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Posts Tagged ‘Canon 55-250mm zoom lens’

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.

dragonfly_wings_blog

© 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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When I am chasing after little butterflies, it’s rare that I manage to get a shot of them with their wings open—I am lucky if I can get a side view.

This little brown butterfly, which I think is an Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia), perched in a location, however, which allowed me to shoot downward, catching its wings wide open. The muddy, brown water of the marsh normally would not be optimal for an image, but seem to work well here, almost matching the colors of the butterfly.

I also was able to get a shot from the side, the second image, showing the butterfly’s beautiful brown eyes. There was intermittent rain the day that I was shooting and you can see a few raindrops on the leaves of the plant on which the butterfly is perched.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Different flowers affect me differently—some attract me with their beauty or their fragrance or their colors. Others produce an emotional response, like sunflowers, which invariably make me feel happy.

The sunflower’s large size, bright colors, and bold graphic design appeal to me. The sunflower virtually shouts its presence to the world—there is nothing soft and delicate and hidden about a sunflower.

Like this Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus), I sometimes enjoy the flowers one at a time. It was really fun, though, to visit a large field of sunflowers last month with some friends and to see row after row of these cheery flowers. I wanted to capture a group shot of the sunflowers, but I struggled to find a way to do so effectively (even though we had even brought along a little stepladder to give us a perspective from above the flowers).

In the end, my favorite shot (the second one below) focuses on a single sunflower, with other flowers a blur in the background. I used a simple 50mm lens (often called the “nifty fifty”) on my camera to make sure that I could control the aperture and throw the background out of focus.

EasternTigerSwallowtail lorez

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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It’s hard enough to identify moths and butterflies when they are fully grown—it seems almost impossible to do so when they are caterpillars, like this fuzzy white caterpillar that I encountered today at my local marshland park.

The caterpillar had so much long hair that it was hard to see the actual body, which might have been quite small for all I could tell. It was crawling around in the cattails on a day that featured intermittent rain. If you look closely at the first shot, you can see little water drops near what I think is the area of the head.

The second shot may look like it was done with flash, but the darker background was caused merely by changing the settings on my camera and deliberately overexposing the image.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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