Inspiration for stone carvings?

The structures of Chichén Itzá are covered with carvings of powerful wild animals.  Today, the ruins are also covered with local inhabitants like this iguana.  I can easily picture ancient Mayans looking at these miniature dinosaurs and imagining dragons or feathered serpents, perhaps?

If you don’t look closely, you could mistake this one for another carving.  Basking in the sun on a chac mool (sacrificial sculpture) the lizard blends in with the colors of the stone and seems not the least bit bothered by the tourists who wander about the site.  I guess they just get used to all these silly people being awed by this amazing history.

Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
78mm @ f/16 – 1/30 sec – ISO 200

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Tallulah Gorge bridge

I was looking for a shot to post this morning and remembered that I never put up this panorama of the Tallulah Gorge looking down on the suspension bridge.  Every time I look at mountain shots, I am reminded of how that cool, fresh mountain air makes me feel so good.  Being up in the higher elevations always seems to lift my spirit as well.

Maybe it is the altitude itself or perhaps the amazing views but a visit to the mountains is always worth the trip.

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/11 – 1/100 sec – ISO 200

Greasy Creek

When we visited Black Rock Mountain State Park a couple of weeks ago, we went looking for a waterfall that is on Greasy Creek near Black Rock Lake.  The image shown here was what I saw of the creek, which has a number of little cascades which I took to be what people said were the “falls”.  Apparently, there are actually some true waterfalls nearby but I missed the path for that.

It was nice to wander the pathways around the lake and admire the little stream flowing through groves of mountain laurel.  The woods were pleasantly shady and cool on a hot August day and the walk was enjoyable even though we didn’t locate the falls we were looking for.  Maybe we can make an autumn trip back up here and see it again when the leaves are changing.  I think that would be a fantastic opportunity for some nice landscapes.

 

Greasy Creek
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/18 – 1.3 sec – ISO 640

Slipper Orchid

The orchid center at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is full of many different types of orchids and other exotic plants.  These slipper orchids really look as if some tiny person could slip them on their feet and walk off into the forest in high style.

I love seeing the fantastic variety of shapes and colors that the orchid family is made up of.  All the beautiful plants at the gardens are a pleasure to experience.  It is a true joy to spend time here and marvel at the wonders of nature and be glad to have the chance to share in this amazing planet we live on.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/100 sec – ISO 400

Just add water

It is amazing how a little water can make things more interesting.  These day lilies are beautiful all on their own but adding water drops make the image quite different.  Those little spots of water shining in the sun and dripping off the edges adds another layer of things to look at.

Some photographers carry spray bottles or splash pond water onto subjects they are shooting.  I guess that is fine but I prefer to see this when it occurs naturally.  Catching the early morning dew or times just after a rain are wonderful.  These times also seem to have more interesting light in general so it is a great opportunity to get special images.

There’s no substitute for great light and an interesting subject.  With a little luck, you might get some water elements included.  This is the best!

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Gainesville, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
270mm @ f/16 – 1/40 sec – ISO 400

Patterns

In art, as in photography, patterns are one of the basic components of an image.  With macro photography, sometimes everything turns into a study of patterns because you are in so close, you lose perspective on what something is and all you can see is shapes.

This image is a close-up of a peacock feather.  Maybe you could tell that from the eye-shaped pattern but it is often hard to tell what something like this is at first glance.  What really stands out for me in this one is the texture of the feather.  What we usually think of as super soft, looks like strands of thick ropes.  So many tiny fingers all tied together into one thing and the amazing colors within that make this a great object to study in detail.

Mike Moats Macro Boot Camp
Peachtree City, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 1,3 sec – ISO 400

Tending the flowers

I love to see the beauty of flowers on a Summer’s day but when you add butterflies to the mix, it is hard to get anything better.  It is so interesting to watch them poking through the flowers in search of nectar and then leaving with a coating of pollen to carry on to the next flower.  Nature has such an amazing way of joining things together.  The flower provides for the insects and the insects make it possible for the flowers to reproduce.

The circle of life is pretty cool!

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/250 sec – ISO 100