Friday, September 27, 2013

The air is alive

The autumn air is alive with action and sound. I haven't developed an affinity for Canada geese and rarely photograph them but I couldn't resist this group as it lifted off.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Color and Texture

The golden rod and red rock seem to go together as a bouquet of color.  Recorded during a shower which enhanced the color of the rock but not my comfort. This image is in stark contrast to yesterday's blog image.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September Blazing Star

Frost was predicted and I had a shot in mind, then I overslept.  The sun waits for no one. How many times have I been reminded of that lesson?  Working in the shade with the temperature quickly rising I found a couple opportunities. This blazing star presented itself and then the lens fogged up.

Making the most of a good night's sleep.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Clinging to Summer

Geese are in the air, cranes are gathering, and hunters are chasing bear but I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. A few asters and bottle gentian are the only flowers that remain on the prairie. There are a few more days to photograph them, I plan to make the most of the remaining time.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

White on Blue

Relationships in the nature come in all types.  In wildlife photography the best images show interaction with another animal, typically predator/prey or mother/off spring.  Wildflowers offer an unlimited opportunity to show relationships. Given the opportunity I like to shoot flower/environment relationships to give a sense of place or in this image the relation of the color of the flower to the sky. Technical: wide angle lens, camera on the ground

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The End of Summer

I went looking for the last wildflowers of the season yesterday and found some old friends at their peak. With the cold, wet spring most of the flowers have been later than normal.  These are blooming at predicted time and more abundant than past years. The downy gentian ends the season of prairie flowers. It has been a good summer on the prairie.  Woodland colors are around the corner.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cedar Mountain SNA

I explored a Scientific and Natural Area that's new for me over the weekend.  Most of it is highly degraded prairie overgrown with sumac.  When it started to rain I headed into the wooded part of the area, attempting to stay dry longer, and discovered unique rock formations. I made it back to the truck soaked but happy with the my discovery.  The label "mountain" is a relative term in the Minnesota River valley. It has a high point allowing a great view for miles downstream. I can only imagine the view 200 years ago.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Still Chasing Butterflies

I was wandering yesterday afternoon and came across a couple butterflies.  This pearl crescent held still for a minute allowing a couple shots. Eastern tail blues are still around.  This butterfly is named for the white mark (pearl) surrounded by brown on the edge of the hindwing.  They won't be around much longer.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hanging On

September is my month to photograph dragonflies.  The dew covered wings glow when back lt by the rising sun making them easy to find. It's then a matter of getting the wings as sharp as possible while keeping the background from competing with the delicate wings.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Buckeye at Rest

This was captured using a more traditional photographic technique using a macro lens and tripod. Captured while the buckeye was resting on a prairie bush clover before sunrise at Shooting Star Prairie SNA in extreme southern Minnesota. Technical: The challenge is getting the wing completely sharp by positioning the wing parallel with the plane of the sensor.  Aperture is bracketed to get the most sharpness in the wing and the best blur in the background.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Common Buckeye

These butterflies were everywhere on a recent prairie visit. The wings were in varying stages of aging with a large number being seriously frayed.  All of the butterflies were busy feeding on golden rods and it was a photographer's feast!

Technical: This image was obtained holding a close up filter against a 10-22 mm wide angle lens at 10 mm and moving the camera in as close as possible (to about 4 inches) to the butterfly. Composition and focus were monitored using LiveView. Aperture f16, ISO 640. While using both hands to hold the lens and camera I was standing on my right leg. Who says you always need to shoot with a tripod?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Prairie Sunrise

I've rediscovered my prairie roots while doing an assignment to capture the essence several southern MN prairies this week. My first love is the prairie and after a hiatus of several years it is good to once again feel the wind and smell its fragrance.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stretching Out

Every now and then I do something out of my ordinary in photography.  A year ago it was scanning images for a trapping supply catalog. Last week I was asked if I had an image of a nearby bridge.  I didn't but how hard can it be to drive to the bridge and take a couple pictures?  I did the research checking the time of day for the best light. What does a bridge do? It spans a river.  In editing I discovered I did not have both ends of the bridge on most images, 17 images deleted. A bright sky and shadows called for HDR, shoot at least 3 images for per HDR composition, try several compositions. Getting the bridge level in the frame was surprisingly difficult since standing in the middle of the river was not an option.  A simple image request became a technical and artistic challenge. After all how hard can it be to photograph a bridge?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Color

I love early morning dew on prairie wildflowers.  The prairie wildflower rainbow of color is now in its blue/purple phase. Subtle early morning side lighting makes the dew drops leap off the petals. The composition question is "Where is the best location for the center of the aster?" or "Should this be a square frame?" Life was so much simpler when an image was a slide and the only question was "Why didn't I think of that when I took the picture?"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Solitary Sandpiper

As I nature photographer the possibilities are endless, each morning's shoot is an adventure.  A few days ago this sandpiper was a cooperative subject.  I like the dynamic feel of the lines and the bird as it is considering where to step off the log.  Technical: handheld, slight cropping.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blue Dawn

I went to Namekagon Barrens for sunrise yesterday and instead had fantastic ground fog to play with. It seems ironic that an area almost devoid of trees needs one to create a landscape image. Technical: Daylight white balance, foreground lightened in Lightroom