Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Insects (and a duck) from back in August - Lincoln Park

So I said I wanted to start sorting all my photos and posting everyday and then fell off the face of the internet for another week.  Sorry.  This is kind of how my life goes when it's unstructured.  When work starts up again next week, I should be around more regularly. :)

Anyway, I was sorting through a folder of images from a trip to Linocoln Park (North Pond, I *think*, I didn't label it - oops) in August and I found some shots I really liked.

Eastern Forktail Damselfly - 08.11
This is a damselfly.  If you've ever tried shooting dragonflies, you know they're hard.  Now try shooting something that's about 1/5 as wide as a dragonfly.  So yeah, this shot has somethings that could be improved, but for something this small, it's not too bad.  Also, it'll serve as a mile-marker as I try to improve my shooting of them next season.
Mating Wheel

This picture was only resized - it wasn't cropped.  This is a pair of Eastern Pondhawks in a matingwheel.  The fact that they are, in fact, mating, may explain why I was able to get so close without disturbing them. ;)  I love how crisp and clear both sets of eyes are.  (This is one worth clicking on to blow up to the full uploaded size - which is still only about 1/3 the full captured size.)  And then there are the little details like the shadows of the wing veins on the leaf below the female's wings and the little blue 'eyebrows' on the male's face.

Mottled Feet, Manky Duck

Another Manky Mallard.  You can see the iridescent green peeking out under his wing.  Even his feet are mottled (They aren't just dirty :)  But he has a whole bunch of things going on.  The while collar of a mallard, the dark head of an American (or even some kind of Loon), red/rustish on the chest.  Quite the mutt-duck!
Yellow on Purple

I'm getting better with butterflies.  I like this one because you can see the compound eyes.  (Right now, that's what I call a 'win' on a butterfly face shot.)
Shades of Yellow

And then there's this... Taken on the same day, in the same relative location as the shot above. They're even the same species, but there was something dark behind this daisy and the sunlight was so strong on the flower and butterfly that you get an almost studio-staged effect.  The butterfly blends in well enough that it takes just a second for you to realize what exactly you're looking at.  It has a whole different tone to to the picture, even though this one and the one above are both "Sulphur butterflies on flowers in Lincoln Park".

Okay, tomorrow I'm off to the Shedd Aquarium again, so I should have some fun stuff to share tomorrow night!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back from an unexpectedly long hiatus!

So I sort of fell off the face of the Earth for a while there, but I'm back now! And I have some new computer kit that I think will let me update a lot more frequently. It's December, and here in Chicago that means a lot cold and gray and just plain icky outside. Which, for me, means not a whole lot of trips out to shoot. I have a fun one at coffee plant coming up in January, but until then, I'm starting to go through and clean out my absolutely ridiculous photo folder on the great big hard drive. So my plan is that when I don't have a new shoot to talk about, I'm going to post at least three shots I find in the cleaning effort that strike a chord with me on a given day. So he are a few shots of the sky from a day last fall when the clouds were doing some really wild things.
Within a matter of minutes it got darker and then lighter and back and forth for a while.
You can see that it was playing havoc with the light sensors on the street lamps. This one turned on, but the others didn't.
So there's a few shots as we get ready to wind up the year. I'm hoping to post everyday or as close as I can next year so I'm going to try to develop the habit before this year runs out. :) P.S. Please forgive any typos or weird formatting as I figure out the best way to make an iPad post to a photoblog. You'd think it would be exactly the kind of thing it was made for, but so far I've had to download three aps and google three different issues with moving photos around. I suspect I'll get it down to a science soon enough, but there seems to a steeper than expected learning curve on the issue. :)