Archive for the 'close up' Category



13
Jan
11

1/13/2011: Trailing Pine in Snow

Another from our short visit to Saco Heath last Sunday. We always called this trailing pine, but a look to Google identifies it as Ground Pine, a clubmoss, and a member of the fern family. It has a long horizontal growth below ground, and sends up these vertical branches every 6 to 12 inches. Here a single vertical is isolated against the snow.

I have put the B&W version first today, but this is another case where I am not certain which one I like best. The B&W is processed in Lightroom, using the B&W Look 3 filter.

The B&W emphasizes, of course, form. The color plays on contrast. I like them both, but in this case I lean toward the color version. Color processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

Canon SX20IS at about 400mm equivalent, f5.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

08
Jan
11

1/8/2011: the corner of simple and green

Sometimes you see an image very clearly, but when you attempt to frame it, it turns out harder than you thought. That was the way here. Simple image. I saw it right away.  It then took me an inordinate amount of time to find the angle, zoom setting, and particular section of branch. Still, I like it.

Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, ME.

Canon SX20IS at 180mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/250@ ISO 125. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

04
Jan
11

1/4/2011: Never so red

So briar berries are always red…but never so red as when the bushes are covered in blown snow. This bush was at the edge of the drift and and the snow deposited on the branches was blown through the bush, where the force of the wind dropped enough to drop the snow its way out. It produces a unique effect, with each branch being, in effect, its own little drift.

I have broken composition rules here by placing the red berries in the center of the frame. It works for me because of the other two berries forming a triangle toward the right, and because of the larger mass of snow in the upper left which creates an effective diagonal corner to corner. I did not, mind you, think all that out while taking the shot. (For one thing it was far too cold for that kind of thinking 🙂 ) But my instincts, my eye, worked for me without thinking. In this case. I think.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom (see page link above).

21
Dec
10

12/21/2010: Great Tailed Grackle

A close relation of the Common Grackle and even closer to the Boat-tailed Grackle of the Southeast, this Great-tailed Grackle is abundant in the Southwest…here in the Rio Grande Valley, right along the Mexican boarder. They gather in night flocks in the trees by the hotels in Harlingen Texas and their jungle noise is, after the blast of wind and humidity, the first thing that tells me I am back in the Valley. They are voracious around feeders. This one is after the orange undoubtedly put out for the Orioles. 

Digiscoped with a Canon SD4000IS behind the new Vario Eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL. About the field of view of an 1100mm lens on a full frame DSLR. 1/80th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

16
Dec
10

12/16/2010: Little Things 3

Frost on ice, with a few random leaves on the surface (and many more underneath). This is another shot mostly about textures and subtle colors…and another long range macro (or at least close up) using the macro tele feature on the Canon SX20IS. Of course, carful composition comes into too. 🙂

220mm equivalent @ f5 @ 1/100th @ ISO 400. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

15
Dec
10

12/15/2010: Little things 2

Continuing my series of shots of the small stuff along the way, this lonely feather lying in the path beside an oak leaf caught my eye. Feather texture is always interesting to me and the juxtaposition here, with the contrast between the sandy surface, and the smooth cellular oak leaf, drew my eye in. When you add the range of subtle color, it has me caught. What you might call a found still life.

I can only guess at the species of the bird…something fairly large from the size, and something that would be prey to a bigger bird or maybe a fox, from the look of it. Possibly a Blue Jay. [Srdjan Cuturilov on Facebook thinks it is a Morning Dove feather…which, all things considered, it very likely! Thanks Srdjan!]

Canon SX20IS @ 375mm equivalent and macro, f5 @ 1/250th @ ISO 400. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom (see page link above).

14
Dec
10

12/14/2010: Little things 1

On my photo walk last Saturday, the lack of grand landscape and towering skies turned my focus close, to look at the little things…small details of the landscape that have their own story to tell. Ice formed at the high tide mark by a mixture of sea and fresh water, half a mile up a small tidal creek, surrounds your typical Southern Maine gravel mix for some interesting textures, patterns, and subtle colors.

Canon SX20IS at about 230mm equivalent and macro. F5 @ 1/320 @ ISO 127. Programmed auto. I love the tele macro feature on the SX20IS. No stooping for macros anymore for my old knees. 🙂

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

13
Dec
10

12/13/2010: wading deer (mammals on Monday)

Deer in the water wading among the ducks  is a slightly incongruous sight. As usual at Bosque del Apache, at least during the Festival of the Cranes in November, someone was already stopped and taking pictures of this group of Mule Deer crossing one of the irrigation channels. I pulled up behind and grabbed these shots with the Canon SX20IS out the window. As the deer came up on the dyke between enpondments, they showed so little concern for the gathering crowd on the road (for, of course, two stopped cars attracts a third, and three a forth, etc.) that I got out and digiscoped them (see Mule Deer).

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/200th and 1/400th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom (see page link above). Both are cropped form the full frame.

06
Dec
10

12/6/2010: Prairie Dogs (Mammals on Monday)

In what has to be one of the oddest instances, Bosque del Apache spent some Our Recovery Dollars at Work building a Prairie Dog town…or maybe the PDs moved in by themselves, but Bosque certainly added some improvements and built a nice little access point and parking lot for visitors.

I have to admit, if you know nothing about PDs, they are cute. Sort of the North American equivalent of Meerkats, only without the movie and the TV show. (They just need an agent!)

The last photo here is the first taken, on a morning visit to the town…but as you can see, the morning light comes in from behind, making photography somewhat difficult. I went back in the afternoon for the shots above, but by afternoon most days the wind is well up, and it fairly sings through the tripod legs. I had to stand between the wind and my rig, to keep the scope from blowing over.

Canon SD4000IS behind the new 15-56x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL. All were out there in the 2500 to 3000mm equivalent range. The top two are are at 1/1000th at ISO 250, and the bottom one is at 1/640 at ISO 125. I think I had the camera set to Kids and Pets for the top two, which explains the higher shutter speed and ISO.

Processed for intensity in Lightroom. Actually, the last shot required more substantial processing, with a mix of heavy Recovery and Fill Light.

And here is a little video. This was so bouncy and shaky with the wind that I have to pull out the heavy guns here too, and use Vegas Studio to stabilize the video before it was watchable. You can still see a lot of wind shake. The sound track, which I have muted, was nothing but a steady wind roar.

Prairie Dog Town
03
Dec
10

12/3/2010: Sandhills 4, intimacy

Digiscoping allows you to get intimate with birds, especially something as big as a Sandhill Crane, while maintaining enough distance so you do not actually intrude on the bird. This was taken from Coyote Deck at Bosque del Apache NWR in NM. The refuge managers flooded this field on Friday to provide close views of Cranes and Geese for the Saturday crowds at the Festival of the Cranes…and it worked. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings Sandhills and Geese fed within 50 yards of the deck.

This, of course, is about what you would see through a spotting scope at high power, or at least, given the differences in the way we see things in a photograph, it gives that visual impression. The actual equivalent focal length of the Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-45x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL was in the 2200mm range. Warm morning light from over my shoulder (which is what, imho, gives these images their character) gave an exposure of 1/400th at ISO 125, and the 4 fps sequential shooting allowed me to catch the feeding action.

Processed for intensity in Lightroom (see page link above).

This last one is across the refuge in late afternoon/evening light. The crane was further out, and I had to push the limits of both the scope and the camera to get this close. Camera at full zoom and scope at something over 50x. This is not an ideal combination for digiscoping, primarily because such high magnification (something in the 5000mm range) magnifies the shimmer and the waver in the air at any distance just as much as it does the bird, and because tiny motions of the camera and scope (caused by wind, passing traffic, my touch, etc.) are enough to destroy the sharpness of the image. This one is pretty good, but a careful eye will see the effects of too high power at too great a distance. Still a keeper though, just for the personality of the calling bird, if nothing else. 🙂

And I think that concludes my series on Sandhills. You may see a random image from here on out, but there will not be a Sandhills 5. (I might have my fingers crossed behind my back…and if you wait a year I can almost guarantee I will break that promise after my next Bosque adventure.)