Archives
A Sample of Pop’s “Bee” Images

Predator

Some of Your Beeswax

Sedum Bumbler

Look of Defiance

Chicory Bee

Bumbling Bees

Garden Cafe

Buzz By Here - To Infinity and Beyond

Pick Your Poison

Blind Side Attack

On a Mission

Honey Bee on Sedum

Covering the Cosmos

Center of the Cosmos

Three's a Crowd

Popular Spot

On A Pedestal

On Golden Rod

The Beeline

Messy Hands

Bee on Yellow

Incoming

Bumble Bee Choreography

Messy Hands

A Sample of Pop’s “People” Photo Collection

Considering the Next Move

Sugar and Spice

Front Porch Portrait

Caged Competitor

Early Adoration

Child In the Ligtht

Stroll Through the Weeds

Attention Grabbing

Eye Contact

On the Line

Eyes of Wonder

Rounding the Curve

Troubadours of Basin Spring Park

Down by the Creek

Sun Day

Catching Some Light

EAA Fireworks

Hear Me Roar

Bill Pevlor

Flying Circus

There are times when I look out the window of our rural home and think, “What a circus!”  Birds are flying in every direction to take advantage of a free meal from one of our many feeders.

Of all the birds we see, the American Goldfinches are among the most active and consistent performers at our house. It can be quite entertaining to watch them zipping in and out; hither and yon.

When frozen by the camera, the Goldfinch’s quick, bouncy style of flight seems unnatural and awkward.

All of the birds in this photo are American Goldfinches – except the one Chipping Sparrow whose tail can bee seen as he perches on the back side of the feeder.

(Click the image for a larger version.)

Bottom View

This American Goldfinch (male) was hanging on the top of the finch feeder, waiting for an opening on one of the perches below. As you can see, it’s a popular neighborhood dining spot.

This image was taken on a drab and drizzly day, so you’ll notice his feathers appear a bit damp.

There is no shortage of Goldfinches at our house – year round.  (Might have something to do with the food we put out.)  It’s nice to see them back in their bright yellow and black plumage for the spring and summer.

(Click on the main image for a larger view.)

Curly Top


For me, the most difficult part of photographing people is capturing an authentic natural expression. Much of what I end up with is nice, but lacking the true essence of the person I’m trying capture.

I’m pretty pleased with the way this one turned out.

(Click the image to see a larger version.)

Fashion and Friends


What little girl doesn’t like “dress up” and stuffed animal friends.

I’ve had the opportunity to focus on a couple of cuties the last few days.  This one loves to pose for the camera.

Portraits have not been my strong suit…but I’m working on it.

(Click on the main image for a larger view.)

Kewaunee’s Premium Blend

The best part of waking up…  The sky provided a blend of beautiful colors, layered from the red of the sun on the horizon to the blue, high in the early morning sky.

I made my way to the shore of Lake Michigan – to the Kewaunee, WI beach – to catch a 5:40 am sunrise on the morning of Saturday, April 30, 2011.

It’s interesting to see the different transformations that the sky goes through in the course of a half hour sunrise.  For a different look of the same sunrise, see my previous post “Morning Beam.”

(Click the photo for a slightly larger view.)

Morning Beam

I got up early last Saturday to take sunrise photos of the Kewaunee, WI lighthouse.  This is a photo from the end of the shoot.  The sun was up enough that it was out of the frame but you can’t miss it’s power by the prominent beam of light.

More from this shoot will be posted in the next few days. Keep checking back or simply subscribe to the RSS feed.

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

Prelude to Night

Nighttime seemed to be moving in from the upper left-hand corner of this image.

This was the sunset viewed at our rural Kewaunee County, WI home on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011.  The beauty lasted all of 10 minutes…maybe less.

(Click the photo to view a larger version.)

Spring’s First Blush

After an unseasonably cold spring, we were finally blessed with a sunny afternoon – it was Easter Sunday.  We were ready to get outside and took a long walk through a wooded area.

Along the way we stumbled upon a few fresh flowers.  These are the very first blooms of the season.

Just a few days ago, the area where we found these spring beauties was under a blanket of snow (nine inches) from a late winter storm.

(Click on either photo for a larger view.)

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Crater Face

I’ve been working to get a good shot of the moon.  My previous attempts have been OK, but not as sharp as I thought they should be.  (See That’s Amore!) I figured out the problem and am fairly pleased with this one.

First I mount my Sony SLT-A55 on a tripod. To get a closer view I use a 300mm zoom lens. Even with the lens magnification, it requires quite a bit of cropping to enlarge the image.  I switch the camera to manual focus.  My camera also has a setting that allows me to enlarge the image in the viewfinder or LCD screen to really hone in on the focus. I also use the 2-second timer on the camera so that I’m not shaking the camera by pressing the shutter button.

I thought the problem was the inexpensive tripod I was using – that it wasn’t stable enough.  I also thought it could be a limitation with the lens, since the one I own would fall under the “budget” category.  One other possibility was the UV filter – a clear filter used mainly to protect the lens.

It turned out to be the UV filter.  I took a couple of shots with a new, solid tripod and things looked the same as with the flimsy tripod.  Then I removed the UV filter and saw an immediate difference.  The photo above is the result. Looks like I’ll have to invest a little more in a better UV filter.

The smaller image gives you a perspective of the size of the moon in the actual image the camera captures.  Then I enlarge the view by cropping it to fill more of the frame.

(Click on either photo to see a larger version.)

 

Pops Quick Tip – Keep Your Camera Steady

Being sure to hold the camera close, I also took advantage of this wall to steady my shot.

More great digital photos are spoiled by “blur” than anything else.  It’s disheartening to have a wonderful composition ruined by blur.  For clear, sharp images it takes a concerted effort to hold your camera steady and avoid “camera shake.” It requires practice and concentration to free-hand it, especially in low light conditions. Still, as difficult as it may be, nearly everyone can improve.

One common mistake is attempting to compose a shot using the LCD screen, holding the camera at arm’s length.  It’s almost impossible to hold a camera steady at arm’s length.  Instead, use your camera’s viewfinder, holding the camera firmly anchored to your cheek and forehead, using both hands.

For greater stability when free-handing it, keep your elbows firmly against your body. (Your best bet if your camera doesn’t have a viewfinder.) Often, I’ll steady a shot by holding my camera against a wall, a pole or setting it on a solid surface. If you’ve got them, use a tripod or monopod in true low light conditions.

Your trigger technique is also critical. When snapping the shot, relax – don’t tense up. Slowly and gently press the shutter, being careful not to jerk the camera when you depress the button.

Blur is the curse of digital photographers. Employ these techniques to steady your shots. I still fight blurred images, but I’m getting better at it.