Monday, April 27, 2015

God's Artistry

While my big lens was at Canon being repaired, I took advantage of playing with my macro lens. Louisiana is full of unusual, and sometimes beautiful, insects. At least I think so! I've thrown in some plants for those that aren't into bugs.
Microcrambus elegans (Elegant Grass-veneer moth)

Wild strawberry


Ladybug with a heart.

Carolina Mallow

Sweet love

Carolina Mallow

Tent Caterpillers meeting on the boardwalk.

Sweat bee on Daisy Fleabane

I've learned a life lesson by observing and photographing bugs: Once I realized how God poured so much artistry, detail, and thought into each creature, they've become difficult to despise or swat away. Carrying that same thought out to people, if we really and truly got to know them, wouldn't that knowledge make it harder to push them aside or ignore? Maybe I'm not articulating this right, but I feel I'm onto something! :) We don't take the time to SEE. Do y'all get what I'm saying? 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wiped Out

Boy, oh boy, was it a whopper of a weekend! First, I volunteered with my friend to shoot the Active for Autism 5K Run/Walk. It rained the entire time we were there. But, I am so blessed to have B for my friend, because she set me up with rain gear from head to toe, including a custom-made wrap for my precious camera and lens!

We were each given a list of things the organization wanted photographed. I traded with B because she wasn't happy with her list which contained subjects like trash cans and porta-potties. Yeah, not a glamourous job, whatsoever! I hurriedly got everything marked off the list so I could wander around and practice photographing smiling faces. It was so much fun, y'all! I hope I have another opportunity to do it again.
That's me in the mirror. :)

One of the items on my list was "bananas." Yeah. I know.
So I asked this pretty girl to model for me. :)

I *think* this is a character from Frozen. Anybody know?
I'm so out of the loop.

The children were captivated by the Frozen character, and were singing all the words along with her.

A Fire Chief/Lion? Cute!
That same day we had the HOA social at our house. We served 130 lbs. of crawfish and hosted about 20 people. It was so fun! Double D prayed away the rain and God answered. True story. :)

Poor Double D. This was his 3rd boil and he has not quite mastered
the peeling. He has another opportunity next weekend though!
The next day was beautiful so we made a quick trip to Bluebonnet Swamp. The birds were all hanging out at the mulberry tree, so the shade and thick leaves made it a challenge to photograph. This is a first of season Catbird. The image is not as crisp as I like, but I loved his pose with the berry in his beak. Sometimes perfection just needs to take a hike!

Hope everyone has a great week! I will be by to visit your blogs throughout the day and tomorrow. I'm a bit behind, sorry.

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. :)