Photography – Calla Lilies – Rain Drops

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“Time itself comes in drops.”  William James – f/8; 1/320; ISO 400.


The sturdy calla lily petals with their smooth and graceful curves are the perfect subject to shoot water drops. The water drops display a nice variety of shapes and sizes without dripping into the center of the flower.  

These calla lilies where placed in a vase and set on my patio table two feet in front of an evergreen which made the background very easy to darken. f/8; 1/60; ISO 400. 

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Photography – A Toad and Two Frogs

“There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.” Franz Kafka

frog4comp_jpgThree different adventures, three different subjects – On each photo shoot I had no idea what my subject was going to be. Normally I like to take my macro lens when walking along shorelines and in wooded areas. But on these three occasions my camera had  a 55-250mm lens attached to it which allowed me to capture these subjects without disturbing them.

The toad shown above hopped out a few feet in front of me when I was walking along a dirt path in a wooded area in the fall. It was no more than two inches big. Luck would have it that it posed on a multi-colored leaf that made this subject fun to shoot. Camera settings: f/5.6; 1/40; ISO 200; 171mm.

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Amongst an abundance of floating duckweed in a creek, a little head appeared ever so slightly rippling the water. I would not have seen it if it had not been for the ripple.

Bull Frog - Waiting for DinnerCamera Settings: f/7.1; 1/40; ISO 100; 250mm.

Strolling down by a lake, I happened to peak over some shoreline plants and discovered a bull frog who appeared to be waiting for dinner. This photo was taken just before dusk. Just right for reflections on the water surface.  Camera Settings: f/16; 1/40; ISO 100; 250mm.





Photography – Water Lily Reflection

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Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see.

This photograph was taken at Butchart Gardens in Canada. It had been raining on and off that morning and the lighting was perfect for capturing reflections in the water.

Although the water lily was my initial focus, in my opinion, the most interesting subject in this image is the petals causing a ripple in the water. Photograph details: f/11; 1/60; ISO 200.

I discovered that shooting in Aperture Priority between f/8-f/11 at 1/60 or above and ISO 100- 400 produces the clearest, sharpest flower images.


Photography – The Journey Begins With One Subject

Seagull gray“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” — Lao Tzu…..In the case of a photographer, the journey of a thousand photographs begins with one subject.

My photography journey seriously started in 2014 using an inexpensive Canon DSLR and one 18-55mm lens. Although I enjoyed learning about the camera features, at that time my photography was less about the actual photo taking and more about the photo processing. It didn’t take too long to realize that mastering all the photo editing tools and effects provided in software and apps won’t turn a poorly composed photo into a photo that “wows”. An average photo, is an average photo no matter how you dress it up!

Anyone who is new to photography knows how overwhelming the whole process can be. Just understanding how to take photos outside of the automatic setting on your camera is a feat in itself. Who has time to think about composition? We like something we see, we aim our camera then shoot. Many times after a photo shoot, my excitement quickly faded when I discovered there wasn’t a decent photo in the 200 plus photos I took. What was I thinking? The point is, I wasn’t thinking!

So where do you begin to sharpen your photo composition skills. What helped me the most was to zero in on one subject. It narrowed my focus, allowed me to experiment with my camera settings, and think about placement of the subject in the photo. One of the biggest learnings for me was that sometimes stepping back two feet, lowering the camera, or shooting at a different angle can make a huge difference in the end result.

The photograph above was taken on a very foggy day along Lake Michigan with a 55-250mm lens. The fog actually enhances the seagull’s dreamy expression.

Tip: When photographing a subject with movement, leave more space in the direction the subject is moving.