Winter’s Beauty – pt 1

Not really beach weather

As Winter is losing its grip on New England, I thought it might be interesting to have a short series of images that show some of the beauty that the coldest season presents.

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Winter Beach

This was an image from last year’s outing with John Slonina Photography along the northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire coast.  It was a blustery day with gray skies, but sufficient sunlight to make for wonderful photographic opportunities.

It’s not often that we get enough snow to stay on a beach, such as we see here; usually, wind and sea spray will clear the snow over a matter of days.  This beach was beautifully presented with this snow, as nobody had traversed it yet; the dune fence and grasses provide some interest against the leaden sky above the ocean.

Technical Details

Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.  Exposure settings were 1/125 second at f/14 at 200 ISO.  A circular polarizing filter was used.

7-Day Nature Photo Challenge – Day 1

Sky and plant meet

I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Project Relish, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.

So for the next week, let’s see, if I can come up with some interesting nature images and pass the challenge onto some of my fellow bloggers.

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Skyflection

This was an image that I captured at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA, last year July.  Tower Hill is one of my favorite places to go visit in any season, as the staff do a wonderful job at managing the flora to create something of interest just about any time of year.

During the Winter, the indoor displays are relaxing and magnificent to traverse, as many tropical and subtropical species are in-doors, ranging from orange and lemon trees to exotic ferns, whose structure is mesmerizing.

Spring starts with an onslaught of color, which continues well into Summer.  Autumn is probably my favorite time of year, as the rich, warm tones of the season dominate.

Technical Details

This image was captured with my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mk III and 24-105 f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were f/10 at 1/125 second at ISO 200.

The Rules

Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.

Nomination

The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  idiot.with.camera runs a very cool blog with amazing images from this year’s project 365 (hint: go check it out).  I think 7 days of nature photography will blend well with this talented idiot’s work!  I look forward to the results!

Friday Travel Photo – vol 3

Vikings shall not pass

This week, I’ll be sharing another image from our trip to Scotland in 2013.  Another feature of this image, is that you’ll get to know a bit more about the banner on this blog.

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The Bodach of Arrochar

This is the Bodach that sits at the head of Loch Long in Arrochar, Scotland.

For over five centuries this area, the feudal barony of Arrochar, was held by the chiefs of Clan MacFarlane and before them by their ancestors the barons of Arrochar. The family is Celtic in the male line and native to their Highland homeland of tall peaks and deep lochs just above the waist of Scotland. The settlement was a key target for Viking raiders who took their boats 2 miles overland to Tarbet to attack the unprotected inland settlements at Loch Lomond before their defeat in 1263 at the battle of Largs.

According to legend, the Bodach was instrumental in keeping the Vikings at bay to protect Loch Long and its surrounding villages.

In Scottish folklore, the bodach comes down the chimney to fetch naughty children, used as a cautionary tale or bogeyman figure to frighten children into good behavior.  This sounds like a relative of the Krampus in European folklore.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 24-105 f/4L lens attached.  Settings for this image were f/14 with 1/100 second at 320 ISO.

Friday’s Mystery Slide – vol 3

Going back in time

Someone told me that they weren’t overly challenged by last Friday’s Mystery Slide, so I’m tossing you another easy one, as I still need to catch up on scanning…

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A moo-ving image!

This slide is pretty easy, so I expect quite a bit of detail about this scene, such as

  • Where was this image taken?
  • What type of cattle are these?
  • What kind of cart are they pulling?

Looking forward to your responses!!

Frank

Dogstar Thursday – vol 6

Dog days are never over

Last week I shared an image of our youngest dog, Dora Bean that captured about a year and a half ago.  This week, I’d like to share another image from the same photoshoot…

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Sweet Pea

Meet Sweet Pea, the Pea of Peas, Dog of Dogs.  Sweet Pea owned one of our friends, as humans never truly own a dog. At the time of this photo, she was a very old dog.  Sweet Pea’s human asked that I do a photoshoot of her, as she didn’t have much time before crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

We found this great spot at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds, where Sweet Pea could stretch out comfortably and pose with those looks that only she knew how to throw.  What resulted was a touching reportage of Sweet Pea being her essential self, filled with the zen of doggitude.

Sweet Pea crossed the Rainbow Bridge about a month after this image was captured, leaving us richer for having been in her presence.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.  At 1/400 second with f/4.5 aperture at ISO 400.

Thoughts of Spring

Flowers, wherefore art thou?

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Soon!

When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.

The Winter’s Tale (4.3.1-4)
William Shakespeare

***

This lovely tulip may not be the flower of choice for Shakespeare, but I look forward to her return, as the lovely season of Spring gets ever closer!

What do you enjoy most about Spring?

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 6

Leaf power

Today, I am going back to Nature for this installment of Wednesday Wonderment, as she is a source of immeasurable variety, beauty and amazement.

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Structural Integrity

This amazing leaf was in a tropical greenhouse at the Botanical Garden of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.  This botanical garden is both a fantastic exhibit to visit and see plants from a variety of biomes, and a research facility for the students of the University of Technology.  During our visit, a group of students was working with a professor to study soil characteristics, which was interesting to watch.

One of the aspects of Nature that continually grabs my attention are the structures that make up plants, leaves and trees; the distribution of strength in support of the energy production machinery is sheer perfection.  Even today, when I look at this image, there are little details such as the feathering of the lamina between the lateral veins; it might be indicative of the flow of energy and fluid through the leaf.

Each of these details have evolved over the ages, as successful function edged out other variants by the thinnest of margins.  It would be amazing to see the entire book of variations over the ages, as that would provide insight beyond anything that we have ever possessed.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a 24-105 f/4L lens.  Settings were  f/5.6 at 1/320 second with ISO 1000.  The image was processed using the camera’s HDR capability.

Hope you enjoy this leaf, as much as I do.