Tag Archives: pleasure

“Red Canna Lily”

"Canna Lily"

“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. ”
― Michael Pollan

This specimen came from my flower beds. In fact, this was the first blossom all year, driven by the drought we are experiencing here. I had intended to use my portable outdoor setup, rather than taking a cutting. Since I tend to shoot these at f/10 or higher, the setup also requires a fairly low shutter speed, around 1/10 second. Thus, even a slight movement causes problems in clarity. It’s been a bit breezy here lately and I wanted to capture the blossom before it fades, which happens fairly quickly. Thus I made the decision to cut it and bring it indoors to photograph.

I found the bright red blossoms a challenge in previous attempts to photograph the. Using the studio light ing and paying careful attention to depth of field and contrast, I think I was able to create a nice representation  of the blossoms without the red tones bleeding together which was my previous experience.

All in all, this is my most challenging flower shot yet, using this method and I’m pleased with the outcome.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/10 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Standing Tall on Winter Shores”

“Standing Tall on Winter Shores”

“Every moment and every event of a man’s life on earth plants something in his soul”
 – Thomas Merton

It’s the simple pleasure of walking by a group of dried flower stalks and seeing something wondrous in them. Among the winter kill, these plants, though dead as well, refuse to lay down. Instead, they stand along the shores, nearly six feet tall, enduring the elements like some wild sentinels. Though cold winds blow, snow swirls, and the frozen river groans in the distance, they stand, and await spring, impervious to the elements.

I stood among them, for a time, enjoying their durability and a bit of whimsy as the sun danced across the seed heads. They are so out of place, yet right where they should be and I mean to return in the summer to see them in bloom.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 190mm
1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 250

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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

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“Out of the Storm” – Sauble Beach, Ontario

“Out of the Storm” - Sauble Beach, Ontario

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with family and friends at Ontario’s Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron. It began as a wonderful hot summer day splashing in the surf and playing hours of volleyball. The forecast was for thunderstorms late in the day. We watched across the water as the sky gradually darkened. The storm approached over the lake like a black wall, slowly creeping our way.

I took this as a wonderful opportunity to get some powerful storm photographs. As I stood on the shore making photos of the storm, I was struck by just how bright the circling seagulls were, in strong contrast to the dark skies.

This one kept circling me at just the right distance to make some good images. I’m really pleased at how it turned out. The biggest challenge was trying to keep him focused and framed properly.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 210 mm
1/60 sec @ f/10.0, ISO 450