Nov 112017

Last night in bed I heard what I thought was rain. In the morning, I saw instead it had been the sound of leaves falling as temperatures plunged below freezing. Our back yard and flower beds were covered in a carpet of gold. Not long after sunrise under overcast skies, it was too dark to take pictures. Then it began to snow.

After breakfast, I bundled up and went for a walk around the neighborhood with my camera. Still snowing, there was no wind—only quiet. Underfoot were leaves of green, yellow, and red, lightly blanketed with white. Pristine. Not yet trampled by pedestrians; just a few footprints.

Though I’d been a little disappointed at not being able to photograph my first impressions of gold, during that walk I discovered a different kind of beauty—and hope you enjoy these images.

[Click on any image to view large as a slideshow.]

Oct 272012

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What a pleasure to become immersed in this color and light for a time…

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f9.5, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance .89m

Nov 172010

Color reflections of autumn foliage in a lagoon.

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Photographed in a local wetland nature preserve, where I’m still stalking the geese ;). I was fascinated by the way the reflection was breaking up into rectangles, which which reminded me of Gustav Klimt’s paintings.

Once again, on my main computer Firefox displays as over-saturated. Click on the image for a more accurate view. Strangely, it looks ok in the same browser on my laptop. Let me know how it appears for you…?

Lumix DMC-FZ40; f/5.6 @ 1/160sec, ISO 80 (handheld);
Focal length: 96.8mm (538mm EFL)

Oct 152010

A single white feather suspended among autumn grasses.

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This scene caught my fancy during a morning walk along the lakefront. Suspended on a low rise in front of a broad expanse of park, the feather reminded me of a shop sign which reads “Back Soon”.

Lumix DMC-FZ40; f/7.1 @ 1/125sec, ISO 250 (handheld);
Focal length: 108mm (600mm EFL)

Oct 132010

Arching milkweed tufts artfully arranged on the ground.

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Just the other day… I spent a happy three hours of the morning taking photographs in a nearby park which features wetlands and a lagoon. I was surprised to discover over a hundred geese “sleeping”  in the marsh  before sunrise. Panning to capture geese in takeoff will take a lot more practice to pull off well. 😉

Meanwhile, here’s one scene I photographed while looking down instead of up.

Lumix DMC-FZ40; f/5.6 @ 1/50sec, ISO 400 (handheld);
Focal length: 25mm (139mm EFL)

Nov 232009

Color swatch dark brown Color swtch medium brown Color swatch light brown [¹]

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Reading the weather forecast last night I thought, “Oh goody, clouds! Maybe there will be a nice sunrise on the lakefront.”

This morning…nope. It was a flat, dull overcast with only tiny waves on the lake. Oh well. At least I showed up. 🙂

On to Plan B. Working with the same combination of lenses as yesterday—the 18-200mm VR zoom with a Canon 500D closeup filter—I discovered something new: getting as close to the subject as possible with the focal length set to wide angle both exaggerated the subject and enhanced depth. That’s similar to what the wide angle alone would do normally, but the closeup lens added a blur to the background while retaining a suggestion of detail. Cool!

The second image today is probably stronger, and it makes me smile so I couldn’t resist processing to share. The first, however, is interesting as a direction I’d like to explore further.

In both cases I added +2EV exposure compensation, letting the sky blow out in favor of the subject.

¹Colors of the day:

  • Dark brown R:100 G:73 B:51
  • Medium brown R:139 G:96 B:51
  • Light brown R:162 G:138 B:109
Nov 202009

Presage of Snow (c)2009 by April Siegfried

Color swatch brown Color swatch green Color swatch gray [¹]

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Photographing outdoors in November is helping me appreciate the subtle hues and textures of the season, though that’s challenging to bring out in an image. (Suggestions welcomed!)

Recently, in a nature sanctuary, I chatted briefly with a man who mentioned several other locations we both like to visit. After parting, I kicked myself for not asking if there were any others he could recommend. A few days later, I was fortunate to cross paths with him again and discovered that he is both a painter and maintains a web site listing his favorite walking trails in Chicago. Thank you, Thomas, for sharing some of your discoveries! This image was photographed in Ronan Park.

Flo, the story will ring a bell with you. 🙂

¹Colors of the day:

  • Brown R:132 G:121 B:115
  • Green R:140 G:136 B:119
  • Gray R:161 G:158 B:157