Fun Friday: Can’t Stay Dry!

From last week’s visit to Prairie State Park (in the nearly constant rain):

Insect on Raindrop-covered Rose Verbena wildflower

Getting ready to head out to Shaw Nature Reserve (outside St. Louis, MO).  Checking out the wildflowers, then attending a “Wildflower Seed Collection/Conservation” class.  Back with more posts on Monday :o)

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Purple Rain, Part 2

Yesterday, I got a chance to combine together some images I captured of the Bird’s-foot Violet for focus-stacking. Using Helicon Focus software, I combined 10 images into a single image, to get a single image with increased depth of field on the subject, but without influencing the background focus. It ended up pretty nice, but I wish I had taken 3-4 more images, focusing on the bottom petal and the large water droplet on it, to bring it into better focus, too:

Bird's-foot Violet wildflower (focus-stacked image)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/3200 sec.
  • Combined 10 images, using Helicon Focus software

 

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, focus stacking, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Purple Rain

Today’s post can be used as my personal tribute to Prince. On my way back home from the Stillwater, Oklahoma Art Festival, I stopped by Prairie State Park in southwest Missouri for a couple of days of wildflower photography. As the entire region was in a “monsoon season”, we had lots of rain. Fortunately, there were a few breaks between downbursts and I tried to make the most of them. I was fortunate to find a lot of one of my favorite prairie wildflowers, the Bird’s-foot Violet (Viola pedata), also known as Pansy Violet or Hens and Roosters. The name Bird’s-foot Violet comes from the leaf shape; the deeply dissected leaves does seem to resemble a bird’s foot. If you look closely in today’s images, you can see these “bird’s foot-like” leaves in some of the images. Here are some of my favorite images:

Bird's-foot Violet

Bird's-foot Violet

Bird's-foot Violet

Bird's-foot Violet

Bird's-foot Violet

Bird's-foot Violet

Nothing more enchanting than finding wildflowers covered with rain droplets! And thanks, Prince, for all the great music!

In another post, I’ll feature a focus-stacked image of a Bird’s-foot Violet covered with rain droplets.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 500 to ISO 1250 (variable due to the constantly changing light, or lack of)
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/18 (depending on how much of the image I wanted to remain in focus)
  • Shutter 1/80 sec. to 1/3200 sec. (depending on the ISO and Aperture used)

 

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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An Early May

Today’s post features a woodland wildflower that is about a week early in blooming … the May apple (Podophyllum peltatum). We observed many of these plants emerging through the leaf litter over the past few weeks and within the past few days many are now showing off their under-leaf white flowers. It reminds me of an umbrella shading the flower from potential sunburn! Here are a few images we collected during the last trip to the woods:

May Apple wildflower

May Apple wildflower

May Apple wildflower

Coming up … more woodland wildflower images, as well as some emerging prairie wildflowers found at Prairie State Park on my way home from the Stillwater (OK) Arts Festival last weekend.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 800 (all)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all)
  • Shutter 1/200 sec. to 1/400 sec.

 

 

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Jack-in-the-Pulpits Blooming

I conducted another Wildflower “shorty” workshop this past Saturday and we found that the Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) wildflowers are now blooming! I found this species growing on the Missouri woodland last year and so far, they are again beginning to bloom. Here are a couple of images captured during the workshop:

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Coming up … more woodland wildflower images.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/11 (top image) and f/8 (bottom image)
  • Shutter 1/15 sec. (top image) and 1/60 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Workshop, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Starry, Starry Nights

Interested in learning how to photograph our heavens above us, at night?

Perseid meteor shower & Milky Way over the Devil's Tower

I’ll be teaching a one-night photography class, “Shooting the Night Sky”, next Tuesday evening April 26, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Cass Career Center in Harrisonville, Missouri. This is a small class and plenty of room for a few more attendees. We’ll be focusing on the equipment and techniques for photographing some popular night sky subjects … the moon, lunar eclipses, star points, star trails, meteor showers, and the Milky Way (pictured above, along with a Perseid meteor, over Devil’s Tower National Monument). The cost for the class is $20. To Enroll, or for more information, contact Marsha Ogden at the Cass Career Center (816) 380-3253, ext 7223 , or e-mail Marsha at ogdenm@harrisonville.k12.mo.us . You can also enroll on-line, at the Cass Career Center website (under “Community Education). You will be able to enroll until Tuesday afternoon. Hope to see you there!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17-35mm lens, shot at 17mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 30 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2016, Astrophotography, Blog, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: FOY Clearwing Moth

This past week, while photographing wildflowers in a rainy mist at Prairie State Park, I was hiking through a thick bed of wet clover while making my way towards some Flowering Dogwood trees that were in bloom. While maneuvering the thick clover, I scared up a Clearwing Moth. Being wet and a rainy mist still coming down, the moth did not travel very far before settling back down on the clover. Working slowly, I approached the moth and eased my tripod into the clover. Here are a few of my favorite images of the Clearwing Moth:

Clearwing Moth on wet clover

Clearwing Moth on wet clover

Clearwing Moth on wet clover

Wanting to get a little more depth of field, I captured a series of 15 images and then “focus stacked” them together (using Helicon Focus software) to get this next image:

Clearwing Moth on wet clover

This was the first-of-year (FOY) Clearwing Moth I have seen … even before my FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 1250 (all images)
  • Aperture f/5.6 (all images except for the bottom, focus-stacked image @ f/3/5)
  • Shutter 1/320 sec. (all images except for the bottom, focus-stacked image @ 1/800 sec.)

 

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, Butterfly Photography, focus stacking, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Seeing Stars

After a week of being “off-line”, I’m now back home and ready to continue making and sharing nature images. I had a successful, although shortened art festival in Stillwater, Oklahoma (torrential downpours caused the show to be canceled for last Sunday, so it ended up being a 1-day show). On the way home, I stopped to photograph the spring prairie wildflowers of Prairie State Park, one of my favorite places to photograph wildflowers. My photography time there was also shortened due to weather; I had to work around multiple rain events. But the water droplets on the many wildflowers beginning to bloom made for some interesting images! Today’s post features one of the many wildflowers at Prairie State Park, the Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta). Here are my favorite images:

Yellow Star Grass with water droplets

Yellow Star Grass with water droplets

In the following image, an elongated leaf with a serrated edge is peering over the lower flower. I believe this is one of the many Rattlesnake Master plants that are only about a foot high at this point:

Yellow Star Grass with water droplets

The Yellow Star Grass has 1-3 flowers on a hairy stem to 6-inches tall. The blooms are often very close to the ground. Seeing stars on the prairie really puts the spring prairie wildflower season into motion. My next few posts will be some other wildflowers captured at Prairie State Park.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 500 (all images)
  • Aperture f/11, f/3.5 (middle & bottom images)
  • Shutter 1/80 sec. (top image), 1/800 sec. (middle image), 1/500 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2016, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Surrounded by Pink

Today’s “Fun Friday” post was one that caught my eye while photographing this past week in the local Missouri woodland. A single Virginia Bluebell bloom was surrounded by pink buds:

Virginia Bluebells

Today, I’m setting up my booth for the 2016 Stillwater Arts Festival, in downtown Stillwater, Oklahoma. If you live or will be in the area on Saturday or Sunday, stop by and say “Hi”. Due to the increased activities, I will not be publishing a new blog post for a few days (I’m planning on conducting a 2-day wildflower photography workshop at Prairie State Park on the way home).

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/250 sec

 

 

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Time for Seeding!

One last look at some of the early spring wildflowers, before they “melt” away. In this first photo, the Virginia Bluebells are at peak bloom right now and show themselves off nicely:

Virginia Bluebells

In this next photo, a bluebell plant has hit peak bloom and is now starting the process of developing seeds which will later be dispersed on the woodland floor:

Virginia Bluebells

In this next image, a Trout Lily (aka, Dog-tooth Violet) has bloomed, the bloom fallen off, and the seed pod is maturing:

Trout Lily (aka Dog-tooth Violet)

I’m hoping to collect some of the many seeds of the woodland plants this year and use them to supplement the woodland wildflowers growing on my rural land.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/11
  • Shutter 1/50 sec. to 1/1250 sec.

 

 

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