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Posts Tagged ‘Canon 100mm macro lens’

I was beginning to think that another year would go by without seeing a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) when yesterday I spotted one of them in the most unlikely of places—in the mulched plants at the back of the hotel where I am staying in Woburn, Massachusetts.

After a grueling eleven-hour ride from Northern Virginia, I arrived at the hotel yesterday afternoon ready to relax. Unfortunately, I was told that my room would not be ready for at least an hour. I grabbed my camera and decided to walk around the grounds of the hotel, which is adjacent to a small canal, to see what there might be to photograph.

As I was walking, I caught sight of an orange-and-black butterfly that kept landing momentarily on the low plants, never staying still long enough for me to get a good shot (I was shooting with a 100mm macro lens). I kept chasing and eventually got some shots. It has been such a  long time since I last saw a Monarch that any photo at all is a bonus, so it doesn’t bother me that these are far from being great shots.

My excitement at seeing a Monarch is tempered a bit by the fact that I did not get the right angle to conclusively exclude the possibility that this is a Viceroy butterfly. If that were to turn out to be the case, I’ll be out again chasing butterflies in search of the first Monarch of the season.

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Photography seems so complicated when I worry too much about lighting, camera settings, and a myriad of other technical concerns. It’s nice sometimes to put those cares in the back of my mind and just shoot as I did yesterday—me, my camera, a bee, and a flower.

It can be that simple and that enjoyable.

bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When you think of a gorgeous tulip, do you have to see it flowering to recall its beauty, or does a mere hint of its future shape and color suffice?

This image is different from my “normal” style of images, which tend to emphasize a kind of detailed realism. It is an almost abstract look at this flower, emphasizing shapes and colors and lines, with a minimum of details. There is an “artsy” side of me that I consider to be underdeveloped. Every now and then that tendency comes to the surface and I’ll step out of my comfortable box and try something a bit different.

tulip

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Cindy Dyer, my mentor, is a source of constant encouragement and inspiration for me and also has a wonderful garden of photogenic flowers to photograph. I took this shot of a Snowflake flower (Leucojum aestivum) on a recent misty morning. The image is an homage to Cindy, because it is similar in style to one of her images that I really admire.

In many ways this photo is a companion to the image I posted a few days ago of raindrops on a snowdrop flower.

Snowflake

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s showtime in the Washington D.C. area—the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. There is no denying their beauty, but somehow I am drawn even more to the simple beauty of modest flowers like this snowdrop (genus Galanthus) that I observed this past Friday. There was a light drizzle most of the day, which coated the unopened petals with beautiful crystal-like globes.

Simple beauty—I find it to be irresistible.

snowdrop

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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During the spring our eyes are naturally drawn to signs of new life, but somehow yesterday it was the signs of the past that caught my attention. I was fascinated by the structure of the skeletonized remains of an unknown flower, whose beauty has long ago faded into a lace-like form that reminded me of a butterfly.

Beauty and fragility—an appropriate metaphor for our lives.

skeletonized flower

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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After a long winter wait, I am finally seeing a few spring flowers blooming in the gardens in my neighborhood. So far all I see are crocuses, but it looks like the daffodils will not be far behind. The weather is still erratic—I awoke to sub-freezing temperatures yesterday morning—but it is beginning to look like spring is here at last.

I took these crocus shots in the middle of the day on a windy, sunny afternoon. In the first image, I was trying to capture some of the beauty of the sunlight coming through the petals. In the second shot, I had the lens almost wide open and the really shallow depth of field helps to give a dreamy painterly quality to the image that I really like. The two images are very different, but I think they work especially well as a set.

crocus

crocus

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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