Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pay Attention to the Details....

Last year in Greene there was a huge field of lupines that I photographed a few times. If you check my post from Nov. 21st 2007 entitled "Another Dreary Day" you'll see a photo of just how many lupines there were. The point of this post is, even though the area was covered in lupines, you need to pay attention to smaller details like this fallen lupine blossom on the dew covered leaf. I think it makes an interesting photograph

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ground Phlox...

I decided to update my profile photo to something more seasonal. Mike and I made it out onto the river for the first time this year on Sunday and the new profile photo is one he took of me paddling across the river. We saw a few nesting geese and also a bald eagle which was kind of exciting for the first trip out. Hopefully they'll be nesting this year, they took a break last year.
Todays photo is from my mothers flower garden from a few years ago. I like the way the single pink phlox stands out from the white and pink ones.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bearded Iris......

Here's a photo of one of my bearded irises from a couple of years ago. They should be blooming again in about a month. This picture was taken after a night of rain, the droplets of water and the little fly on the iris makes the photo more interesting and it's easy to see how these irises got their name.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Photo; Just a Link....

I usually don't post on weekends but I want to post this link to an osprey nest webcam. It's not in Maine but it is still interesting to view. Last year this pair of osprey raised two young.
Here's the link: osprey cam

Friday, April 25, 2008


This crab spider stuck out like a sore thumb on this vetch. They can actually change color from yellow to white. I've seen them on daiseys where they blend in perfectly in their white form and when they're yellow they blend in on a black eyed susan. I guess this guy was color blind.
The blue pansy photo from yesterday was shot on film.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I drove by the garden center yesterday and I noticed they just put out their pansies to sell. In this area the pansies are usually the first flowers you can actually leave outside and not worry about the frost killing them off. Like the post from a few weeks ago, one of these images is film and the other is digital.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Here are a couple of photos leftover from this past winter that I didn't post. Maybe I should've saved them and posted them in July when it is hot and oppressive and we could use something cool to look at.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Early Morning Kayaking...

Here's a shot I took of the kayaks before a morning of paddling. These are my favorite paddling conditions, flat water and no wind and a slight mist hanging over the water. It was taken with my point and shoot and actually appeared on a magazine cover a few years ago.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Backyard Chickadee...

I have a nestbox set up and this chickadee was checking it out. The box is a couple of feet to the right of where this bird was perched.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring has Sprung...

The weather this week has been very spring like, the warmest temperatures of the season. As I write this I can hear a cardinal calling outside, I should put up a feeder so I can attract him to the backyard. With the warm weather I know it'll just be a matter of time before I'm taking photos like the ones above. These were taken at sunrise on two different occasions, the top butterfly is an American Copper and the bottom one is a Prairie Ringlet. Yes, I used my foil fill technique on both of these pictures.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nesting Loon....

A pair of loons nest in the same location each year and it's not far from a busy highway. Biologists have set up a nesting platform not far from here but they ignore it and choose to nest on this rock instead. I was standing on the shore when I took this photo and it was a pretty warm day so the loon was panting to stay cool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Abstract Today....

Here's a close up photo of a honeysuckle blossom that I have growing in my front yard. They're considered an invasive species but I do like the sweet smell of the blossoms when they're blooming. The birds like to feed on the berries in late summer and fall.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Last Abstract.....

The top photo is the original and the bottom photo is the abstract I came up with. On this one I copied the image three times then flipped and rotated them and combined the four together to get the psychedelic flower straight from the 60's.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Going Abstract...

I was working on some flower photos yesterday in Photoshop when I remembered seeing an effect where an image was mirrored. On this post, the top image is the original and is a close up shot of one of my bearded irises I took last summer. All I did was copy the image then flip the copy and combine the two and I came up with a whole new species of flower. I have another one I'll post tomorrow that's even wilder than this one. Purists may think photographs should not be manipulated, especially in a nature blog like this one, but sometimes you have to let your creative juices flow and do something different and have some fun. This is obviously a digital manipulation and I'm not trying fool anyone into thinking otherwise.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Loony Friday...

The top photos were taken last year on a real calm morning. There are a lot of summer homes and camps on this lake so the loons are used to boat traffic. On this particular morning I was the only person on the water, it was just the loons and me. At one point I had about a dozen loons surrounding me and I was able to get some headshots like in the first picture. The bottom photo was taken a couple of years ago on July 4th. Last year I didn't see any chicks so I don't think any loons were successful in raising young.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Foggy Paddle...

I took these photos from my kayak on an extremely foggy morning. I didn't have my GPS with me at the time so I just kept the bright part of the sky to my back and headed across the river. The conditions were white out. When I finally made it across I was about three hundred yards down from where I thought I would end up. If I wouldn't have kept the bright part of the sky, or where the sun was coming up, to my back I probably would've just paddled around in circles. In conditions like this, even in a familiar location, it's a good idea to have a compass or GPS. What I like about the second photo is you can't tell where the water ends and the sky begins.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Not Forgetting These Flowers....

I'll bet you're looking at these two photos and wondering, "I thought he was going to post photos taken from his kayak all week?" Not all photography from the kayak has to be wildlife. Four years ago the forget me not blossoms were very abundant along the rivers edge. These pictures were taken after paddling into a very narrow cove and these flowers were growing along the side. Luckily Mike had his macro lens with him this day so I borrowed it and hung over the edge of the kayak to take the photographs. This was one of the very few times where I didn't use a tripod, it's very rare for me not to. I had to use a very shallow depth of field to get a faster shutter speed but I think it adds a nice effect, especially in the second photo. The cove was narrow enough that we couldn't turn the kayaks around so we had to back out. That's what I like about kayaking, you can definately get to places you would never reach by a regular boat. The forget me nots haven't been this abundant on the river since these photos were taken, maybe this year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Grass Peek.....

Here in Maine herons are not real cooperative to get photos of. This guy was an exception, he didn't allow a real close approach but closer than most. I spent some time in Florida a few years ago and I must say the bird photography is a whole lot easier down there, especially in the Everglades. The herons in Maine take off almost as soon as they see you, this guy was in a little cove off of the Androscoggin River in Turner.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Photos From a Kayak Week....

All this week I've decided to post photos taken from the kayak. For a few years I used the Sigma 135-400mm lens; on the 20D and 40D the focal length is equal to 216-640mm. Last year I upgraded to the Canon 100-400mm IS "L" lens. This is a great lens for kayaking because of the IS or Image Stabilization, there is no way to set up a tripod in your kayak. I purchased my 40D last fall so kayaking was over with for the season so I'm looking forward to using it this year. While I'm paddling I keep the lens between my legs in a waterproof bag, most of the time wildlife you see is off in the distance so it gives you time to get the camera out and get ready to snap some pictures.

Friday, April 4, 2008

100 and Counting...

I've reached a little milestone today, it's my 100th post, here's to the next 100. In the fall of 2006, thousands of these pink tulips were planted around the city of Lewiston. These two photos were taken during a dreary, rainy day last spring. I posted a photo a few weeks ago taken at the same time but these are a couple of different shots. On a few of the pictures where I used a real wide aperture (f2.8) for shallow depth of field you can see raindrops frozen in the air because the wide aperture caused a fast shutter speed.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thinking of Sunny Days...

I was photographing my neighbors sunflowers and got lucky when the bee landed on this blossom making for a more interesting shot.
The cardinal flower yesterday was taken with my old Canon F-1 with Fujichrome Velvia film and a 100mm marco lens. The rhodora was taken with the Canon 20D and Sigma 180mm macro lens, most people got it right. Oh, and yes, the foil fill light technique I talked about a couple of weeks ago was used on both of yesterdays photos.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Guess Which is Which...

It's been pretty dreary the last few days so I wanted to post something colorful. One of these images was shot with film and the other digitally, can you tell which is which? I'll let you know tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

For The Birds...

This photo was taken a couple of years ago. The gosslings were in the shade and the water behind them was real bright so it would've thrown my meter off. The 20D I was using at the time had a built in flash so I used that to brighten up these geese in the shade.

I also want to mention a friend of mine has just started a blog that you should check out. He's a fantastic photographer who specializes in nature photography like I do. Pay his blog a visit and let him know what you think. Here's the link: