Therapy 101

First let me say that I have gotten comments on this blog over the past six months that I never recieved my email notice of, and I opologize that they were never approved by me.  I never knew they occurred. That has been rectified.

Let’s use some photography talk for some therapeutic  relief to what is currently happening in America.

When I was three years old or so, I would walk and then crawl through the tall grasses across the street from our house when I first got up in the morning. I discovered morning dew.  The beauty and art of what it brought to the subjects it covered, would fascinate me forever.

As a photographer, I have photographed everything I could find which was covered with dew or rain drops.

As most of you know, one of my favorite subjects are dew covered orb webs. That’s a little passé, but whether my subjects were common or rare, has never been at the top of my list to worry about. I have spent countless hours searching for nice examples of such, and shared dozens if not hundreds of images of them.

One of my favorite techniques is to find an area of dark shadow directly in back of a dew covered web. With that said, being a “one trick pony” is no fun.
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Soft out of focus green backgrounds work beautifully, but so do “rust colored” ones.

This image has  “finer dew” gripping to the web.
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Speaking of rust colored. Foxtail Barley grass in early autumn has always been a favorite close-up subject for me. Take that subject, and add some dew, and I am in heaven.
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Moving away from dew but sticking with macros, let’s take a look at one way we can use limited depth of field to create a certain type of image.

Usually when I was creating a macro image of multiple flower blossoms, and I wanted all of them to be sharp, that meant that I would be using a lens from 100mm to maybe 300mm, and the aperture would be stopped down to f 32 or so, in a effort to cover the distances between the flowers in sharpness.

Below we have three blossoms and the green leaves of the plants that surround them.  I used my Nikon 500mm telephoto lens, atop a ground level tripod. I shot at f4. I made the image by shooting through some foliage, and rendering it in view, but soft and dreamy while the flowers were sharp. The 500mm telephoto lens, compressed the distance between the flowers and the greenery, while rendering the leaves soft, and the flowers which were at and near the point of focus, sharp.
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I have always viewed photographing insects and other little critters as being wildlife photograph. In addition to the fact that they are members of the animal kingdom, we need some of the same skill sets as we do for larger critters, such as stopping movement and showing behavior.

Insects do however, have much in common with flowers and other macro subjects. Using point of focus and depth of field wisely can make or break an image.

The dragonfly below was photographed using a 300mm lens, and an aperture of f 16.  The background was obviously clean and simple, and it mattered not how sharp and in focus, or how soft it was rendered. It did matter, what was in and what was out of focus on the subject. Same as any wild animal.

Even with my f 16 aperture, the wing farthest from the camera, was out of focus. In this case, that was just fine. My focus and f stop, were adequate to sharply cover what our eyes first see. That one soft wing takes nothing from the image.

So with nature’s littlest wildlife, we need a mixture of what we know about wild animals, and how we photographically render flowers and other such things.
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Sometimes we can be so caught up with birds in full adult and/or summer plumage, that we can forget that part of the job of a photographer is to document “all that we see”.  Part of telling their story is to capture them in all of their plumages including sub adult.

This immature male Yellow-headed Blackbird had not yet acquired his full “grown up” clothes. I appreciated his cooperation and moved on.
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Natural bird behavior includes the nesting sites and behavior at those sites for those birds.

I was familiar Bank Swallows from when I was a child. That species would nest in holes that they dug on the banks of Lake Michigan. Right across the street from where I lived. The same banks that were below those dewy aforementioned dewy grasses that I was so taken with.

Grasses, birds, it is easy to see why I became a nature photographer.

Here the male and the female are about to change jobs for a while. one babysiting and one humting.
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I will finish with this Red Fox kit, because well, they’re so darn pretty.
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I have made the decision recently to not comment on the many (all related) issues that America is currently facing. That is not like me, but it was made with the best intent.  I am trying to be fair. I am nearing my wit’s end, and when I do comment in full, I will likely wind up “blogless” for what I might say.

Try to remember, there is a good book, often referred to in fact as the Good Book,  that foretells us what will happen. It can be difficult to understand without an honest and true teacher of such, but we are provided with many who can do that.

Like many of you, I have laughed over the years when a religious group announces that the end of the world is coming. The end of the world is not coming. However, Biblical prophesy, is matching the current state of the world,  and doing so perfectly.

America is strangely missing from the Bible’s end time prophecy. That is because we will have been rendered anemic and irrelevant by that time. Is that time coming? I do not know.

Just the same, join me in praying (always good to do) for America as we are on the precipice of our existence as we know it. Remember, while it may seem hard to understand, God is still in charge. There is only one ultimate authority.

God Bless,
Wayne

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