Last week spring seemed to finally arrive in full strength in Virginia. It was great to smell the lilacs in bloom in the yard and feel the warm caress of a southern wind blowing on my face as I hiked the trails behind our house with Peppermint. This particular spring also rekindled my creative inspiration as I was invited to join Sphere 2 of The Arcanum with professional photographer and artist Robin Griggs Wood. After graduating from Spheres 0 and […]
I experimented with some items around my desk this weekend for the Google+ Black and White Photography Challenge. With the theme of Macro, I happily dusted off my 100mm lens and got to work indoors on a cold winter day. With the need for bifocals on the horizon, I’ve lately employed a trusty magnifying glass, which sits prominently on my desk. I’ve noticed a variety of cool reflections as I’ve used it to read small print, so I thought it […]
Cam and I have enjoyed a few impromptu photo expeditions over the past week in between the end-of-school functions, my deadlines (and the severe thunderstorms here on the East Coast), primarily focusing on macros and flowers. Cam recently purchased the Olloclip for his iPhone, which allows him to take macro, wide–angle and fisheye images. He’s taken hundreds of photographs with it, working to figure out the optimal settings and subjects. Thanks to the heavy rains over the past few weeks, […]
We’re in the midst of the 2013 Virginia Working Landscapes Bird Survey, and over the weekend, my partner and I did two surveys at Kinloch Farm in The Plains, Virginia. This is our third consecutive year working in the fields on this beautiful farm, and it’s been rewarding to see the many new species making their homes here now that the farm owners are transitioning them to native grasslands. On Saturday morning, I arrived early to the field and enjoyed […]
If my new soccer mom friends hadn’t figured out I have some odd quirks, they probably know now. Over the past several weeks spring has finally arrived in full force, the dandelions are in bloom and the soccer practices have seemed to stretch on forever, as the coaches take advantage of the lasting evening light to train the boys. So, what does a bored soccer mom/photographer do? Why, take out the camera and experiment. And, if that means lying down […]
I love that famous photography saying that “the best camera is the one you have with you.” This image, although certainly not one of my most technically correct macros, was a fun capture because I was actually on the back of the riding tractor when I took this. As I was mowing the lawn and, ahem, decapitating most of the dandelions growing in the yard, I noticed this beautiful Zebra Swallowtail fluttering along beside me. I stopped and watched it […]
I spent a few hours at the 24th annual Garden Fair, held at the State Arboretum of Virginia. In between thunderstorms this afternoon, I took the 10-minute drive over and am certainly glad I did. Peppermint met a lot of friendly dogs while I browsed vendor row, checking out the plants and the various garden accents available there. In the end, I chose a beautiful hand-made bird bath and a bird house to bring home. Interestingly, while I was off […]
It’s been a busy Monday so far, but I did take a few minutes to walk around the yard for some macro images since we had a soft rain falling on and off. Cameron and I spent the past few weeks purchasing flowers and plants for our yard and garden, and some of them–along with our favorite old standbys–are finally planted and blooming. This young lily that’s emerging from a garden planter is one of more than a dozen that […]
Today’s Macro Monday Photo Challenge worked out well for me. Peppermint and I walked four miles at the park and passed by many beautiful flowering trees. In addition to adding beauty to our walk, they attracted a number of different birds, which allowed me to work on my IDs in preparation for the upcoming bird surveys for the Virginia Working Landscapes Program. I had my Audubon app out and enjoyed listening to the birds answer when I chose the right […]
With a variety of deadlines, projects and travel plans under way this week, I’m quite pressed for time. But thanks to the Blue Ridge Photography Workshop on Macro and Close-Up photography this past weekend, I have a few images that fit the bill for the Macro Monday photo challenge. These tulips were photographed on the light box and edited slightly in Lightroom 4 to decrease the highlights and add contrast. Taken with the Nikon D800E with a 105mm lens at […]
I spent yesterday at a Macro and Close-Up Photography workshop hosted by the Blue Ridge Photography Workshops. It was a cold, gray winter day, and as I packed my equipment in the morning and scraped the snow off my truck, I was glad this lesson was held indoors. As it turned out, the workshop featured a variety of stations with various backdrops, lighting and a huge table set up with props, from toy cars to flowers to bread to colored […]
I played with the macro function on the iPhone this week and had some fun. I discovered my favorite app, Camera+, does a nice job on macro as well as traditional imaging. This photo was edited using only the Camera+ Clarity filter. The impressive pine cone, about the size of your fist, has great texture and was found on the Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens), which is one of the many types of pines at the State Arboretum of Virginia.
Our home is in turmoil. It’s the storm before the calm as rooms are torn apart, items are waiting in stacks and boxes, new furniture is on hold and we close our eyes when we walk through the rooms, counting down until everything is back in place. Today we went out to find a rug for the living room; we came home empty-handed. There were so many to choose from that we were overwhelmed: bright colors or muted; wool or […]
We had a visitor today, and it wasn’t a mouse. We found this pretty wolf spider working its way up the basement stairs. After an impromptu photo shoot, we relocated it to a safer place. Unlike yesterday’s mouse, the spider followed directions and went where we placed it, and we were all happy about that.
Cam was home today from school due to the icy weather, but it didn’t prevent him from spending time outside. Here’s a selection of photos from his afternoon photo shoot around the yard. We hope you enjoy them!
After nearly a year since my first visit, I finally returned to the Blandy Photo Club for their January meeting. The club meets monthly at the State Arboretum of Virginia and generally includes members who focus on nature and horticultural photography. Last night’s theme was indoor macro, and one member prepared a variety of different stations where we could experiment with such items as incense, flowers, kitchen utensils and backgrounds. It was great to stretch my brain cells and try […]
Categories: Flower, Nature • Tags: artistic, Blandy Experimental Farm, Blandy Photo Club, daisy, flower, macro, Nikon D800E, photography, pink, postaday, postaday 2013, reflection, still life, Virginia
Large insects seem to be attracted to me lately. I was sitting at the fire pit on Saturday night when a common walking stick climbed up my leg and onto the front of my sweater. As you can imagine, I was a bit startled. It was dark, with only the flickering lights of the fire for me to figure out what type of creature was walking around on my arm. Thankfully, I’m quite fond of walking sticks, and I didn’t […]
Snow in late October and April sandwiched between one of the warmest winters on record in Virginia. It’s been a bizarre year. We awoke to snow this morning, with the mountain receiving a good dusting, that left a white frosting over all of the spring flowers and trees. I didn’t get outside in time to catch it through the lens, but the rain continued on all day and left everything cold and wet. Thankfully, the three solid days of rain […]
One of the benefits of living here on the mountain is that the Appalachian Trail is in our backyard. Cam and I often hike the surrounding trails in the spring, exploring new areas, searching for mushrooms, wildlife and flowers. A portion of the acreage surrounding our house was selective cut last year. Although it’s sad to see all the tree stumps left behind, it’s been a boon for the flowers and other plants that thrive on the abundant light now […]
I wasn’t sure if the Bradford Pear tree that suffered so much damage during last winter’s freak October snow storm would rebound from its injuries. It turns out, I needn’t have worried. This spring the tree had abundant flowers, even the one huge limb that’s barely still attached and needs to be trimmed off at some point this year. With the setting sun giving the blooms a beautiful soft glow, I enjoyed shooting some macro images one evening. Just as […]