Archive for the 'spider web' Category

03
Oct
10

10/3/2010: Peat Bog details

Happy Sunday!

As I said yesterday, the peat bog at Quoddy Head State Park is a vibrant habitat. I don’t know how it looks in spring or summer, but in fall, the dense mix of mosses and lichens, in shades of red and green (and even white) form a rich carpet, dotted with an amazing abundance of pitcher plants, most of which in this season are deep red or even purple. The closer you look the more inspiring it becomes. The contrasts of color and texture and form, and the variety packed into every square foot, are, to my eye, wonderfully beautiful.

It makes me want, as few habitats to, to study…to find out what all these plants are and how they are related. The carpet of the bog is so alive…I want to know how it works. There has to be a fascinating story in anything so intricate and so beautiful.

And, of course (being Sunday), while there is certainly a science that makes up the story, for me it will always be the story of a Creator from whom I inherit the eye and the heart that can appreciate such intricate beauty: that can stand in awe and respond in worship.

This is the kind of environment and the kind of work that brings out the best in the Canon SX20IS. This set of shots runs from one end of the macro zoom range to the other; several would have been very difficult, shooting from the narrow boardwalk, without the lip out LCD viewer; and the detail shots, in the dim light of foggy day, are all at an impressive ISO 200. And I can fully appreciate the beauty in Canon’s accomplishment as well.

 Smile

Of course, I do plan a trip back to Quoddy Head in the spring to see what the peat bog looks like then!

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20
Sep
10

9/20/2010: Dew wapa dew

I was there to do some HDR of the sky and beach…but when something like this is on offer, it would be most ungrateful not to take a moment to work it. And gratitude is a central tenet of my photographic method…or maybe philosophy…whatever. I try not to pass up any opportunity.

I like the dew on the spider web, but it is not easy to catch in a way that does justice to its native impression. Here the rose-hips, withered and ripe, are a definite bonus, providing a secondary focus at the strong point of the composition.

Canon SX20IS at 400mm equivalent and macro. F5.0 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Programmed auto.

Recovery on Lightroom for the highlights on the web, Blackpoint adjustment, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And, of course, when I say work it, I mean more than one exposure and angle.

This shot is cropped just a bit, both by zooming out to 560mm equivalent, and in Lightroom (from the bottom).

 

Flipping out the lcd for a low angle shot, and zooming to around 500mm, gives an alternative view, again cropped in Lightroom.

Like I said…make the most of any opportunity!

03
Dec
09

12/3/2009

Green Kingfisher

The Green Kingfisher is, most days, my most favorite bird. It is so improbable. Not much bigger than a sparrow, with that massive beak, and that intense green. The rust breast on the male just adds to the beauty of the bird.

It has not been an easy bird for me to photograph. They only live right down along the Mexican border, and I only get down that way once, or twice at most, a year.  They are common there, meaning that they occur at least in small numbers where there is appropriate habitat, and are regularly seen…but seeing one and getting close enough for a good shot are two different things.

This is a small bird. Worse, the feature structure, typical of a diving bird, is very fine (waterproof tight) so that getting real detail means you have to be very, very close and have very, very good light.

All of which is to say that this is one of my best shots of a male Green Kingfisher to date. I like the greens. I like the pose. I would have liked, even using what amounts to a 1600mm lens, to have been closer.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (as above, about equivalent in field of view to a 1600mm lens on a full frame DSLR). 1/80th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.6.

In Lightroom, I moved the Blackpoint considerably right, added Clarity and Vibrance (a little), and used the Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

22
Sep
09

9/22/2009

Busy Spider

Busy Spider

I thought spider webs were a Lakeside specialty (see 9/20/2009) but it turns out they are more of an Ohio thing. The area out behind the Visitor Center at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, in the brush beyond the boardwalk where the Astor and Goldenrod are in bloom, is just full of them. This morning, the dew was turning them into webs of light. There was no direct sun on the area yet so light levels were low, and the ISO on this shot is pushed up to 320. Still, not bad.

Sony DSC H50 at about 340mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/125 @ ISO 320. Programed auto.

My basic added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel in Lightroom. Blackpoint well to the right. Highlights well to the right in the Tone Panel to bring up the web. Cropped from the right to aid composition (to put the center of the web off the center of the frame).

From Lakeside OH.

And here is another. This one is cropped heavily from top and bottom to show just the web.

Looking like a net cast for light...

Looking like a net cast for light...

20
Sep
09

9/20/2009

Web

Web

Happy Sunday!

Lakeside Ohio sustains three amazing populations. The most abundant are the Fox Squirrels. Big as the largest Gray, and fox red. Impressive animals. The second population is feral cats. They are everywhere. And finally there are more spiders in Likeside than I have seen in a long time. Their webs drape street signs and fill any open architectural gap. This one adorns a trellis gate. Late afternoon light picked it out against the shadowed wing of the house behind and the shapes of the trellis made for an interesting composition. It is cropped slightly from the left to eliminate the whiter portion of the support post.

Sony DSC H50 at about 410mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/125 @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the white highlights. Added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Lakeside OH.

04
Aug
09

8/4/2009

Web in the Dewy Meadow

Web in the Dewy Meadow

You see a lot of dewy web shots done with a mist bottle in the studio or against a black backdrop in someone’s yard. This is the the real thing, as provided by the creator’s hand and cool morning breath. Beads of moisture so fine as to be invisible  from any distance along each strand of the web, itself all but invisible, catch the light and weave this tapestry in the grasses. You have to stand in the right place, at the right angle to the sun, to bring it to life.

For this shot I backed off to find a sweet spot where the effect was maximized…far enough to need 380mm equivalent to frame the web.

Sony DSC H50 at 380mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/400th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Cropped top and bottom to isolate the web more effectively in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance, blackpoint to the right, Landscape sharpen. I boosted the highlights slightly to increase the shimmer of the web.

Look at this closer shot at Original or X3 size by clicking the image and then choosing the larger size at the top on my smugmug site. It looks amazing as an 8.5×11 print! I will have to have one made at 11×14.

Web in the Dew

Web in the Dew