation to its supposed creator.” – Robert Adams

As the above quote articulates so nicely, I never know where a photograph may be waiting. All too often an image reveals itself and I don’t have my camera with me. Then there are the simple moments where some slight movement catches my eye and what has become instinct takes over. I’ve made a practice over the past few years to photograph in as many conditions as possible, to take what was at first, technical learning of what my equipment was capable of, and making it an automatic extension of me. This has enabled me to capture those things in my world that provoke thought and emotion and ponder on them further. Every one of these moments being an opportunity to expand my understanding of the world I live in.

I spent quite some time watching this little fellow flitting to and fro, in an Ojai California meadow, protecting his little patch of the world from intruders. He had an assortment of perches to choose from but always returned back to this one. Then he’d sit, for long periods, surveying his realm. There was not much happening during these quiet times and it made me wonder what thoughts must be going through his head.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO100

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“Meadow Poplars” – Secord Forest Trail

“Meadow Poplars” - Secord Conservation Area

About mid-way through this trail are several groves of poplars, which I have photographed and shared in the past. This particular grove is in the middle of a meadow, which the trails grows around. Because of the nature of this area, it’s also difficult to get an unobscured view of these trees, without some branch interfering with the overall shot. That becomes a common issue for photographers, at least in my experience. You can envision a great composition, but the reality is it does not alway play out as planned, since that perfect angle and lighting is tough to achieve because of the surroundings.

Fortunately, I did find a narrow slot between the trees which provided the attached image. There are still a few stray branches in the foreground, but they don’t interfere with the image as a whole.

As I look at the photo, I once again see it as a painting, even without any manipulation. So, I pulled it into Photoshop and the following is the result.

“Meadow Poplars” - Secord Conservation Area

I’m not sure which I like more?

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/200 sec, @ f/7.1 -0.33, ISO 250

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