May 162014
 

Crabapple Tree ©2014 April Siegfried

Spring has finally arrived in Chicago, after a long and unusually harsh winter.

Yes, these are “flowers”—so difficult to see and photograph in a way that is fresh, that’s not similar to the thousands of images already housed in the data banks of our mind’s eye. Their abundant beauty is so welcome, however, that I can’t help but try to express that experience.

Click on any image above to view large as slide show (with 5 second pause between each.)

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Crabapple Tree
Panasonic DMC-FZ40; 1/25 sec @ f7.1, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 8.5mm (47mm EFL)

Crabapple Flowers
Nikon D300 ; 1/125 sec (handheld);
AF-S Nikkor 18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 G ED plus
Canon 500D Close-Up Lens

May 152014
 

Sometimes I get all tied up in knots about my images. Is it interesting enough to shoot, good enough to share? Is that really the color I saw when I was there?

And sometimes it’s fun to just relax and play.

Here I came across someone else’s playtime, but I got to enjoy it too.

Click on either image above to view large.

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Nikon D300; f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
AF-S Nikkor 18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 G ED

May 102014
 

Fog №3

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Nikon D300; 1/145 sec @ f11, ISO 250 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 105mm (157mm EFL); focus distance 33.5m

This wasn’t exactly what I “expected” to see on a foggy morning in spring. Once I let go of those ideas and realized what I was seeing, however, I had great fun on this walk.

Click on any image below to start a slide show:

Apr 032014
 

Window Blind №11 (Unruly) ©2014 April Siegfried

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I seem drawn to photograph window blinds, perhaps because they suggest qualities of the life lived behind them.

A fellow photographer from Thailand commented on this image, “Naughty!” That made me smile, and led to the subtitle “Unruly.”

Nikon D300; 1/45 sec @ f16, ISO 320 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 70mm (105mm EFL); focus distance .89m

 Posted by at 8:46 am  Tagged with:
Apr 032014
 

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Stepping outside to run errands, I discovered this present on our front steps. Except for a very light touch of contrast and sharpening in post-processing, this image is as seen.

Panasonic DMC-FZ40; 1/15 sec @ f4.4, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 82mm (460mm EFL)

Mar 162014
 

Centrella ©2014 April Siegfried

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Well…the snow was melting; then we got more. Needing groceries, I saw this while walking to the store—and had to laugh.

Nikon D300; 1/60 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 44mm (66mm EFL); focus distance 4.73m

Mar 162014
 

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Untitled—Paper
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Nikon D300; 1/90 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 150mm (225mm EFL); focus distance .89m

Untitled—Plastic ©2014 April Siegfried

Untitled—Plastic
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Nikon D300; 1/45 sec @ f16, ISO 280 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance .79m

As 6½ feet of snow begins to melt in Chicago, some surprisingly beautiful treasures are revealed in the “trash” left behind.

Mar 042014
 

Rhymes with Orange ©2014 April Siegfried

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A cheerful splash of color on a cold winter day.

Nikon D300; 1/45 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 65mm (97mm EFL); focus distance 1.12m

Feb 282014
 

Three Vases ©2014 April Siegfried

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Sunlight changes so quickly. This moment made me stop, and then run for my camera—adjusting settings on the fly. There was no time for a tripod setup.

On first review, I was dismayed to see that even at f11—the best exposure I could capture handheld—focus on the foreground vases was soft. Then I realized what actually caught my eye was the background shadow and light, and that is sharp. Yes!

This camera has been my best friend for 6 years now, and is showing some signs of age. I know it so well I can shoot without thinking, and it’s going to be hard to move to a new system. However, the Fuji XT-1 sounds very appealing and would bring me full circle to my first love affair with digital: Fujifilm FinePix E900 (dating back to 2006). I still have that one, though it was re-purposed for a “shoebox camera” in 2009.

 

Nikon D300; 1/15 sec @ f11, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 112mm (168mm EFL); focus distance 1.5m

Feb 252014
 

Snowbound ©2014 April Siegfried

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Chicago has officially topped the 5 foot mark for snowfall this winter…so far. We’ve also “enjoyed” 19 days of sub-zero temperatures, with more just ahead and high temperatures running 30°(F) below normal.

Even so, when I do decide to bundle up and venture out, this winter is quite striking and beautiful.

Nikon D300; 1/500 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 3.76m