Sunday, June 30, 2013

Showy Ladyslippers

I spent a couple days in northern Minnesota last week looking for orchids.  The ladyslippers are late this year as, are most wildflowers, and were just starting to bloom near Baudette.  These guys like to bloom in the ditch and are a joy to photograph compared to bog orchids. Technical: iPhone image

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Puccoon & Lupine

Each of us sees an image in a unique way. On one hand this is an image of two prairie species that frequently grow in proximity.  Another viewer might see this as a study of yellow and purple.  In either case the photographer's challenge is selecting a frame to show a proper proportion of yellow and purple to create an interesting image. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prairie Smoke

This member of the rose family is frequently overlooked earlier in the summer but hard to miss at this stage of its life.  It always looks like its blowing in the wind and this day it actually was.  Shots were taken at each end the pendulum and repeated in hopes of getting a sharp image. Technical: 18 mm focal length, f16 at 1/160, basic enhancements in Lightroom

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Storm Clouds

Lots of weather in Minnesota yesterday!  I hope there was no damage in your area. The storms gave me an opportunity to try time lapse with Magic Lantern firmware. If you are a Canon user this program increases your possibilities beyond belief.  It has sound activation, light or motion activation, and trap focusing.  I was trying for lightning shots but didn't have the camera in the right direction when the camera fired.  More to follow over the next few weeks.  Check out:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Prairie Wind

I got a little fresh air yesterday afternoon (90 degrees, 20 MPH wind) and explored Red Rock Prairie managed by the Nature Conservancy.  This large prairie which is primarily grass and named for the exposed rock outcroppings. Few wildflowers were visible and those that were seen were bent in the wind. Technical: 2 stop split ND filter using Lightroom, 1/10 sec., f25

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lupine or Blue Bonnet

Lupine or Blue Bonnet, the same flower at different ends of the prairie.  I prefer the name Texans have given this bonnet shaped flower.  Lupine has its roots in the Latin word Lupinus which means wolf-like because of the plants tendency to ravage the land with its profuse growth.  I enjoy talking to visitors to Crex who are immediately identified with the pronunciation of lu-pine for these beautiful, fragrant flowers.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Killdeer Nest

This is the time of year I stumble on nests and young.  It is always an ethical question to either ignore a photo opportunity or back off completely. The mother is instinctually tied to the nest but there is an unseen line in the sand which when crossed will result in the loss of the nest.  What do I do?  I usually try to get a couple quick shots and back off.  Have my actions resulted in loss of the nest? I'm sure they have.  What do you do when you come across a nest?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ominous Clouds

I upgraded to an iPhone 4 this week and have been experimenting with various camera apps.  The apps fall into one of three categories: camera settings, editing, or sharing.  As a minimalist in editing I'm most interested in the camera apps.  Pure Shot app has some good features like exposure lock which allows a high contrast scene like this to be recorded.  It also has in phone instructions. Technical: The grass was lightened in Lightroom

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lupine at Peak

The lupine are currently at peak bloom on Stolte Rd. in Fish Lake Wildlife Area.  The aroma as you walk down the road is almost intoxicating.  With the bloom the Karner's should be out, hope to find a few in the next couple days. Technical: iPhone camera

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crab Spider Eyes

Love those yellow eyes!  The spider in the upper half of the frame gives the illusion it is ready to pounce.  This is the last in my series from last week. Technical: slightly cropped. 1/2 second, f29, ISO 640 with 180 macro on a tripod, cable release.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crab Spider on Lady Slipper

Continuing the exploration of the this lady slipper.  The spider is what originally attracted my attention with its white body on the green petal.  I would have expected it to be more camouflaged on the flower while waiting for lunch to land. The challenge of the composition was showing both the spider and flower but keeping the spider as the subject of the image.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another View

I spent a lot of time with this lady slipper and tried a variety of angles using the hillside setting to my advantage.    The shadow in the lower left is from a leave in front of the lens that was not noticed at the time.  Technical: f8, 180 macro, on a tripod, ISO 800

Monday, June 10, 2013

Small Yellow Lady Slipper

Time for a little color. I came across a group of lady slippers while driving around in the rain last week.  After slipping on the rain gear and throwing a chamois cloth over the camera I spent an hour looking for compositions.  Technical: underexposed 2/3 stop to preserve the highlights in the flower.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sleepy Duskywing

I love the names!  I spent yesterday at Namekagon Barrens in NW Wisconsin with several butterfly enthusiasts.  Butterflies have an incredibly complex life history whether they are brightly colored or more subdue like the duskywing group.  Namekagon is off the beaten path but an ideal macro photography location with prairie wildflowers and their associated butterflies, bees, and other insects.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gorgone Checkerspot

It's been a tough week looking for butterflies.  Monday afternoon I was out briefly before the clouds drove them to ground.  The good news is once they are there it is easy to get close up shots.  They just don't move.  I'm always interested in common names.  According to Greek mythology the Gorgon was a female creature with large eyes.  Apparently it was the head of three sisters with serpents for hair.  Technical: 180 mm macro, f stop worked from 22 down to 3.5 to get best background

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home Sweet Home

An osprey pair built this nest along the road last year and are using it again. We'll see if they have any young, if so there should be some good feeding shots. Technical: recorded while in a Toyota blind.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Woodland Textures

Today was dark, wet, and windy.  Does that sound familiar? A hike in the woods was filled with texture, therefore black and white.  Technical: dodging in Lightroom to darken the background and tree trunk. A trick borrowed from Ansel Adams.