I'll be posting some random thoughts here about my photography: my travel plans, technical information behind some images, stories about how certain pictures were captured, etc.  The timing of the postings will also be random as my priority is capturing new images rather than writing about existing ones.  I hope you will feel free to comment on any of my postings and I appreciate you taking time to read my entries.

 

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"Framed Cygnet" Wins Photo of the Day!

July 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Framed Cygnet" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was a couple of months ago at the Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights, Illinois. I was fortunate enough to see the baby mute swans (cynets) up close on two occasions.

This marks the 67th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Baby SwanBaby SwanImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for July 16, 2020


Canada Thistle

June 24, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Last week, I noticed several of these plants growing along a creek that I often walk by. I believe that this is called a Canada thistle. I'm told that it is considered to be a noxious, invasive species in 43 states. Basically, it's a weed!

In any event, I found the subject to be interesting. So, I removed this one small section of the plant and brought it home with me to photograph it.

I quickly set up a miniature "studio" on my kitchen table. The studio included a small piece of white foam board as my background. I lit the background with a tiny flash (the Nikon SB R-200):

I then lit the plant with a somewhat larger flash (the Nikon SB-900). I handheld the SB-900 and aimed it through a diffuser. Both flashes were triggered remotely by the Nikon SU-800. The light output of each flash can be set directly through the SU-800--which is positioned on the hotshoe of the camera (Nikon D850). The lens was the Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro.

Here is the final result:

Canada thistleCanada thistleCanada thistle in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2020  


Butterfly Wings

June 04, 2020  •  4 Comments

It's been a while since I used my macro lens. Sometimes you can see things that you wouldn't otherwise see by getting very close to a subject. That was certainly the case with these butterfly wings. I had no idea that the wings had such texture.

I captured the following images with my Nikon D850 camera, Nikon 200 f/4 Micro lens. I also attached Kenko extension tubes so that I could get even closer.

Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of an Indonesian cethosia hypsea butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020. This butterfly is of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in from Burma to Indonesia and the Philippines. Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of a yellow orange callicore cynosura butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020 Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of a butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020


Cygnets (Baby Swans)

May 30, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I came across an amazing scene while walking by a lake near my home in the Chicago suburbs earlier this month. There were six baby swans (cygnets)...and they allowed me to get quite close. I also saw ten baby geese (goslings) while at the lake.

These swans were about a week old and so small that one could easily fit in your hand. The mother and father swans, on the other hand, are massive and quite intimidating!

Most of these images were captured from a distance of 9 or 10 feet. The swans were comfortable with me being at that distance as long as I stayed very low to the ground and kept relatively still.

CygnetsCygnetsBaby swans, or cygnets, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan, or cygnet, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 SwanSwanMale mute swan, or cob, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan, or cygnet, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan (cygnet) at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 16, 2020. This baby swan was 8 days old. SwanSwanFemale mute swan at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 16, 2020 SwansSwansBaby mute swans with mother at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020. These baby swans were 8 days old.
 


"White Sands" Wins Photo of the Day!

May 20, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "White Sands" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at White Sands National Monument during my recent road trip through New Mexico. Since my return from New Mexico, White Sands has been elevated to White Sands National Park. This is the fifth photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 66th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

White SandsWhite SandsImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for May 20, 2020


"Snow Goose in Flight" Wins Photo of the Day!

March 05, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Snow Goose in Flight" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during my recent road trip through New Mexico. This is the fourth photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 65th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Snow GooseSnow GooseImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 5, 2020


Welcome To My 300,000th Visitor!

February 28, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Earlier today, my website welcomed its 300,000th visitor!

When I started this photography website back in 2012, I never imagined that the site would attract this many viewers.

Another advantage of the internet is having the opportunity to share my photographs with people throughout the world. People from 157 different countries have visited my website.

Photography wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I didn't have a way of sharing the images with other people. So, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view my photographs over the years.


"Sandhill Cranes" Photo Wins Photo of the Day!

February 18, 2020  •  1 Comment

This morning, my "Sandhill Cranes" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during my recent road trip through New Mexico. This is the third photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 64th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Sandhill CranesSandhill CranesImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for February 18, 2020


Very Large Array

January 30, 2020  •  1 Comment

During my road trip through New Mexico, I planned three days at Bosque del Apache. The weather wasn't very cooperative for wildlife photography for two of those days. So, I took the middle of one day to tour the Very Large Array--which is basically located in the middle of nowhere (well, 50 miles west of Socorro, NM).

The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory made up of 27 massive radio telescopes. Each dish is 82 feet across and weighs more than 200 tons. They are positioned along three arms of a track shaped in a Y configuration with each arm extending out 13 miles. So, in its widest configuration the telescopes extend 26 miles across. During my visit, the telescopes were positioned it the most condensed configuration.

Here are a couple of images from my visit. Note that I was very restricted on vantage point as the facility does not permit visitors to just wander around!

Very Large ArrayVery Large ArrayVery Large Array (VLA) on the plains of the San Agustin desert just north of Magnalena, New Mexico on November 16, 2019. The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory made up of 27 massive radio telescopes. Each dish is 82 feet across and weighs more than 200 tons. They are positioned along three arms of a track shaped in a Y configuration with each arm extending out 13 miles. So, in its widest configuration the telescopes extend 26 miles across.


White Sands National Park

January 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

During my road trip through New Mexico, I allocated a couple of days to White Sands National Monument. Before I had a chance to process the images, White Sands was named the latest National Park in the United States!

It's one of my favorite places. But, it can be a difficult place for photography:

  1. The park is not open to visitors until 7am and closes by 6pm...so photographers will most likely miss the best light around sunrise and sunset.
  2. I had to walk up to two miles in the sand with my equipment to get far enough away from the many footprints in the sand.
  3. If you aren't careful, it is easy to get disoriented. The sand dunes go on for miles and look the same in all directions. Fortunately, there are some "trails" with stakes for guidance. And, I had a map, cell phone and GPS. I didn't go very far from the stakes as people have died getting lost in this place.
  4. If it gets windy, there's a good chance you won't be able to see the stakes any longer!

During my visit, there wasn't much wind. Once I got about a mile out, I don't think I've ever experienced an environment as quiet as this one. It was a memorable experience. The place is otherworldly!

CLICK HERE to view the B&W images.

CLICK HERE to view the color images.

White SandsWhite SandsDunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 20, 2019 Endless sand ripplesEndless sand ripplesSand ripples in the dunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 18, 2019 White SandsWhite SandsSunset at White Sands National Monument with Sacramento Mountains from the Backcountry Trail near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 20, 2019 White SandsWhite SandsSand ripples in the dunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 19, 2019
 

 

 

 

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