Monkeying Around – Animal Photography

Brookfield Zoo-Urangutan.jpg

f/6.3; 1/800 sec; ISO 3200; 187mm

spider monkey.jpg

f/6.3; 1/400 sec; ISO 6400; 210mm

Brookfield Zoo also known as the Chicago Zoological Society is located in Brookfield, a suburb of Chicago. One of my favorite places to visit is the monkey house. There are quite a variety and more than a few that are happy to pose.

Photography – Up Close & Personal

Bee

“In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

These photographs were taken with a Sony Mirrorless Camera in a Manual mode setting using an 18-55mm lens with an Opteka Achromatic 10x diopter attached to it.

PistilsWildflower Closeup

 

Bird Photography-Blue Herons

Fishing for Lunch

Spent a long time watching this blue heron hunt for fish on the shores of Delavan Lake in Wisconsin. Their process of catching fish is very interesting. The heron will stand very still in the water upright, but as it moves to a new location it cocks its head and neck to one side to scan the water surrounding it. When fish are spotted, it crouches its body down very close to the surface of the water and tucks its neck in close to its body. And then it waits – when the time is right with extreme force and precision it dives for the fish.

Gaining Speed.jpg

Taking Flight.jpg

Ready to Launch.jpg

Two Cranes.jpg

Photography-Friendly Hummingbirds

Hummingbird-In flight

f7.1; 1/2000 sec; ISO 800; 250mm

“With Brave Wings She Flies”…..I never get tired of photographing hummingbirds. Each comes with its own personality. Some are very shy and hide behind the feeder hoping you won’t see them while others seem to pose for the camera. The other day, I was approaching the house. I heard the buzzing of the wings and chirping sound of the hummingbird. You can’t really hear their chirp unless you are really close. To my surprise this hummingbird (who is a frequent guest at our feeder) hovered about two feet in front of me, eye level, staring at me for at least 20 seconds before taking off. It was such a thrill to learn it was not afraid of me.

Flower Photography – Narrowing the Focus

Lily - On the Inside

After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.

For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.

The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!

The photo below was taken a few years ago.

Pansy - showing off

 

Flower Photography – Macro Lens Mount Adapters

DSC01081-edited

f/2.8; 1/100 sec; ISO-1250; 60mm – Sony a6000 and Canon 60mm macro lens.

Recently, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and purchased a Sony mirrorless camera. You could label me as “brand loyal” when it comes to Canon cameras. I know how they work, am very comfortable with settings, menus, etc. My motivation – we do a lot of traveling and am tired of lugging heavy camera equipment. 

To my surprise, the Sony menu is not very user friendly, and the learning curve for me was very time consuming. But, I must say it takes an incredibly sharp photograph for the price point.

The one component I didn’t research very well was the expense and availability of Sony lenses. Do your homework on lens availability before you buy! The next best option for me was to find a lens mount adapter to allow me to use some of my Canon lenses with a Sony camera. Although the adapter doesn’t work with all of my Canon lenses, it works with the ones I use most often. It arrived today and given it was 7 degrees outside, I decided to do a quick shoot in my kitchen using the Sony camera with a Canon 60mm macro lens.