Monday, April 13, 2015

Wide Open

Ever since I took the basic photography course from the talented Aaron Hogan a few weeks ago, I've been playing with different settings on my camera. Lately I've been shooting on the largest aperture possible. For two solid years I had been shooting on f/8, and while that seems to be the sweet spot on all my lenses, the trade-off was losing that luscious, creamy background. In addition to going wide open with the aperture, I lowered the ISO, taking it off 1600 and putting it on 100, 200 or 400, depending on the light. I've really enjoyed taking control over my shots instead of letting my camera make the decisions for me.
Tiger Swallowtail.

Anyone know what kind of plant this is? The thorny stems fascinated me.

Macro of purple thistle.

An orange clump of pansies in the middle of purple and gold ones.

Two x Two


I was captivated by this pansy that sprang up between the bricks.

A great illustration of a smooth background as a result of f/2.8.

In this instance, f/8 would have focused more on the bee below. Do you see it?
But I wasn't going for that in this instance and I like how it turned out.
I appreciate everyone who stops by to visit. Thank you for lifting my spirits with your words of encouragement. So far, blogging once a week has been going pretty well. I still get to see what most of you are doing, and also have time to go out and see what the world has to offer.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Macro Mania

One of the things I love about this time of year is dusting off my macro lens to discover tiny life forms living on plants. Some of these were found in my garden and some at the arboretum during the middle of March. Hope you enjoy!

Varied Carpet Beetle which appears as a small speck until magnified.

Green Anole

Carpenter Bee on purple thistle.

Ladybug on pansy.

Anole on Bottlebrush plant.

Shield-backed bug - Pachycorinae (unsure of common name). Please click for larger image.

This insect is about 1/4" in length and appears tan with dark mottling.
The macro lens revealed tiny colored "gems" and "ruby eyes."
Isn't that cool?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Afton Villa Gardens II

With images still unprocessed from my March 15th photowalk at Afton Villa Gardens, I made another trip on March 29th. I'm so glad I went! In just two weeks the gardens have exploded in color. The wisteria, tulips, and azaleas were especially full and vibrant. Here are a few I thought you might enjoy.

Two mothers were out doing an Easter photoshoot with their darling girls.
I couldn't help getting my own shot. They were so adorbs!

Thanks again to Frank at FABirding for helping me with my blog crisis yesterday. All of my posts were still in English, but my dashboard and settings were in some kind of African language I'd never heard of! Note to self: Stay away from blog settings when tired.

Also a big thank you to my wonderful blog pals for sticking with me during this blogging transition I'm finding myself in. Not sure once a week blogging will cut it...we'll see how it goes. I will be making rounds the rest of the week, so if I haven't gotten to you yet, please be patient. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


UPDATE: A HUGE thanks to Frank for helping me resolve this irritating situation.

In trying to create a new post last night, I somehow changed my blog to another country that I've never even heard of! That's what I get for trying to post when I'm tired. I've been under my profile and everywhere else that I could think of, and there is no selection for USA in any of drop down menus. Oh my dear. Please help if you can. I don't even know what country I'm in right now!

This is what I'm seeing when I go to my profile:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Afton Villa Gardens is a historic site located in St. Francisville, LA. Its history began in 1820. You may read more on the web site if you wish. A fire destroyed the main home in 1963 and only the gardens remain. Although not my first time there, I had missed the azaleas and daffodils blooming. I have so many photos that I will have to create another post. I had loads of fun with the photo group on this outing.

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until I can get caught up.