Just out

From the Garden, Life Captured: Every Day Observations, Photo Challenges

 

Dogday Cicada emerging from its exoskeleton

Dogday Cicada emerging from its exoskeleton                                       f/5.0 1/400, ISO 560, 35mm

I spend quite a lot of time photographing in our garden throughout the spring and summer. Let me first say, I have ALWAYS been creeped out by bugs. But if you spend enough time in a vegetable garden, you’re likely to encounter quiet a few.  So, while keeping a safe camera lens distance from them, I like to capture their images and I research what I found.

I  was astonished to catch this moment.  It’s a Dogday cicada just coming out of its nymph shell.  

Duck, Duck, Quack!

Aboard Seanachai, Life Captured, Photo Challenges
2016_05_14_3837-2duck

Mallard Drake on Marina Dock                                                         f/6.3  1/500, ISO 250, 35mm

After a spring daysail aboard Seanachai, we came upon this mallard drake standing at the edge of the marina dock. Camera at the ready, I took a few steps toward him.  Truthfully, I expected he would fly away at any moment. Instead, I was able to get close enough to cast a shadow over him, which toned down the highlights from the setting sun, and revealed the detail in his feathers.  For several minutes he stood his ground, looked me right in the lens, and commenced to recite some sort of duck manifesto while I happily snapped this image–my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challege: Duck Duck Goose.

2016_05_14_3836

close enough to cast a shadow!

cffc

Imaginary Quest

Digital Art Projects, Photo Challenges
JRR Tolkien's Elfish Princess Arwen and Thorin Oakenshield imagined in Middle Earth

JRR Tolkien’s Elfish Princess Arwen and Thorin Oakenshield imagined in Middle Earth

Halloween is just around the corner.  For those who participate in the alter-ego tradition of dressing up in costume, it’s a wonderful time to use our imaginations.  This couple suited up for the holiday as characters from JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novels.

This digital art project creates a vision of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the quest of the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield and an elfish princess.  It’s my entry for the Daily Post photo challenge Quest.  Here’s the original snapshot…

Original snapshot of Tolkien characters Elfish Princess Arwen and Thorin Oakenshield

Original snapshot of Tolkien characters Elfish Princess Arwen and Thorin Oakenshield

Complementing Purple

Photo Challenges
Basket of Colored Easter Eggs in purple shredded cellophane

Basket of Easter Eggs                                                                 f/6.3, 1/60s, ISO 450, 35mm

My selection for this week’s CFFC challenge featuring the color purple brings me to a consideration of color theory and the color wheel.  I think the complementary color of the table (yellow) makes the purples in this basket ‘pop’.

Did you know that Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th Century English physicist and mathematician, was also the inventor of the color wheel?  I didn’t.

Sure, I remember the story about an apple falling from a tree which led Newton to “discover” gravity.  I leave it to Steve Connor of the UK Independent  to detail the veracity of the anecdote.  But there’s so much more about the scientist I didn’t know.

For instance, according to biographers, Newton was born into a farming family on what was Christmas Day 1642, just three months after his father died.  His mother remarried two years later, but the young boy was sent to live with his grandparents and felt orphaned.  His early school reports described him as ‘idle’ and ‘inattentive’.   Apparently, however, a grammar school headmaster perceived his talent and encouraged him to remain in school. Eventually he entered Trinity College Cambridge, with the aim of earning a law degree.  After being introduced to philosophy and the mechanics of astronomy and optics, he later settled on the study of mathematics.

In 1665, a  terrible recurrence of Bubonic Plague spread across London, killing 15% of the population and closing the University until 1667.  Newton, just 25 years old, went home to Lincolnshire. In the next two years, his independent studies led him to extraordinary advances in mathematics, optics, physics and astronomy.

It was during this period that he argued that white light is really a mixture of many different types of rays, each producing a different spectral color.  He arranged the colors in a wheel, primaries (red, yellow and blue) opposite their complementaries (green, purple and orange)–demonstrating each complementary enhances the other’s effect through optical contrast.

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.                                                        – Sir Isaac Newton

cffc

Framed Through the Rigging

Aboard Seanachai, Photo Challenges
Black and white image of a sailboat viewed through the frame of another boat's rigging, Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River, Charleston, SC

Through the Rigging                                                               f7.1, ISO 100, 1/400s, 35mm

The San Francisco, CA firm Donald MacDonald Architects,  was charged with creating a design for a new bridge across the Cooper River near Charleston, SC.  The goal, they said, was to create a timeless landmark that pays homage to the historic city and compliments the harbor and waterfront park.  Across the landscape, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge “evokes a sail motif over the river.”  It opened to the public in July 2005.

A sailboat framed through the rigging of our C-22 Seanachai, with the landmark bridge behind emphasizes the architect’s theme and is my entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: Frame

Bird in the hand

Latest Pix, Photo Challenges
2016_06_4080bird

Fledgling Robin                                                                                       f6.3, 1/60s, ISO 280, 35mm

This fledgling robin was found out of its nest in a Greenville, SC neighborhood.  A fledgling bird is about two weeks old, fully feathered and able to grip a finger or perch.

The homeowner was mowing when she noticed the young bird in the grass.  Nearby, she could hear the call of the adult robins.  After this brief photo-op, the chick was carefully placed out of the reach of curious cats, where it’s parents could continue to feed it.   Within a couple of weeks, the youngster flew off to roost with the other robins.

According to an article by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, the homeowner did exactly the right thing. Often young birds are mistaken for orphans and humans try to save them, but it’s really better to simply place them out of harms way. I’m just glad I was there to capture the moment for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Feathers.

cffc

Punch Buggy Pig; no punch backs.

Photo Challenges

PunchBuggyPig_2013_10_30_3866

Do you play this game on the roadways?  Here’s how we play: See a Volkswagen Beetle and be the first to say “Punch Buggy (name the color); no punch backs.”  Being the first allows you to give the person next to you a gentle punch in the arm–and they can’t punch back.  It’s always great fun for siblings in the back seat; for parents who settle the disputes, maybe not so much.  Official rules are available here.

I took this shot while exploring in the neighborhood one October morning about three years ago. I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to share it.  What better than Cee’s Odd Ball photo challenge!

cob-banner.jpg

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

Photo Challenges
commuter bus

Commuter steps into early morning bus.

This image of early morning bus commuters is my entry for this week’s challenge.  It also appears in an earlier post.

I got up before dawn on a cold February morning to stake out this shot.  I was interested in the experiences of people who take the bus to work in our suburban town.  Public transportation is often lauded as the antidote to traffic congestion, although it may not be the most efficient.

For example, Keisha rides the bus because her car broke down.  In order to get to work on time, she catches the same 6:53 AM bus as the commuters pictured here.  If Keisha could drive to her job, she’d be there in 20 minutes. Taking the bus adds over 40 minutes to the trip and requires that she walk nearly two miles to and from the bus stops, on roads with no pedestrian walkways. What a way to start your day!

 

Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Food

From the Garden, Photo Challenges

Sweet Georgia Onions

While working on a project to document the process and progress of our urban container garden when I came upon this challenge from Cee’s Photography.  The challenge is to capture a food item in black and white.  Like many photographers, there was time when I only shot film, and primarily black and white film.  Today, I’m shooting RAW with Nikon D5100; Nikkor lens: 35mm 1:1.8. There are many ways to convert a color digital image to black and white. I converted this image by completely reducing the saturation of the RAW file before importing into Ps Elements.

The image depicts the ‘first fruits’ of our Bonnie Plants Sweet Georgia Onions harvested on May 7.  We planted 24 onion ‘starts’ on in one Earth Box on February 22. The Earth Box is a 29″ L x 11″ H x14″ W/D plastic planter invented by Blake Whisenant, which uses a ‘bottoms up’ watering method. The yield ranges from golf to tennis ball-sized onions. While they are ready to eat right now, most will cure for about a week while the papery outer skins dry, the roots shrivel and the green necks begin to dry.   They can keep for weeks, but it’s not likely they’ll be around that long–deeelish!

Thanks for another good challenge, Cee!