May 252012

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I’m still having fun with my new lens. Just after surise the other day, there was zero wind, dew on the flowers, and a nice backlight on this subject. Classic, but who can resist such opportunities?!

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f11, ISO 500 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 180mm (270mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

May 092012

Spring Light
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Nikon D300; f11 @ 1/350 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 220mm (330mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

Prairie Fire
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Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/125sec, ISO 3200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 165mm (247m EFL); focus distance 1.68m

“Dappled light” sounds pretty, doesn’t it? But high contrast and hard shadows have led me to dismiss it in favor of photographing subjects under soft, even lighting…

Until last month, during the Callway Gardens workshop, when a participant opened my eyes to possibilities I’d been ignoring. She was photographing the color and reflections of azaleas along a riverbank, playing with impressionist ripples in the water. What especially struck me, however, was the way she’d been drawn to one particular mound of blossoms spotlit by sunshine through a break in the surrounding trees. Ah-hah.

Thank you, for showing me the light!

May 052011

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Backlit, this pussy willow caught my eye while I was running errands the other day. Sunlight glinting off needles and leftover Christmas lights on a hedge in the background created the bokeh with spots of color.

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance .71m

Jun 192010

Dew-drenched grasses in morning sunlight.

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The other morning, while out looking for sidelight to fulfill an assignment for The Mindful Eye, I came across this beautiful backlight instead.

After several days of heavy rain, humidity was high but skies were mostly clear and there was no wind. Everything sparkled with dew.

Red-violet color swatchDark green color swatchGreen color swatchYellow color swatch

  • Red-violet R:119 G:102 B:106
  • Dark green R:119 G:132 B:70
  • Yellow-green R:119 G:132 B:70
  • Yellow R:185 G:171 B:8
Nov 222009

Gracenote (c)2009 by April Siegfried

Color swatch green Color swatch brown Color swatch yellow [¹]

Our neighbors have a beautiful holly bush with rich red berries against glossy green leaves. I couldn’t help but think, “Holiday card!” Concerns about the sun getting high, and setting up a tripod near their front porch early on a Sunday morning, suggested a hand held combination of lenses I’ve not worked with in quite a while: 18-200mm VR zoom with a Canon 500D Closeup Lens and (thin) polarizing filter.

Nothing much resulted from photographing the holly, but that did point the way to other possibilities on this mild, clear day with no wind. Think bokeh! 🙂

I’ll try the holly bush again after a snowfall. Cliché, sure; but a challenge to do well. As a fellow-photographer once said, “It will be my holly.”

¹Colors of the day:

  • Green R:67 G:64 B:20
  • Brown R:140 G:86 B:46
  • Yellow R:203 G:164 B:110
Nov 052009

Low Lying Fruit (c)2009 by April Siegfried

Color swatch yellow Color swatch red [¹]

Scouting a new location while our cat was at “the spa” (more on that tomorrow), there wasn’t much time to photograph. Hence the title of this image.

¹Colors of the day:

  • Yellow R:178 G:134 B:46
  • Red R:190 G:39 B:52
Nov 012009

A photograph of a single autumn leaf on a twig above a blurred background of fallen leaves.

Color swatch yellow Color swatch green Color swatch brown [¹]

“Just show up!”, said Craig Tanner during a photography workshop last year. Sounds simple enough. Yet those three words have stayed with me ever since, because it’s not always easy and has many levels of meaning.

In another workshop two years ago, Freeman Patterson said he still makes it a point to photograph every single day—as a concert pianist will practice scales.

“Just show up” is my plan for the month of November: to photograph, process and post an image here, every day.

I hope you’ll join me and share your experience with daily photo projects in the comment section: tips, revelations, and links to your project sites are all welcome!

For inspiration, three links to other “daily” projects I’ve been following:

  • Andreas Manessinger—3 years and going strong
  • Ed-K—has posted an image to his site every day for five years!
  • SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month)—”A group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time.”

Plus André Gallant, who is my inspiration for the “November” challenge with a series of some of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen.

¹ Colors of the day extracted using ColorSuckr. Though the name is funky, it did a nice job on this image from within Firefox as an add-on.

  • Yellow R:210 G:182 B:96
  • Green R:124 G:128 B:94
  • Brown R:104 G:80 B:49