Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summertime- This and that...

My biggest challenge in summer is maintaining balance between chores and play, also choosing between the wide variety of photo subjects. Right now, it's windy and beautiful too.  So, the blog and house chores win. Too dangerous in the woods. Safe to wash the car.

Last week, I was enrolled in a landscape photo workshop at a nearby waterfall, but it poured from the sky.  Even though I was ready, the instructor (from Texas) had little inclination to work in the rain.  So, I returned to Havana Glen a few days ago under ideal conditions with nice results.

As you enter the glen, a small two-step waterfall is first seen.  It's nice.

I've found that there are two critical tools needed for waterfalls - a tripod and $5 sneakers. The first so you can use long exposures for creamy white water, and the other so I can get right down in the water for the best views. That was best displayed when I went further up the gorge to the large waterfall.

I had to lie sideways on the rocks to see through the viewfinder for this.  The view was worth the effort.  The sopping wet sneakers were no concern; it's only $5.

Contrasting with the grand view of waterfalls, June also brings out the Coreopsis in brilliant yellows next to our driveway.  They are a magnet for all sort of pollinators. Some are bees.

Others are flies that imitate bees.

The Coreopsis will continue blooming through the summer, if I include in my chores the task of snapping off the seed heads regularly to promote new flowers. It's one of those chores.

My photo group in Ithaca has an assignment for the next meeting - to view the world from an ant's perspective.  I take this to mean getting low and close to their world. It is a challenge since the camera is so large compared to them.  Then, I discovered that the ant's were very active on our Digitalis.

Sometimes it appeared that they were feeding on the long hairs in the tubes, but maybe it was like wading through talk grasses?  They would disappear into the deepest part of the flower for long periods.   And, there was competition from much larger insects.

I never figured out if the Bumblebees were interacting with the ants inside the bloom. That is just completely out of sight.

In addition to all of this, I am preparing to teach a workshop about smart phone photography on July 14 at Cornell Plantations. So, I've been doubling up on some subjects to show what can be done with the simple camera in my iPhone.  Before I took out my digital SLR yesterday, I took this with my iPhone.

These are the rather rare Canada Lilies, Lilius canadense.  I've also posted a blog on these at my Cayuga Nature Photographers site. See:  Cayuga Nature Photographers

I've also updated my gallery iPhoneography on my website. See:  Gallery of iPhoneography   It is pretty amazing what can be done with a smart phone camera.

When you compare the images by the iPhone with my larger DSLR camera, you'll see that the one if pretty good results some of the time and the other produces terrific results most of the time.  But, I always have the iPhone with me.

Now, time to get to the next item on my chores, wash the car.

Hope you are keeping a balance in your life too.

Best regards,

Paul Schmitt

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful work, Paul! I especially love the first 'bee' image, and thanks for the laughs, I enjoyed!