Photographic Chit-Chat

I have been absent from this thing we call the internet for a while.  That can be hard to believe in 2013, but it is survivable.

There is nothing I would rather do than chit-chat about photography. Here goes.

Many of the images we make are preconceived and others are serendipitous.  Any way you look at, it’s all about getting the most out of the circumstances that appear in front of us.  The end result may tell a story about your subject, or it might flatter you the photographer.  It might read like a masterpiece or a cheap novel.  In the end, whether you are a pro or an amateur, it is all about the act of fulfilling your vision and sharing it.

I love photographing wild swans, especially our endangered (in Wisconsin) and reintroduced Trumpeter Swans.  The one thing about pure white birds with long necks who earn their supper by dabbling upside down in the water is, they get a lot of stains on those necks, and sometimes on much of their body.  I have gotten a few “clean” birds.  That meant to me that those dirty necks were part of the story.

Dirty birds.CMeadows 026

CrexMeadow2007 177

CMeadows 050

Why they get dirty.                                                                                                                             This is actually a Mute Swan but we won’t tell anybody.11NewSwan 004

A little cleaner.1bbbCrexMeadow2007 047 (2)

Common birds like Tree Swallows give photographers plenty of opportunities to make a variety of images.  Any day when that Ivory Billed Woodpecker lol wasn’t around, I could usually be found  with a more common bird.  From super close shots of a lone bird, to distant groups, this is always a fun species.zHGrebe2 041DSC_2643bDSC_2080DSC_1272

“Don’t the trees seem nice and full?”  Andy Griffith 

It’s true that people who view photography love images of birds, but mammals are also very popular.  I think we connect to them because we also are mammals. Two of my favorites are the Red Fox and The White-tailed Prairie Dog.  The more common Black-tailed Prairie Dog is also a cute subject but the one problem is that those guys tend to have a weight problem.  From June until hibernation they are so plump that they look like zoo animals or even pets.  I once had two wonderful days with this White-tailed version in a beautiful Colorado mountain valley.FoxWHarbor 031bbbDinoANWR 058

All animals can’t be pretty and while I usually find spiders among the most beautiful, I will admit that this Forest Wolf Spider is a little short on good looks.  This is a female with an egg sack.  I would imagine she opens up that sack during the night.   I did not want to pressure her so I made my shots quickly and left.  I do think a group of a few hundred babies being born at once would be a great image however.IbeachFl 037b

I love sunflowers!  Not so much for whole flower shots but they have wonderful detail.  They also have a lot of pollen and that attracts bees.  Shots like the one below are pretty easy. I kept my camera back parallel to the flower and shot at f16 in an effort to produce enough depth of field to cover the bee and the flower.  I used my 105 macro lens and auto focus and yes I used a tripod. This wonderful old lens has no IS/VR capabilities and my shutter speed was down to 1/40th of a second.  I might have handheld at 1/100th of second, the reciprocal speed for a 100mm lens, or I could have hand-held and used electronic flash.  I cold have made a lot closer image with that 105 lens but then f16 would not have provided adequate depth of field.  I would have had to go to f32 or so and then my shutter speed would have been too slow to stop any bee movement. I had been using my 500mm f4 lends to photograph Goldfinches while they were harvesting seed and I simply swapped lenses when the bees arrived.SFlower 083

We’ll close with a couple of Wisconsin landscapes.  All scapes do not have to be grand in scale and that is often the case in Midwestern locations like Wisconsin.

This image of spring phlox with a woodland background is a good example of how to use a small meadow for an intimate landscape. The green space between both the first two groups of flowers and the background flowers does add some depth to this picture1i2013slides 071

Actually this river image is a good example of taking a small scape and enlarging it.  I have stretched the foreground rock with an 18mm lens and this tends to expand the feeling of space1a2013slides 025

Have the best of days and may God Bless,                                                                                Wayne

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