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Posts Tagged ‘canon 70-300mm telephoto zoom’

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but it looks like it won’t happen here this year, with a high temperature for today forecast to reach 70 degrees (21 degrees C).

So I decided to reprise a more seasonally appropriate shot from a couple of years ago at Huntley Meadows Park. In early January 2014 I spotted this Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) circling around a beaver pond, not far from where I took my most recent fox shots.

Merry Christmas to all of my friends here who support and encourage me on my journey into photography and best wishes to you and your families as we move toward the start of a new year.

Red Fox

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This brightly colored American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) reminds me of the marshmallow Peeps that I grew up with and the brightly colored spring outfits that people would wear to church to celebrate Easter (including some pretty outrageous hats).  Best wishes to all for a Happy Easter, no matter how you choose to celebrate it.

Finch and Blossoms web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

 

 

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Earlier this week, I saw my first American Robins (Turdus migratorius) of the year, a traditional harbinger of spring. I remember my parents telling me when I was young that robins are a sign of the imminent arrival of spring and that association remains strong in my mind to this day.  That association also gives me the change to use the word “harbinger” at least once a year.

The snow from our recent big snowstorm is almost gone and I will soon be seeing more signs of spring, like crocuses and daffodils and increasing numbers of birds, signs of new life and new energy and new color after a cold, gray winter.

robin1

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Sometimes I don’t want to freeze motion entirely in the way that I did in a photo of a Canada Goose landing in the water that I posted earlier today.

Here is another shot of a Canada Goose in which I panned the camera, helping to blur the background, and the slower shutter speed left a certain amount of motion blur in the wings, helping to enhance the impression of speed. My camera was in aperture-priority mode and the shutter speed dropped when the goose that I was tracking flew against the darker background of the trees.

I really like the overall feel of the image, the sense that the goose is straining to slow down as it prepares for landing, but is still moving forward at a fast speed. Is the image “tack sharp?” No, it’s not, but I am happy that it is not—it’s a creative choice. Check out a recent posting entitled “Chasing the tack sharp mirage” by Lyle Krahn, one of my favorite photographers, for a provocative  discussion about this topic.

goose_flying_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I haven’t seen many big spiders this fall, but I did come across this spiderless web early one morning recently. The morning was damp and foggy and the droplets of water on the web made it easier to spot in the cattails of the marsh. Using manual focusing, which is still a challenge for me with my DSLR, I was able to capture this image of the web. If you click on the image, you can see the beads of water that look like tiny strands of transparent pearls.

web_fall_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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This Great Blue Heron, which I think was a juvenile, was clearly not experienced at hunting for food. Unlike his more patient elders, he seemed unable to stay in one spot for more than a few minutes and his success rate when he made a strike was not very high. He was persistent, however, and I kept hoping that he would pull a frog or some other tasty morsel out of the waters of the beaver pond.

I readied myself as he prepared for another strike and fired away as he triumphantly pulled his catch out of the water. The photo confirmed my initial impression—the big catch was just a leaf that had been floating on the surface of the water.

With more practice, this heron’s fishing skills are sure to improve or it is going to be a long, cold autumn and winter for him.

heron_leaf_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I arrived at the marsh before dawn, hoping to photograph a beautiful sunrise. I stumbled around in the fog and the dark as it gradually got lighter and captured this shot of a flock of blackbirds flying over a field of cattails. If you click on the photo, you can get a better look at all of the different flying positions of the blackbirds.

As it turned out, there were virtually no colors in the sky as the sun rose. I’m sure that I will be back again soon for another attempt.

pre-dawn_blackbirds_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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