On my way to the Lake Michigan shore…just around the bend from my house…I cross the Kewaunee river. As I was returning home after shooting a sunrise over the lake, I stopped to snap a few of the river.
There is often a hint of fog in the cool, low lying areas of the river, but this morning there was more than usual and the warmth of the still rising sun (just out of the frame on the right) added a great quality to the scene.
Fog is always cool but, I think, one of the more challenging situations to photograph. I find it very difficult to capture in the camera what the eye can see. Even when you can snag a cool scene like this, it still lacks the actual experience.
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This rose may be one of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever photographed. It is not perfect or without blemish, but there’s something about its soft blush of pink and the gentle furl of its delicate petals that captivates me; makes it difficult to look away. I snapped a lot of frames of this bloom over a couple of days. (Please excuse my gushing. I understand, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may not have the same effect on everyone.)
I found this beauty in, of all places, the small flowerbed of a motel in Branson, Missouri – the Yellow Rose Inn & Suites. They had a nice variety of blooming flowers around the property but, ironically, there were no yellow roses.
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But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
This is another one of my “can’t wait for spring” creations. Still in the dull, cold, dreariness of early spring, I picked up a few flowers from a local florist.
This was a particularly beautiful bloom. I took a number of photos of this image dry and then added some moisture from a simple spray bottle. I propped it up on a kitchen chair and photographed it in early morning, natural light from a nearby window.
I recently posted a Black & White image of this same flower titled, A Light Caress (Check it out for an interesting comparison. Let me know which you like better in the comments.)
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This is an image that dates back a few years. I was searching for it on this website and was surprised that I had never posted here. It’s a digitally enhanced version of one of my most popular images – Break of Dawn. (See the original HERE) The original is a wonderful color image. It would be my favorite of the two, but I also like the aged look this one receives from the monochrome and textured effects.
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Two Sandhill Cranes are up to the necks in wheat. This wheat field is in southern Door County, Wisconsin.
Sandhill cranes have always presented a challenge for me. They seem to be very shy and quick to take off when I try to get close. These two required a creative, persistent approach. Here’s how it happened.
Sara, my wife, and I were on a weekend getaway in Door County. We were heading to Peninsula State Park for a day of hiking through the woods. On the way Sara spotted these guys in a wheat field that we passed. We decided to go back an try to get a shot. I pulled over and we switched positions, so Sara was driving and I was free to take the photos. The plan was to approach the field at a relatively slow speed…but not too slow, so the birds wouldn’t get spooked. I would try to focus in and snap a few frames before they caught on and disappeared.
The first pass was a resounding failure. The movement made it hard to find and focus on the birds with my zoom lens and my exposure settings were way off. We turned around and tried it again. This time I had the right exposure but the birds sensed something was up and were on the move. Their heads were bobbing up and down in the field, always in a different spot than the last. Sara remarked, it reminded her of a Whack-A-Mole game.
We approached slower and even stopped as the birds headed for the brush at the edge of the field. Before they really took off, I got a couple of decent shots. There were actually 4 or 5 of them in the field, but with their concealed movement and head bobbing, I was never able to catch more than three in any shot. This is the one I liked best.
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Emma is seven years old and full of energy. On this evening, she had bouncing-off-the-walls energy.
This is an awesome image! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not bragging on myself because it happened quite by accident – as awesome shots sometimes do. It would never enter my mind to try an set up a shot like this. Any serious photographer will tell you, there are those moments that you couldn’t have planned, couldn’t have set up, when all the planets are aligned and the angels are smiling upon you. That was this moment. Here’s how it came about.
I was outdoors, trying to capture a photo of some wrens entering/exiting their birdhouse. I was using a 300mm, zoom lens, to get a close-up, from a distance. I had just finished photographing the birds, because the day was ending and there no longer was enough light in the shaded area to get a good image.
About this time, folks showed up for a family gathering. Emma saw me with the camera and started hopping around me saying, “Take a picture of me!” I couldn’t take a photo of her because I had the long zoom lens and she was too close – I couldn’t even get the lens to focus at that distance. I told her she was too close, and if she would go a little farther away I could take a photo. Well, I meant she should move ten to fifteen feet away. Emma just heard, “farther away,” and took off running. My attempts to call her back never reached her ears and she finally stopped and turned around about 20 yards away.
The amazing thing was where she stopped. Quite by accident, she stopped in a spot where the setting sun was able to stream through an opening in the trees. Ten feet farther or closer and she would have been in the shadows. I remember being in awe at the way the light was hitting her. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to focus and shoot. Even then, I didn’t really think this shot would turn out so well…so sharp in the low light conditions. I have no idea of what she was saying to me.
For fellow photographers that would like the specifics: 1/90 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, 300mm, handheld, no artificial light, manual mode.
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