Archive for the ‘Macro Photography’ Category

I was photographing some of the ornamental grasses in our yard recently when I happened to see this ladybug. Since I know that there are a lot of people who like ladybugs (although perhaps a more stylized ladybug than the actual one shown here:), I wanted to share it.

Ladybug

What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.

Flight.

The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.

Self-portrait

Magnolia after heavy rain - May 27, 2014 - 003 Magnolia after heavy rain - May 27, 2014 - 024

In my previous post I mentioned that very heavy rains had decimated the flowers in our Magnolia Tree … except for two … one of which is fully mature and the other of which is just blooming. In the interest of completing this story, here are the two survivors.

Magnolia after heavy rain - May 27, 2014 - 005

We have had several really heavy rainfalls over the last day or so and they have hit the blossoms on our Magnolia tree hard. Only one of the flowers in full bloom survived as did one of the flowers just blooming. As for the remainder of the Magnolia blossoms, this picture sums up their fate.

I have been following the budding process of our magnolia tree for the last few weeks. It has been excruciatingly slow, though I am hoping to post a series of photos that results in a flower before the end of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Spring. Here is a photo of one of the buds.

Magnolia Bud - May 06, 2014 - 008-Edit

Odd ball indeed

This (Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge) is a great idea. In fact, Cee you are kind of a great idea “generator” and I appreciate the creativity that you have demonstrated in what you are doing through your website (and, of course, in your photos too).

Here is an “Odd Ball” for the Week 9 challenge, both literally and metaphorically. I took this photo a few years ago, shortly after I had purchased a new macro lens. In this particular case, I was photographing a rock in our backyard. The rock had lots of crocks and crannies with plenty of moss growing on it. At the macro scale, the rock, which is about 2 x 2 x 2 appeared to have caves with dead trees (actually little twigs) scattered about. Other than the moss, the largest living thing was a pretty new four-leaf clover  that stood roughly an inch tall. For perspective, one of the leaves of that clover is in the upper right hand corner of this photo. The odd ball here is what sits below the clover leaf. This part of the photo, even with the macro lens was so small that I did not even notice it when I took the original group of pictures and first looked at the results. I still can’t say for sure what the critter is or what it is sitting on – one person suggested a drop of water. The only thing I can say with a little confidence is that this is an odd ball photo and I hope you enjoy it.

The reason I like your shoot and quote challenges is that they often offer me an opportunity to think outside of the box. The challenge asks for the sources of our inspiration. There are plenty of answers to that question — everything from beauty, to grace, to patterns, to symmetry, to humor, to pathos, to joy, to the unexpected juxtaposition and on and on and on. It is pretty easy for me to find things to photograph.

One of my many sources of inspiration is the one demonstrated here — it is the ability that the digital darkroom offers me to take a photograph and use it as the beginning of a flight of fantasy with more than a dollop of whimsy. Thus it is both the photo and the power of the software tools at hand that together make one of the sources of inspiration for my photography and my contribution to Ese’ s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Inspiration.

Filter Forge Flower 2

Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.

~ Augustus Hare