Archive for the 'spring' Category




We only have one Rhododendron bush in our yard…which is far below par for southern Maine. We have, over the years, planted several more, but none of them took. So maybe we enjoy our single bush all the more. This is an open shade shot, early in the am. I used the Super-macro setting which locks the lens at 28mm equivalent, and exposure lock and program shift to put the f-stop at 5.6 for greater depth of field. (The lens was just about touching the forward reaching stamen.) That put me at 1/20th of a second for exposure, but the Canon’s Optical  Image Stabilization handled it well, even sans-tripod.

And if I tell you it was at ISO 80, and Programmed auto, that is all the technical data already.

A touch of Fill Light to compensate for Blackpoint right for extended contrast, added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. Auto White Balance to remove the blue tinge of deep shadow.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.



A Little Reflected Sky

This is the Little River, and the sky is well reflected, hence: A Little Reflected Sky.

If you follow my posts here you might recognize the view, from the observation deck on the back side of the trail loop at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. I have many images captured from this deck and of this view…no two alike. The tide here was full and the river brim. There is a bit of ripple on the water from the wind, but not enough to really disturb the reflection. I tried the shot with more or less reflection, and more or less sky. I like this version, but others might prefer the more sky shot below.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. Landscape program. This is one of those rare shots that did not require any fancy metering or exposure tricks. The Landscape program gave pretty close to the ideal balance between sky and foreground.

In Lightroom, a bit of Recovery to bring out detail in the reflected clouds and deepen the sky. A touch of Fill Light. Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and just a smidge of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Rachel Carsons NWR Seasons.

And, as promised, the more sky view.



Palamedes Swallowtail

These beauties were all over the Guana River Reserve on Tuesday when we spent a morning hiking there. They did not sit much so we learned to watch for the thistle.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent and macro. F5.7 @ 1/320 @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, just very basic added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. Cropped slightly for composition.

And, as a special treat, some video from the SX20IS. To view in HD, press the expand button to pop it out to full screen. Press play, and then select the 720 option where its says 320. On my laptop I have to pause it to let it completely download or it will keep pausing during play.




I am not sure I am done with the NYC images, but we will go back to Maine this morning (appropriate since I am physically back in ME this morning). This is Coltsfoot…a plant I honestly never noticed before this spring. It was abundantly blooming way ahead of anything else out in the waste ground of our local gravel pit. Could not miss it with those bright yellow flowers! I caught this clump by zooming in to 560mm and using the macro setting. It was on a little rise of ground (pile of sandy gravel), and by getting down low I was able to put the flowers against the out of focus background of the far edge of the pit many hundreds of yards away. Hence the bokeh. The dark band is trees. When I got it in Lightroom, I cropped from the top for composition. I am really enjoying saying “this looks even better at larger sizes” (on if you click on the image above) with the images from the Canon. I often could not say that with images from the Sonys I was using. 🙂

Canon SX20IS at 560mm and macro. F5.7 @ 1/400th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, besides the cropping already mentioned, I added Clarity and Vibrance, moved the Blackpoint slightly right, and employed the Sharpen landscape preset.

From Around Home 2010.

This is a more standard shot, which perhaps shows the plant to better advantage, but is a less interesting image. Also at 560mm equivalent and macro. This time taken from on top of a sand/gravel pile looking down on the flowers.



Bryant Park Color

I had a few moments between the training I am doing and a dinner engagement, so I walked over to Bryant Park, a few blocks from our hotel. It was a beautiful spring day in the city after a hard winter and the park was well populated with New Yorkers enjoying. They are in the middle of a restoration project that includes the lawns and flower plantings. This little juxtaposition was played out in varieties all around the boarder of the park under the trees. Of course, what caught my eye here was the contrast in color and shape.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F2.8 @ 1/30th @ ISO 80. Programmed auto.

Light processing in Lightroom. Added Clarity and just a little Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From NYC 2010.



Red now…will be oak…

Back to the macro mode. I was struck by the color of the bursting acorn, beginning to sprout in the damp spring, especially in contrast to the fallen leaves and the lichened stick. I saw several after this one, but none arranged so nicely.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and macro. F2.8 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint right in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset. Cropped for composition and to eliminate some out of focus area in the lower left.

From Around Home 2010.



This Bud is for You!

So, I am getting really impatient for spring here in Maine. I think I may have said that before. To ease my pain I have been collecting buds of various kinds…photographically collecting that is. Once we get beyond yesterday’s maples, though, I am not good enough with local plant life to identify buds, but that does not keep me from enjoying their shapes and colors.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and Super-macro, with manual focus. F2.8 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Programmed auto. I am finding, on occasion, that the SX20 fails to find focus on Super-macro. Other times it works fine??? It does have an excellent manual focus mode with an enlarged display that, for macros, is good compensation. This was taken, by the way, according to the exif data, at .09 of an inch. The bokeh on these macro shots is interesting as well.

Just basic Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance and Sharpen in Lightroom. Cropped just slightly for composition.

And of course, here are a few more from the bud collection, all taken the same day at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, ME.

Okay…this next one is, apparently, a flower. It was tiny. As seen here it is at least 4x life size.

And this one is plainly a Catkin, but it fits the theme. I looked it up. A Catkin is a pendulant cluster of flowers, mostly without petals.




Another spring shot from my recent visits to Virginia. Last week there many flowering trees, mainly ornamentals, were in bloom in our industrial park. This week, as soon as I hit the highway south of Richmond, I saw these amazing purple shruby trees along the roadside, generally tucked back in behind, in the shade of the larger trees. Purple blossoms massing all along slender limbs, and no leaves in sight yet. Magical.

I went out on Thursday afternoon in a moment of free time specifically to see if I could find one where I could safely photography it. Beautiful or not, I was not about to pull off on the margin of I295 for a picture. 🙂

There were several on the grounds of Henricus Citie Park, near the visitor center, and out under the really big trees that shade the reconstructed colonial village itself. Close up they are more pink than purple. A little research on the web this morning pined the tree down as Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis. While authorities say it is common from Florida to Canada, the ones in Virginia were the first to catch my eye.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 560mm macro @ F5.7 @ 1/400 @ ISO 80, 2) 28mm super-macro  @ F3.2 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 125, cropped from the left for composition, 3) 560mm macro @ F5.7 @ 1/320th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

All processed in Lightroom using Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity and Vibrance, and the Sharpen landscape preset.

From First Canon VA.



Irresistible Spring

While you have to look hard yet to find any signs of spring in Maine (or maybe that is just me being impatient), the season is in full cry in Virginia where I have spent the past two work weeks at meetings at the ZEISS offices.

We are in a 15 year old industrial park just off 295 in Chester, and the park landscapers planted the road dividers and margins with flowering trees of several varieties. They are all in full bloom, and it is quite a sight. This tree, not content to burst at every branch tip, was pushing out blossoms in clusters from the trunk itself. I could not resist the contrast of textures and colors here. This is another long tele macro, taken from 5 feet from the trunk. I used the flip out display to hold low, pointed up at the cluster, to get a shot into the blossoms and frame against the bark.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent and macro. F5.7 @ 1/60th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, a bit of Fill Light and Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and just a little Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From First Canon VA

And, for the opposite effect…but still expressing the same vigor of spring in Virginia.



Loons in Light

It is the season when the Loons gather to feed at the mouth of the Mousam River, especially where Back Creek comes in, just behind the dunes at Parson’s Beach. It is also just the turn of season when the light is beginning to look like spring. This is a flood tide (we have had a lot of them due to storms lately). Beyond the dunes the ocean was roaring, but here in Back Creek, all you see is a particularly strong tidal surge troubling the high water… making for interesting reflections. That, and the Loons. For full effect you need to view the image at larger sizes by clicking the image to open at WideEyedInWonder. It should open in the largest size you can view on your monitor, but if not, use the size controls across the top of the screen.

Canon SX20IS at about 125mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the sky. Just a touch of Fill Light for the foreground. Added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. Cropped from the bottom for composition.

From Around Home 2010.