Archives for posts with tag: nature

Canon Rebel, F/5.6, ISO 100, 1/160 sec.

In case you aren’t aware of this fact, cows eat hay in the winter when grass is dormant. Therefore, in the summer, the tall grass in the fields has to be cut, dried and rolled into hay rolls to be put up for use in the winter. I’ve always thought hay rolls were very photogenic.


Canon Rebel, F/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec.

This field is ready to be cut. The implement in the top left corner is the rake used to moved the hay into rows for the baling machine to pick up. Farmers this year have had a really hard time getting hay cut and collected in between rains. We have had a very wet summer in Kentucky.



Canon Rebel, F 1.8, ISO 200, 1/400 sec.

I have been taking some more pictures with my new 50 mm F 1.8 lens.


Canon Rebel, F 1.8, ISO 200, 1/125 sec.


Canon Rebel, F 1.8, ISO 200, 1/500 sec.

I am very pleased with how the lens blurs the background and highlights the subjects. However, I started wondering as a was editing how some of these images would look run through my HDR processor.


Canon Rebel, F 1.8, ISO 200, 1/100 sec.

So… below is the same photo modified in Photomatix. Normally, you would take three images for HDR, but you can use only one and still get some pretty cool effects.



Canon Rebel, ISO 200, F 1.8, 1/250 sec.

Here is another. . .


IMG_8198_tonemappedHmmm. Next I will try the new lens with three bracketed shots for some true HDR images. I will report back on that later.

Keep shooting 🙂

I’m so excited about my newest purchase.


Taken with Motorola smartphone

Yes. I bought a lens, something I seldom do, because I am on a very limited budget. This one, however, was totally affordable on Amazon and takes the most beautiful photos.


Canon Rebel, F/1.8, ISO 400, 1/800

It is a simple 50 mm F/1.8 lens, which means the depth of field is very, very shallow. This is the type of lens needed for those beautiful Bokeh shots and blurred backgrounds on portraits.


Canon Rebel, F/1.8, ISO 400, 1/500

The subject, when taken with this lens, is the only thing in focus.


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/640

The foreground and background remain out of focus.


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/400

When you pull out slightly on the subject, the effect is similar to that of a tilt-shift lens.


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/500


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/500

I did discover quickly that I could not trust my auto focus with this lens.


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/800

I allowed the auto focus to choose where to focus for the above shot and it chose the closest point. I wanted the flower head to be the focal point of the picture. If I had manually focused on the flower head, this shot would have been perfect.


Canon Rebel, ISO 400, F/1.8, 1/800

I was pleasantly surprised to  discover that you can also take landscape shots with this lens, as long as the subjects are within the same plane of the photo.

Next, my cat portraits with this lens. They are purrfect 🙂



IMG_2550The rule of thirds (that rule about putting the focal point of a photo in the intersections of the image broken into thirds vertically and horizontal) is usually the best use of space in botanical photography. The photo above is a good example. The very center of the flower is in the intersect point. Imagine if the flower were in the center of the image. Would the photo be as interesting?

IMG_2551For this photo, I decided to make the focal point the upper left corner of the flower’s center. Since this is a closer shot, simply placing the center of the flower in the intersect points would have thrown the flower too far to the left.

Of course, I don’t always use rule of thirds, very few photographers do all the time. It is a good practice to begin. If your camera has built-in gridlines on the viewfinder, turn them on. They help.

Keep shooting 🙂

What better time to do some high dynamic range photography than after a snow storm. Snow can be pretty boring. If you add some wonderful depth to the photo, it can give the scene a dreamy feel. Check it out.




These two were processed to be black and white.



These almost make me like winter. Have fun 🙂

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am craazzy about high dynamic range photography. So it is only fitting that I include HDR photos in my series about using photos as dramatic wall art. I am going to show a series of before and after photos that illustrate why I love HDR so much. Each of the before pictures were taken recently locally of scenes that are much prettier in the spring. Each of them is pretty bland. However, since you have the option of manipulating one, two or three photos in Photomatix, I opened the single image and let Photomatix do its magic.

See for yourself:





Wow, right!





Beautiful clouds!










Pretty good, huh? Now without any further manipulation, these images are wall worthy. If you are a photographer who likes to push the limits of creativity, you may want to check out Photomatix.

Next up, watercolor collage 🙂

IMG_2128There is a stump in my yard that has stood unadorned for several years. The other day, I noticed that it is almost completely covered with this interesting fungus. It grows entwined with the moss on the north side of the stump and alone on the rest. If anyone know what it is, let me know.


Winter is a tough time for botanical photographers. Not only is there not near as much to photograph, but I have to don way too many clothes to take pictures of what there is.


That’s why I love evergreens. They provide a much needed dash of color in an otherwise brown landscape and I have them close enough to my house that I don’t have to put on a coat.


I shot these after a recent snowfall using AEB and processed them in HDR.
Merry Christmas to all my followers.


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