Day 174 – Simplicity II

Just as dark was setting in, this beautiful butterfly fluttered over the long whispy grasses. I desperately wanted to capture a close up of it in flight. Using my 60mm macro lens (all I had with me), this is the result. Not a close up, but pretty neat!

On a totally unrelated note, I received my birthday present today (albeit early). An Epson R2000. My initial impression after a couple of print outs…it’s AWESOME. After researching several of the Epson professional series printers, I chose the R2000 based on the versatility, printing options (size and paper selections) and quality. I haven’t had time to do a full range of tests yet, but I couldn’t be happier at this point. Thanks Lars!

 

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Day 157 – Don’t hate me cuz I’m hairy

Do you know those days when you get really excited about a photo…when you can barely wait to come inside and upload it to the computer? I had a moment like that today.

I was in the bookstore today and picked up the Andrew Zuckerman book, Creature. His animal photos are absolutely amazing. There are no distracting backgrounds, just the ‘creature’. I have to admit, it inspired me. What better way to show appreciation for your photo subject and build public interest for conservation as well.

Although I may never be as good as some of these professional photographers, I can strive to produce images that evoke emotion and raise appreciation for things that are otherwise considered ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’. Hence the reason I love macro and bug photography. I love showing the beauty in all things, big and small…even though most people would never consider a bug beautiful.

I took the photo today with extension tubes attached to my 60mm macro lens…allowing me to get really close to my subject. As a matter of fact, he kept jumping on my lens. He is a jumping spider after all. That’s one of the biggest challenges in macro, getting your subject to be still and ‘pose’. Don’t be too alarmed by his large appearance, he’s quite small in reality. He’s not actually a huge, hairy tarantula like he appears to be.

Day 156 – Ladybug

How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you’d do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?
~Aileen Fisher

Yep, raining again. I don’t really mind, although I am looking forward to the drier and cooler (and by that I mean not AS hot) temperatures of winter.

Day 155 – Mirror, mirror on the…

I’m not usually one to ‘stage’ my nature shots. I did buy some mirror tiles to start some photographic experimentation though. As luck would have it, I didn’t even have to do much to get tonight’s photos. This tiny jumping spider (they are VERY small, regardless of how they look in the pic) was on the kitchen bench this evening. I was getting ready to pick him up and take him outside (he’s so small, I’m not afraid to touch him) when I remembered the mirrors. I put a mirror tile on the kitchen bench and encouraged him to hop on it. I took some really cool shots. I chose to use these two for different reasons. The top pic has two full reflections, with the focus on the middle reflection…the actual spider itself is slightly out of focus. The bottom pic is a full frontal, displaying those big bright eyes. Both pics also have reflections from the red kitchen tiles to create a bit of color.

I can’t wait to play around with the mirrors again. I’ve already got a few ideas I want to try soon!

 

Day 150 – Hazards of the trade

Yep, that’s my arm, jeez, the price I pay for this passion…

I bet they could make anti-venom out of my blood, considering all the times I’ve been stung or bitten by something this summer. I have to admit, this time was sort of my fault. I was intentionally placing myself within striking distance of these Paper Wasps for the sake of photography. Native Paper Wasps are very aggressive and readily defend their nests with powerful stings (displayed graciously by me above) that can cause severe reactions in some ┬ápeople. Thankfully, as I’ve found out SEVERAL times this summer, I’m not one of those unlucky people.

Today was the only day I can honestly say I deserved to get stung. The other times have been completely unwarranted, at times when I’ve been gardening or hiking, minding my own business.

All in all, I hold no grudge. The way I see it, they’re simply defending their world. You know the saying, ‘You play with fire, you’re gonna get burned’. Notice the ‘war dance’ by the wasp in the second photo…he was warning me. It was my choice to not heed his warning.