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Posts Tagged ‘Canon 55-250mm zoom lens’

Two years ago today, my photography mentor and dear friend Cindy Dyer sat me down at her computer and told me that I was going to start a blog. We had just returned from a photo shoot at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington D.C. and had taken lots of shots of waterlilies, lotus flowers, and dragonflies.

Cindy is a professional photographer and web designer and I had previously looked at her blog (which currently has had over 560,000 views), but I had never really thought about starting a blog myself. Inside I had all kinds of concerns about my inadequacies as a photographer and about not being ready to share my images with an audience broader than, but Cindy was undeterred and helped me choose a theme and a banner and set up my basic page.

My first posting was short, only 14 words and included a shot of a Blue Dasher dragonfly. I have reposted it below for your convenience or you can use the link in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Today’s posting is posting number 1,224. I never imagined that I would enjoy this blog as much as I have or that I would continue so faithfully to document my journey into photography. Thanks to so many of you readers who have encouraged and supported me along the way.

I may take a pause this week to reflect on that journey and possibly re-post some of my favorites from the last two years. Don’t worry, though, I be back to posting new images before long.

My first WordPress posting on 7 July 2012:

I photographed this Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this morning.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Like most people who live in the the Washington, D.C. area, I don’t visit monuments much unless there are visitors. One of my fellow photographers invited me to photograph the Capitol on Friday evening to satisfy the wishes of a visiting photographer.

We were quite a sight as we set up umbrellas and tripods in the rain which fell progressively harder and harder. My favorite shot is the first one, which shows the reflection of the Capitol in one of the wet, slippery stairs leading up to it.  I tried a number of long exposures, varying from about 15 to 30 seconds to get this look.

The second one is a more traditional view, but I think that the lighting was pretty cool at that time of the evening.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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When it started to rain yesterday, I pulled out my umbrella and kept shooting for a while, permitting me to get this close-up shot of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).

The heron was stoically enduring the rainfall, as drops of water began to bead up on its shoulders. The wind started to kick up a little too, ruffling some of the feathers on the heron’s chest. I was afraid that my white and green umbrella would spook the heron, but I was able to get pretty close to the heron to get this shot at the far end of my 55-250mm zoom lens. If you click on the photo, you can see these (and other) details in a higher resolution image.

There are many flowers blooming in my local marshland park right now and I really like the little splashes of yellow in the background of this image.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I am in awe of photographers who can capture amazing shots of birds in flight and I continue my quest to improve my own skills. So many things have to come together to get such shots including the timing, location, lighting, and focusing.

Here is one of my most recent efforts, a shot of a Great Egret (Ardea alba) in flight. The focus is a little soft, but I really like the position of the egret that I managed to capture, with a beautiful sweep of the wings.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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One of the many reasons why I love dragonflies is their amazing wings, which are so delicate and yet so powerful, like those of this male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). In this shot, I tried to capture some of the intricate detail of the structure of the wings of the dragonfly. They remind me a bit of the leaded glass windows that I sometimes see in old homes, with each small piece of glass outlined in black.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The water has gone down in some parts of my local marsh and I encountered this Green Heron (Butorides virescens) in a little tree that overlooked one of the dried out areas.

I am not sure if the heron was hunting or resting, although it looked more like the former than the latter, because he seemed to be looking from side to side. Perhaps he was searching for frogs or some other terrestrial prey.

I did not have my longest telephoto lens on my camera, but I was happy that to get some several decent shot of the little heron in a number of different poses.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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It has been a while since I featured a mammal in my blog, so I thought that I would post a photo of this little muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) that I encountered this past weekend at my local marsh. I observes muskrats there fairly often, but most of the time they are swimming away or are submerging themselves by the time my camera is ready.

This muskrat was poking about at the edge of a formerly inhabited beaver lodge when I first caught sight of him. He did not immediately perceive my presence, so I was able to creep close enough to him to get this shot using my 55-250mm zoom lens.

Unlike the beavers, which sleep during daylight hours, muskrats are active when it its light—in theory it should be easy to get a good shot of a muskrat. The reality, though, is that muskrats are small, fast, and elusive, so I have not yet been able to get many good shots of them.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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