Isn’t it funny how in a world where home delivered “snail mail” barely needs to exist, I still get that mail weekly from insurance companies, banks and other such places. According to them, they want to give me money. It’s nice to have major corporations who care so much about me.
We still have a land line in this house. I make use of it, but I haven’t answered that phone in 15 years. We must be popular because it rings constantly. So many people want to talk with me.
If you think there is no money to be made in this world, you must not work for a drug company, a law firm, a bank, or any sort of insurance company. My TV screen is loaded with expensive adds for those companies. Insurance for your health, for your life, for your car, for anything ever that might simply need to be replaced on your car or your home, including home appliances. Maybe next there will be clothing insurance. When my shoes get a hole in them I can get them replaced. How about underwear insurance? Only $300 per year. You just need to prove that they failed do to construction, and not your negligence.
I am in no way against insurance. It is just that we must all face the fact that the reason there is insurance for everything today, is that they make money selling it to us. That means that it costs more per customer to buy the insurance than to replace what breaks. At least for the average person. Everybody has to gamble a little bit in life,
Thank you for allowing me to get that off my mind.
Now for some photography. Please excuse me for the large volume of images in today’s post.
There is never anything that exhilarates me more, than being at a great landscape location in the beautiful light of late afternoon, and have some storms roll in. It is particularly satisfying when the rain holds off until I have finished.
The images below are not artificially saturated. There is only the tiniest amounts of contrast added. The photos were captured in the Badlands of South Dakota.
This first one was made near, but not at the Badlands. How about some Bighorn Sheep females and their half grown babies, as they file through some auburn fall grasses. I enjoyed the natural rhythm of their path through the grasses, As always, I said thank you and moved on.
The skies tell the story of an impending storm, while the earth shares with the world, the beauty and rhythm of her hills and valleys. Notice the color saturation under the soft, muted light.
As nightfall grows near, the more dramatic the contrasts become. I also means the scarier these beautiful scenes seem to be.
When you have great shapes to work with, and dramatic colors in the sky, never overlook the possibility for silhouettes.
Of course whenever there is sidelight, there will be “visual texture” that develops between the earth and its crevices. Sometimes the scene is right below your feet.
Onward to other things.
I needn’t tell anybody who knows me, but to the rest of you I must say that as a photographer, I love dew. One of my all-time favorite subjects. Capturing such, generally requires getting up early, and crawling around on ones hands and knees, through soaking wet fields and forests. I might be a masochist, but I always loved that.
The dew covered web you see below, is indicative of what I loved to do best on many spring and summer mornings.
Depth of field is at a premium when focusing very close to a subject. In some cases, you cannot stop your lens down far enough to capturing everything about your subject in equal sharpness.
When creating the two dewy flower images below. My depth of field preview lever told me that I simply could not render the entire blossom I was focused on, in edge to edge sharpness. I was okay with that. The single petal that is crisp and in focus in the two images below, gives viewers a place to comfortably rest their eye. We realize that the photographer (me), did not make a sloppy mistake but rather he/she decided the potential image was worth the effort, even without 100% edge to edge sharpness.
While we are on macros, this (bee fly) subject seemed almost to be a boxer striking a pose. There was only one way to create a sharp image of this subject while deep in a forest. Electronic flash. The camera I was using was the only one I ever owned that had a built in flash. I spent over thirty years making flash images of auto racing and other subjects, and often my flash “setups” were the most costly equipment I owned. In this case, that little popup flash saved the day.
Flies are wildlife, so let us close out today’s post with a bit more from the wild world.
The near to far apparent sharpness, or depth of field if you will, that we discussed above, is often paramount in wildlife photography.
Below we have some Caspian Terns at the edge of a lake. It only takes one sharp bird in a group for a successful image. When that bird is up front and center, and the remainder of them fade gracefully into the background. It is in my opinion, a naturally artful composition.
Elegant birds just seem to do everything, including preen, in an elegant fashion. This male Northern Pintail, which is in my opinion, a very elegant and regal duck species, is gracefully making sure his feathers stay clean and ready to use, while I joyfully create images of him.
I live in a state where the American Robin is the state bird. We see them here in large numbers (in spring and summer), but they often begin their migration and seem to disappear before they reach this spotted juvenile aspect of their life. I was happy to find this one in a field next to the road I was driving on. Part of being a bird photographer is to create images of them in all of their visual “life changes“.
I thank each of you for spending some time with me, and hopefully I brought to you a smile or two.