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Posts Tagged ‘Canon 24-105mm lens’

Over the last four years I have grown comfortable photographing birds, insects, and other creatures, primarily in the friendly confines of my favorite local marshland park. I am familiar with many of the best spots and I know how to use my gear to capture images when the opportunities arise.

This past weekend I stepped way out of my comfort zone when I took pictures at my brother’s wedding. It was indoors, required the use of flash, and, worst of all, involved people. I guess that it is fair to say that I am pretty insecure about my ability to photograph people. Unlike many others, I don’t routinely snap photos of people with my cell phone. In fact, I got my first “smart” phone over a year ago and have yet to take a single photo with it.

The bride asked me to take some photos, so I decided to see what I could do. One of the best pieces of advice came from my niece’s boyfriend who was seated next to me at the reception—he looked at my camera gear and told me I could afford to be bold with gear like that.

Well, things turned out better than I expected. I got some pretty good candid shots. I came away from the experience realizing that all of my hours in the field with wildlife had prepared me better for the wedding than I had realized. I’m not ready to become a wedding photographer, but I might start thinking about photographing people more often.

Here are a few shots from the reception, including a couple of my brother that I converted to black and white.

Carole1_web

 

kiss_web

charlie1_bw_web

charlie2_bw_web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I generally feel inhibited and self-conscious about photographing people, but somehow felt emboldened at my brother’s wedding this past weekend. One of my favorite images of the wedding reception was this shot of my great nephew, who decided to share his cake with his Dad.

I just love their individual expressions.

brayden4_web

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I was walking through the woods on Friday at Huntley Meadows Park, I noticed something white among the leaves on the ground. At first I thought it was just a mushroom, but upon closer examination it turned out to be the upper portion of the skull of what I am pretty sure is a raccoon (Procyon lotor). There were no other bones in the area, nor was the lower jaw anywhere to be seen.

I don’t know much about animal anatomy, but I was fascinated by the shapes and contours of the skull, a kind of natural and organic sculpture. It was intriguing as well to examine the sizes and shapes of all of the different teeth.

Raccoon skull

Raccoon skull

raccoon skull

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It is really nice when I am petsitting to have new subjects to photograph. Katie, a beautiful young German Shepherd, stayed with me last night and I took this shot as she was sitting on my couch, keeping a close eye on P.R., my rabbit.

Katie seemed utterly fascinated by the rabbit and intently watched him as he moved about his cage. P.R. (which is short for “Prime Rib”was more or less oblivious to Katie, even when they were only inches apart. I suspect that P.R. does not view dogs as predators, probably because she grew up with with a dog in the household.

The challenges of photographing a pet indoors are different from photographing wildlife outdoors, but so many of the basic principles carry over. This image looks a bit like a studio shot, because I was able to direct the light of a desk lamp so that it fell on one side of Katie’s face (and amazingly she sat still for a moment).

German Shepherd

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I was wandering about Huntley Meadows Park this morning, I came upon the remains of an Eastern Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) that quite obviously did not survive the winter. It looks to have been in place for quite some time not far from the water’s edge of a stream in a remote area of the park.

I don’t know if a predator consumed its flesh, but it looks like a lot of the bones were scattered around the skull of the turtle, as you can see in the first photo. I move the shell to nearby location to get shots of the the top and underside and also took a close-up shot of the skull.

Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle remains in situ

Snapping Turtle

Detailed view of the top of the shell

Snapping Turtle

Detailed view of the underside of the shell

Snapping Turtle

Detailed view of the skull

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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My long weekend of catsitting is coming to an end today, so I decided I needed to do a posting on Queso, the youngest member of the cat trio. Queso is still a kitten and is full of energy and curiosity. He loves to antagonize his two older “brothers” and will sometimes pounce on them when they least expect it.

Cindy Dyer and her husband Michael rescued Queso when they found him abandoned in the bushes outside of a Mexican restaurant. That initial experience and his orange-yellow fur caused them to name him Queso.

Tomorrow (or possibly later today), I’ll be back to my more typical wildlife and nature photos. It’s been a fun challenge this past weekend to shoot “wild” animals in an indoor setting with available light.

Queso

Queso

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Lobo is another one of the cats that I am watching this weekend. He and Pixel, the cat that I featured previously, were adopted at the same time. According to my friend Cindy Dyer, she wanted to name him “JPEG,” but her husband protested, so they settled on the name “Lobo.”

Lobo has always seemed exotic and mysterious to me, with piercing eyes that look like they could hypnotize me if I stare into them too long.

Lobo

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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