I lost my insect ID book and can’t remember the name for this fellow. They are quite common here in South Florida, and swarm the Fern Forest Nature Center here in Coconut Creek. I used the new Topaz Clarity plug-in (I’m an affiliate Beta tester for them) as well as the Smart Sharpen tool in Photoshop CS6 to process these images. I have always been fascinated by their compound eyes….
Tagged with: ‘outdoors’
05/16/2013 Daily Photo-Dragonfly Close Macro
05/13/2013 Daily Photo-A Nice Glow
We’ve come into our rainy season here in South Florida. Starting in May, it starts raining almost everyday. It doesn’t necessarily rain all day long (though it does at times),it usually starts in the late afternoon and goes for an hour or two.
This particular evening it had stopped raining but there was still a solid cloud cover. Now I can’t get the traditional sunset shot under these conditions, but I can get at times a glowing sky if the diffraction of the sun’s rays are right. And that’s what happened here. The wet street and cars helped reflect that glow in an interesting way.
I took this with my Canon Mark II 5D with a 17-40mm f4L lens. I used Lightroom preset from Trey Ratcliff (Stuckincustoms.com) to make it look like what I saw with my eyes.
04/28/2013 Iridescent Dragonfly
I went to Fern Forest Nature Center today in hopes of capturing some dragonflies. The were not in abundance, as far as I could see. They must have been deeper in the wetlands feasting on mosquitoes. I encountered this one who nicely posed for me.
There was a great deal of glowing iridescence in the wings and around his eye. We were not in direct sunlight. The trail I was on was very deeply shaded. He was a most intriguing sight.
04/15/2013 The Owl Trio
I went to Butterfly World yesterday. It’s been breezy and hot here in South Florida. The heat is part of being here, the breeze can make macro photography a real challenge. That’s why I left my macro lens in the bag and decided to carry my Canon 70-200mm f4L instead.
I used the telephoto because it’s easier to get the shutter speed up to 1/640-1/1000 of a second. This tends to overcome the effects of the wind by freezing motion. It doesn’t always work, but it usually helps.
The other helpful aspect of shooting with a telephoto is the ability to frame distant subjects tightly. These butterflies were out of range of my 100mm macro lens( about 5-6 feet away behind an iron railing. I had to rack the lens out to 200mm to make this image. I actually cropped some of the rock to the right to make a better composition without hurting the image quality. With the shorter lens I would have had to crop even more, which could degrade the image quality, depending on the amount of cropping.
I exposed at f4.0 with ISO 800, as it was a shady area and sun was going in and out behind clouds. The shutter speed was only 1/160 of a second, just enough for me to hand hold without getting motion blur. Since the butterflies were clinging to solid rock, I didn’t have to worry about the breeze. The zoom lens comes in handy in difficult situations.
04/13/2013 A Touch of Yellow…
One day I was at Butterfly World with my Canon 100mm f2.8L macro lens making images of butterflies when I spotted this hanging flower pot. The yellow flowers were quite attractive, but since the display was behind iron railings, I couldn’t get close enough for a macro shot.
That’s where the medium telephoto qualities of a macro lens can come in handy. I took this fairly wide open (f5.6) to get some pleasingly blurred background bokeh, but still get the flowers and most of the pot in focus. I did a little cropping in Lightroom to eliminate some negative space to the right of the flowers.
It’s great to be able to isolate part of a scene with a telephoto, rather than having too much in the image and having it cluttered with extraneous elements. I just have to remember to watch what’s in my background before making the image.