Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rollins Savanna - 9.20.10 - Post 3

And now back to your scheduled programming...

I got distracted there for a few days by finding out that I will, in fact, be able to show in a large local art show, after being initially told that it was sold out.  So now I'm trying to decide which shots to show and what sizes.  If you have a shot you're particularly fond of, or ideas about what makes a photograph commercial, I'd *love* to hear from you!

In the mean time, I was posting about Rollins Savanna...

A Swath of New England Asters
 I love these asters.  For flowers in the fall they were still going strong.  And the way they cut across the frame brings your eyes down and over through the entire shot.

Duck Checks Her Rearview
 The ducks in the three ponds were pretty calm - much calmer than, say, the kildeer. I was able to get up pretty close to this female mallard and then she turned to see what I was up to, which was nice of her. :)
Onto Every Chicory, A Little Rain Must Fall
I'm still quite fond of chicory plants.  I like the jagged edges of the petals and the stark black and white in the center.  As I mentioned back in the first post, it was raining off and on all day, which gave me this beautiful rain splattered flower.

Egret in Flight
 Okay, so getting good shots of birds on the ground or in a tree is still challenge for me, never mind me getting good ones of them in flight.  But this one doesn't suck.  I was even able to crop out the houses he was flying over.
Egret Reflects
 Another egret and reflection.  It was nice of him to stand where there was a patch of un-duckweeded water nearby. ;)
The Frog Remains the Same
 Remember in that other post I mentioned the frog that was sitting by the bridge as I passed by... and was still there, like, two hours later when I came by again?  Here is on my second pass.  I could see him breathing and his eyes are open, so, you know... not dead... but not active either.  On this shot I could see his little froggy toes turned in under his chin.
Tall Heron
 A Great Blue Heron being as tall as he could possibly be on top of a muskrat lodge.
Heart-Shaped Red Admiral
 A Red Admiral on white flowers.    I like that in this shot he's heart-shaped.
Goldenrod and Honeybee
A honeybee on goldenrod.  I can count his stripes. :)

A Pack of Quackers
Like I said, the place was thick with ducks.

Okay, one more post and I'll be done with this trip.  Is it bad that I'm kind of hoping for a week or two of crap weather?  I need some time to catch up!  As it is, it's October in Chicago and it's going to be 80 degrees today and 84 tomorrow.  I think I'm going to need to go out and shoot some more while I can.  Which, you know, is not helping in the "catching up" department.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

And now a word for your Sponsor[ship]...

I've been asked if any of the photos on this site are for sale.  Yes!  They absolutely are.  Please contact me either through a comment here on the blog or you can email me at

I have some of my favorite shots up at my Etsy shop.  You can see them here.  But if you don't see the shot/s you like, please contact me and I'd be happy to set something up.  The pictures on the blog itself are severely scaled down to keep loading times reasonable, but prints will be hand cropped from full resolution original images.  Depending on the shot, I can do anything from small, standard 4X6s to really large prints like 24X36.

Additionally, I've put together an animal alphabet book.  Every picture in this book was photographed by me.  Each letter of the alphabet has from 1 to 8 animal representatives.  And to make this really fun for any small people in your life, I can insert pictures you send me so that if "D is for Dog", your small person's dog will be the picture.  I did one for my nephew with his dog and cat, my ferrets and references to the rabbit his father had growing up.

Here's the direct link to that item on my Etsy shop:  ABC Animal Book
Or feel free to contact me via email or through the blog.  On the Etsy site, there's a listing of all the animals currently available to be inserted into the book.

Here are a few sample pages from my nephew's book:


Inside cover

A is for...     B is for...

C is for...   D is for...  
 Here you can see where I put in his dog and cat.  All you'd need to do is send me pictures of your small person's animals.  If they don't have a cat, for example, this cat would be removed and another animal added instead.  Any pet or companion animal can be added to the appropriate page.

E is for...     F is for...

M is for...    N is for...

If you'd like to see a book about a different theme - all birds, all animals native to Northern Illinois, whatever... let's talk!

Rollins Savanna - 9.20.10 - Post 2

Okay, picking up where I left off with Rollins Savanna.

Patterned Feathers
Because I ended up hiking counter-clockwise, I found the area I was looking for sooner than I expected.  Which was a good thing, as the animals were already starting to settle in for the evening.  This duck was eating the duckweed (go figure).  I adore the patterns in his feathers.

Duck in Bubbles
There were a lot of ducks out there from a couple of different species.  This female mallard was in the middle of a ring of bubbles.  I'm not sure what was making the bubbles (I don't think it was the duck ;), but it makes for an interesting shot. :)

Egret in the Grasses
Okay, so my parents live in Florida and they call these things "Florida Chickens" - they're kind of ubiquitous down there.  But in Northern Illinois they're a little more rare. (Did I mention this before?  As I type that I'm having deja vu.) And I was kind of keen on how you can barely see the water, and the egret is such a small part of the picture.
Watching Lunch
I was able to sneak up a little closer as he was looking for food in the pond.  I love the shapes they can make with their necks.
Egret Reflects
This was as close as I could get on the bridge.  Another reflection shot.  Yes, I'm unusually enamored of those lately.
Frog from Behind
As I came around the path and onto the bridge over the second pond, I found this frog.  I have no idea what he's sitting on, but you can see that he's, essentially, not in the water.  And while I was able to see him breathing, he was otherwise very, very still.  I walked up to him, and past him.  And then about an hour later I circled around and he was *still* there.
Can I Help You?
I can't get the color on this one to correct the way I want it too.  I've discovered that the white balance - even the auto-WB setting on my camera is great when I'm shooting in Aperture or Shutter Speed modes, but when I use the auto-settings, like 'sports-mode' or 'portrait', the shots come out much too blue.
Eyes and Ears and Froggy Toes
I think this is from my second pass.  Still just sitting there.  Talk about a great shot of a frog's ear.  Check out how prominent that tympanic membrane is.
Kildeer on Muskrat Lodge
Again with the color correction issues.  Partly it's saturation, partly it's white balance, and I haven't yet completely figured out how to fix that in my post-production software.  Anyway, another new species.  Kildeer!  Talk about skittish birds!  This was as close as I could get, and I spent quite a while trying.  I'd always heard that there were Kildeer in Northern Illinois, but I'd never seen one before these.  They're sitting on muskrat lodges.  I checked repeatedly and moved very slowly, but despite the *large* numbers of lodges (another casualty of kids not being able to handle language - we would have called these dams when I was a kid) and the large number of birds I saw on them, I didn't see one muskrat all day.

Muskrat Casa Es Mi Casa
Speeking of Birds on a Lodge... here's a duck making herself very comfortable.
Sunflowers Stretch into Fall
A few flowers were holding on even though fall was seriously starting to settle in.  These little sunflowers were a nice spot of bright yellow on a gray day.
Dam Lodge
Here's one of the lodges.  Don't get the idea that they've been there for a while, but there's greenery and flowers growing on top of most of them.  I want to head back in the spring, because I would imagine they make great nesting spots for breeding ducks.

Okay... there's more, but I think I actually have more than ten shots in this post, so I'll wrap this post here.