Shop Talk….Yours & Mine

I have covered a lot of themes recently on Earth Images, so I thought it was time for one of those meandering articles where I put up a variety of images and talk about whatever comes to mind.  The difference this time is I will for the first time, do so with the images of others as well as my own.

Marc Muench is the son of legendary landscape photographer David Muench and the grandson of one of the first great color landscape photographers Joseph Muench.  David and Joe are famous for “owning” Arizona Highways Magazine when it was the most famous (and luxurious) state magazine in America.  Marc has a different way of photographically looking at the world than does/did his famous relatives.  He produces a lot of work that is more understated yet beautiful.  This image from Big Sur is a bit different from what most photographers would have produced.  I could see myself making this image with water stopping shutter speeds, and I could see many other photographers stacking three ten stop neutral density filters to create a surreal dreamy effect.  Marc’s wonderful image is somewhere in between.  You really do feel the “spray” that surrounds that rock.  A very enjoyable image for me.1476349_10201282140680225_1004784499_n

I’ve been connected to Howard Cheek on Flickr for a long time.  We recently hooked up on Facebook and I have been enjoying his macro work a lot.  Howard is similar to me in his macro work in that he will photograph anything and everything.  He often employs the clean and simple, less is more type of technique that I prefer.  This is a moth caterpillar and a Black-eyed Susan flower.  Notice that while his focus (depth of field) does not cover everything, it covers everything that counts.28330_1432406563576_8336035_n

Since the time when I began observing nature photographing and ceased participating, I have been thrilled with all of the magnificent bird and mammal photography I see. Even reptiles and amphibians are being photographed at a very high level.  I am seeing some incredibly artful flower close-ups, and some of the most power landscapes ever. With that having been said, those that make great insect/spider pictures are still a minority.  Remember that I have always said that photographing nature’s little critters is the most difficult form of nature photography.  Finding them and then bringing focus, depth of field, shutter speed and composition together is a true challenge. There are some of today’s best nature photographers who photograph everything but insects.  Hmmm, I wonder why?  Off the soap box.

Kim Critchfield is a unique photographer and person.  His philosophy of life is one of leaving no stone unturned in living at the fullest, and devotion to family. A wonderful guy to be “friended” with on Facebook.  I believe he is a portrait/wedding photographer but he posts a wide variety of subjects on Facebook.  I love the contrast of the in focus grasses, and the soft abstract reflections in this Yellowstone N.P. image. 1458434_10202707961002787_1996171445_n

I have always been fascinated and sometimes mesmerized by electrical storms.  As a photographer I have only a few slide shots from the early 1980s to show for my fascination.  There are however, many to be found on Google Photos, which is where today’s images come from.  I of course do not know how these images were made but I would imagine the standard of setting the shutter to bulb and holding it open until you get a few nice flashes was put to use.  Combining night lightning photography with foreground objects that are artificially lit also works well.  You can also hold that shutter open in the darkness and either use flash to add light to smaller foreground objects, or paint those objects with the light of a flashlight.  If your exposure is truly long, like one to ten minutes, you can get in front of your camera (quickly) to rearrange things and you will have made yourself invisible to the camera.  Your time in front of the camera will have been such a short part of the overall exposure that you will not even record.  If you stay a little too long, or your exposure was a little too short, you will likely record as a ghost moving mysteriously through the picture frame.  I have employed exposures as long as two hours for some subjects.  Daytime lightning is a different animal.  You will need to use brief exposures and time them with the lightning.  I have done this and it is great fun.lightning-photography


I fell in love with this little red bridge the first (and only) time I ever saw it.  My great friend Darlene and I were spending a nice morning at a local botanical gardens and “pop!”,  there it was.  The warm red and the cool green along with a proper composition is basically what this image is about.DSC_6188b

It’s always hard to get warblers and other little tree loving birds perched with a clean background.  While it is good to photograph them with the normal foliage in your picture, it is always nice to capture their elegance by getting an elegant picture.   Yellow-rumped Warbler.DSC_7671

This 2006 image of the alpha male of a Pronghorn herd, along with what is likely one of his offspring, has always been a favorite of mine with this species. I tend to favor wildlife images that have a unique flavor to them.  As is often the case, it is the animals that deserve the credit, not the photographer (me).

Male herd animals are not exactly attentive fathers.  Just the same me thinks that Junior is watching dad and learning about looking for predators like the many wolves that live in this area.Copy of DSC_0177

Throughout Wisconsin/Illinois, we have these small disjunct populations of dark phase Gray Tree Squirrels.  It took me a surprising number of years to get a few decent images of them. Like is often the case, once I got a few, they came in large numbers.  It wasn’t long before I barely noticed them.lifeBsqBee 027

No clean background with this image.  Sometimes a background can become so cluttered it becomes unobtrusive.  The most important part of this image is that the insect is sharp and pretty.DSC_7569

I always appreciate it when you stop by to chat for a while,                                                  Wayne

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