07.23.2014 It’s all about the light

Monday morning at the bog.  Since I am now a retired (semi) guy, I have three day weekends with Mondays being the new Sunday.  I saw a photograph of a White-fringed Orchid on Facebook by a friend Sunday evening and decided I would use my morning to visit the bog and see them for myself.

It’s an hour drive from home to Hawley Bog and I did not think I’d get there for sunrise, but because of the tree line, I managed to be on the boardwalk just as the sun was rising into the tree tops.Hawley-Bog-Sunrise-072114-600WebI’ll get up a few minutes earlier next time.  Then maybe the sun’s rays will be going up into the sky over the rising mist.

Although I was there for the orchids, I also was hoping for a nice Pitcher Plant shot and this one stole the show.Pitcher-Plant-Flower-072114-600WebI loved the warm morning light on the flower and used a small handheld reflector to help spread the glow underneath the bloom.  A polarizer helped control the glare on the left side.

And to complete the story, I mentioned I was there for the orchids.  They weren’t quite as open as I would have liked, but maybe this weekend a return trip will find them more fully blooming.  By this time the light was kind of in between the sweet magic hour warmth and the later strong sunlight, but still not too bad.White-fringed-Orchid-072114-600WebI hope you’ve enjoyed the bog light.  Next post might find us some bugs in the spotlight.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

07.21.2014 Hey, Hey, we’re the Monkeys


Here are two Monkey-flower images.  Personally, I don’t see the monkey’s face, but that is how it got its name.  Do you see a monkey?

Monkey-flower-1-072014-600WebIf you see it then you have a much better imagination than I.  :-)Monkey-flower-2-072014-600WebThanks to Inspector Clouseau, whenever I hear “Monkey” this comes to mind.

I hope my two images entertained, but if not, then I hope Clouseau’s incompetence did.     :-)

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

07.20.2014 Moody Bridge Maple

I set out this morning with visions of Monkey-flowers dancing in my head.  Before I headed to the spot where I often find them, I took a left turn and drove into Hadley as it was fair fogged and I have had this image in my head for a while.  I say “this image” but I am not totally sure it is quite what I visualized so I will continue to revisit this when there are other fogs.

I also had the idea that this would be a Black and White photograph but when converting it the color combination created a flat set of tones and expanding the range created more contrast than I was looking for.  A different rendering may produce what I was looking for but that will be another day. So color it is.Moody-Bridge-Maple-072014-600WebThe monkeys are on deck, waiting for their turn at bat.  Maybe they’ve got next.


Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

07.18.2014 Deptford Pink

I am catching up here.  Some of you have already seen this image on Facebook, but I neglected it during my full moon posts.  It seemed short shrifting to shoehorn it in, so I’ve been keeping it at the ready.  Hopefully this weekend will see a lot of new entries, but for now here is something from two weeks ago.

Every time I find out that a favorite flower is an alien, it comes as a bit of a disappointment.  I am not sure why as they have been here longer than I, but something seems a bit more connected when the plant is native.  However, as I am all about showing the beauty of flowers, among other things, and it doesn’t matter in that respect whether something is a “weed”, an alien, invasive or native, here is Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria).Deptford-Pink-2--070314-600WebThis one is just a tiny bit immature, like me, and probably was fully developed with the nice purple/pink anthers on display later that day.  At any stage, this is a lovely flower which I look for every year.  It is also fairly small, measuring approximately 3/8″/9.5mm in diameter.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Uncategorized, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

07.16.2014-Two Skimmer Dragonflies

Here are two nice fresh dragonflies of the Libellula genus.

This first has the dark basal wing patches that are typical  of Widow Skimmers (Libellula luctuoso). This is a female.Widow-Skimmer-imm.-female-2-071214-600WebThe second is a female Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea) with stigma that are two toned which is an indicator of the species.  Widow-Skimmer-imm.-female-071214-600WebBoth are lovely specimens.  I got pretty wet crawling around to get the proper angle but it was worth it.  I found them just before the sun rose above the trees and ended the nice soft light.
Entomologists are a great bunch.  I had misidentified the second dragonfly, but a friend on Facebook straightened me out on that one.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Insects, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

07.15.2014 Shooting the full moon with The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Sounds like I am going to give a tutorial, doesn’t it?  Well, I know better than trying to ‘splain myself.  I always get it wrong somehow, which is why this post is necessary.

In my previous post, Goodbye Moon, I complained about an inaccuracy with TPE.   The software’s developer, Stephen Trainor, popped in and shared some information, which I should have known, about the use of the program that would have saved me the disappointment.  So I am sharing a link to the video that will help you, and me, get there on time and in the right place.

About 5 minutes in is the information about elevations and how to plan for them.  I did watch this a long time ago and that part of the program disappeared from my consciousness.  My bad, as some say.  RTFM, as some say.  This post is to straighten out my undeserved complaint as a way of a) being up front about things…even when they embarrass me…and b) thanking Stephen for creating this fine software and sharing it with us.  And I do mean share….it is free for your desk or laptop and just a small amount for your pad or phone.

And, as an example of how it did get me to the right place at the right time, here is one more full moon image from the morning of Saturday the 12th looking at the Holyoke Range from Mount Pollux.Full-Buck-Moon-over-the-Holyoke-Range-2-071214-600WebThanks, Stephen.

Posted in Landscape, Mountains, Nature Photography, Photographer's Websites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

07.14.2014 Goodbye Moon

I did make a few more images with the Full Buck Moon of July.  I had this idea that highlighting the moon and Quabbin Tower would make for an interesting picture.  The Photographers Ephemeris got me to the right place at the right time, or so I believed.  Turns out it isn’t 100% all the time.  The moon rose over Quabbin Hill a half hour later than predicted and off by several degrees in the azimuth.  I had thought it would rise behind or close to the tower according to TPE.  I’ll try again another time and possibly from a different position along the shore.

Missed it by this much. Full-Moon-and-Quabbin-Tower-071214-600WebIt was a lovely moon though so I gave it a solo shot.  I did not try to fill a frame as the net will be loaded with full frame shots done with longer lenses for better detail.   I think I prefer the wider (or in this case-taller) view anyway.Full-Moon-Reflection-over-Quabbin-Hill-071214-600WebYesterday morning I thought it would be a good idea to frame the moon with the Quabbin Tower more up close.  And hence the post’s title.Full-Moon-and-Quabbin-Tower-071314-600WebOur next scheduled Super Moon is in August and should be even larger according to reports I’ve read.  I am looking forward to working with a super model.

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments