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Posts Tagged ‘red’

Simple in composition and simple in color palette, I find something really appealing about this photo of a male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).

The backdrop is made up of the gray composite elements of the boardwalk that wends its way through the marshland area of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA. The gray “wood,” with its horizontal and diagonal lines helps to give a little structure to the image.

The cardinal cooperated by cocking his head in an interesting way and giving me a sidewards glance. I believe that the red berry-like fruits are rose hips. The cardinals seem to enjoy eating the inside part of the fruit, but seem to discard most of its flesh. Several areas of the board walk are littered with these red remains.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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As I have mentioned in some other posts, the local gardens are looking awfully bleak and colorless. I did manage to find some new growth and posted some photos of blooming snowdrop flowers yesterday morning.  I had to search even harder, though, to find some small splashes of color in the midst of all of the brown, shriveled vegetation.

I found two plants that still had some color, though I have no idea what kind they are. One is pink and has some kind of berries and the other is red and has small spikey flowers on it.

The plants are modest and the colors muted, but they will help to tide me over as I await the return of the glorious colors of spring.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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What do bees do when it’s raining? I never really gave the question much thought until this morning when I saw a really cool photo by the unUrban Studio showing a bee seeking shelter in an orchid in an early morning rain. In an earlier post today I showed a bee clinging to the underside of a leaf for protection from the rain.

During a walk in the light rain this afternoon I was pleased to also discover the bee shown below, sheltered inside of a red hibiscus flower. He appeared to be completely protected and may have been napping. As you can probably tell, I had to lighten the image a little to reveal the bee more clearly. This caused the sky, which was light already, to go totally white and produced an effect that I really like.

I enjoy walking in the rain and sometimes carry my camera under an umbrella if it is not raining too hard. From now on I’ll make a point of peeking into flowers and under leaves to discover more secret hiding places of the bees.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Focus on the eyes! That’s one of the first tips that I was given to improve my shots and I tried to follow that advice when photographing this red milkweed beetle. (One of my earlier blogs chronicled my obsession with these little creatures.)

I like the way the antennae turned out in this photo. They remind me of a Texas longhorn steer’s horns which, according to Wikipedia, can extend to 7 feet (2.1 meters) tip to tip.

Can you imagine a red milkweed beetle with an equivalent antenna span?

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Do you find yourself being drawn back inexorably to photographing the same subjects over and over again?

Last month my friend and mentor Cindy D. “outed” me in a wonderful posting on her blog. She confessed that “we’ve become a little obsessed with photographing Red milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetraophthalmus).” (She also published some interesting facts about the beetles in another blog posting.) She’s right, of course, in her assessment of me, but I might quibble with her on one point. Is it possible to be only a “little” obsessed?

What are the symptoms of my obsession? After work today, in between thunder and rain storms, I rushed to Green Spring Gardens to take some photos. I shot a few flowers but I couldn’t resist the pull of the milkweed plants. I know exactly  where they are located in the gardens and I know if I look hard enough on the milkweed plants I will find the cute little beetles.

By the time I found my beloved beetles the light was starting to fade. How bad was the light? Despite shooting at ISO 800, I needed exposures around 1/5 of a second at F11. Fortunately the beetles were willing to pose and I had my tripod with me. I managed to get a few nice shots with beautiful color saturation in the late day, overcast light. Here is one photo (out of many) of the object of my obsession—a red milkweed beetle.

Is there a twelve-step program for people with this problem?

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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