Ford GT

I got a chance to try out some automotive shots using my new Lee filter yesterday.  This is one of those situations where you can’t control the environment so, you do the best you can.  The biggest challenge with this car show is that the lighting is usually very harsh.  Although some of the cars arrive fairly early, many of them don’t roll in until sometime just before noon.  Pretty much the worst time to take outside photos!

I have not used filters all that much but, I decided it was time to try it.  The graduated filter allows me to cut down the harsh sunlight without needing too high a shutter speed.  That lets me keep enough light to capture shadow detail on the ground without blowing out the sky.  I had to do quite a bit of experimenting which gave me some shots that were way too bright or too dark.  I finally found a combination that worked well and got better results than I thought possible.

This Ford GT is what I have considered a dream car for a long time.  I remember all the years that the race-car version of this automobile was tearing up the tracks all over the world and was amazed when they came out with a street-legal version.  The biggest challenge I had in getting a good shot of this was all the people who were gathered around it.  Had to leave and come back several times before this opportunity came around.

15th Annual United Way Car Show – Atlanta
GM Georgia Innovation Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
19mm @ f/8 – 1/100 sec – ISO 100

Advertisements

Blue bird of Happiness

I definitely need to get out and do some more birding soon.  The weather has been pretty miserably hot but I need some more pictures like this.  My backyard has been a great source of interesting birds like this cheerful little blue bird.  I wish I had the great variety that David Akoubian gets up in the mountains but my suburban feathered-friends are a great joy to watch.

I’m hoping that summer relents a bit and it won’t be too long until we can start thinking about fall again but, 90+ degree days are still here for a while, I’m afraid.  I guess I will just need to find some shady spots to watch from and enjoy what nature brings.

Eastern Bluebird
(Sialia sialis)
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/6.3 – 1/125 sec – ISO 640

Bird Walk with Atlanta Audubon Society

Joyce and I spent part of Saturday morning on a Bird Walk at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  This was an event sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society which went trough the Nature Center grounds and out on the private boardwalk along the Chattahoochee River.

It was a very informative and enjoyable morning but we didn’t actually see all that many birds.  We did see your basic stuff – robins, mockingbirds, towhee, etc and of course there were the captive birds in the aviary displays.  The image shown here is an Eastern Phoebe who we saw along the boardwalk area.

I hope they have more walks from the Nature Center in the future so we can see what other beautiful bird breeds are in the area.

Eastern Phoebe
(Sayornis phoebe)
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/250 sec – ISO 400

Elusive

Blue Jays are a strange breed.  They are so very common yet, I have been struggling to get a good shot of one.  You would think that a relatively large bird, that is usually pretty aggressive with other birds would be an easy subject but, not these guys.  They spook at the slightest breeze.  They are kind of bullies at some points but I have seen them get scared off by sparrows.

They also have a very wide variety of calls.  One of these seems to be an imitation of a hawk – maybe in hopes of scaring other birds away.  I can always tell when they are around but every time I go out to get a shot, they scatter.  While the other birds slowly return to the feeders, the Jays stay out at the edges of the yard.  They fly up to the top of the trees and if I move at all they fly off.  I got this one by setting up at a spot near the yard-favorite suet feeder and snapping a shot with my cable release.  (He flew off immediately at the sound of the shutter of course!)

As soon as I went inside, there were 3 Blue Jays lined up to get to the feeder.  They are really bid teases!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
280mm @ f/11 – 1/60 sec – ISO 400

Flowers of all types

The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.

                                                                 Ponce Denis Ecouchard Lebrun

Once again, nature shows me how beauty appears in so many shapes and forms.  The colors and details of the butterfly’s wings against the flower’s petals and color is amazing.  The delicate legs and antennae, the curl of the proboscis which allows this insect to draw nectar from the flowers, all part of a little creature that we see float past on lazy summer days.

Doesn’t it just make you want to sit and wonder over the miracle that is our home?

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
250mm @ f/9 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100

The art of Nature

There is no end to the amazing beauty of nature.  Looking at landscapes or flowers or animals is a constant source of fascination for me.  It is incredible to think that all of this surrounds us every day and yet, we mostly ignore it.  Sometimes, you just have to stop and enjoy the simple joy that is available in appreciating how glorious our world is!

Photography is my excuse to pay more attention and find things that are beautiful and/or interesting to the eye.  I find that the more I try to do this, the easier it is to spot the things that make a good image.  It doesn’t mean that there is no work involved.  I still need to seek these things out.  I must go out earlier or later than I usually would, visit places I’ve never been or just take a closer look at what’s right in front of me.  This takes patience and practice but the rewards are great.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
270mm @ f/9 – 1/60 sec – ISO 100

Flowers and sunshine

One of the things I really like about the Chattahoochee Nature Center is the way they have landscaped.  There are many different flowering plants around the walkways all done in somewhat wild and natural plantings.  I know that lots of work and thought went into this but it gives you the impression that you are walking through a patch of wildflowers in the wilderness.

I didn’t see a marker to tell me what kind of flower this is.  It looks similar to a sunflower but was certainly much smaller than the kind that produce all those seeds that people eat.  It was just open there like a burst of sunshine but hanging it’s head down toward the ground.  I really liked the pink flowers behind it and the rather washed-out white background that the bright sun gave this scene.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
210mm @ f/10 – 1/125 sec – ISO 100