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Tag Archives: Milkay Photography

I’m just getting around to processing the photos I took back in early July but surprisingly, this post appears to be rather timely. Afterall, one could say we are smack dab in the “dog days of summer” so why not think about dogwoods?

My white Kousa Dogwood did not disappoint and just like last year, I wanted to try to photograph the gorgeous blossoms in a unique manner, despite the fact that my once small tree is now enormous and the flowers are getting a little out of reach! (Oh, the difficulties of being vertically challenged… 😉 )

Good thing the branches are flexible and can be pulled down allowing my macro lens closer access.

I’m not one to let “sleeping dogs lie” so here, are my favorites:

“Dog(wood) Days of Summer” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/6.3, 1/40s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser


 

“Top Dog” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5.6, 1/50s, ISO 640


 

“Wag the Dog” (White Kousa Dogwood Bracts, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5, 1/160s, ISO 1600, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.0EV


 
Pretty, aren’t they?

However, before this summer “goes to the dogs” , I must “dog it” and get back to the pool where I am always “happier than a flea in a doghouse” . 😀

With the hot temperatures we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast lately (not complaining…I love summer!), I thought it fitting to showcase a ‘hot’ flower.

“Seeing Red” (Red Zinnia) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 640

Zinnias are a wonderful potted annual for my landscape for many reasons:

  • they are easy to grow
  • they come in a variety of colors (pinks, yellow, oranges, corals, reds, etc.) adding ‘pop’s of color just where I need it
  • and, the critters don’t eat them!

 
What’s not to love? 😉

Last friday, I took a break from photographing summer flowers to plant a newly acquired pot of Shasta Daisies. Heading off to the shed, I plopped the pot down onto the grass so I could grab my gardening gloves and, of course, a shovel.

When I returned just a few seconds later, the most unusual flying insect was already feasting on the luscious, sunny-side up blooms. As I was about to swat it away, I caught a glimpse of its cartoon-ish looking ‘eyes’ and knew instantly, a primo photo-op was literally, staring me in the face! 😉

“Hungry Eyes” (Thread-waisted Wasp on Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/400s, ISO 160

Getting the right angle to capture that adorable mug proved trickier than I’d thought (and the wasp was way more interested in eating than posing for the camera) but in the end, I got the shot and, a happy addition to my garden! 🙂

A few weeks back, right before the digital photography class I was teaching was about to start, there was a sudden power outage in the room. Try has he may, the building maintenance “guy” was unable to fix the problem so I simply moved my class to the lobby of the building. While it’s not the most lovely of places, the suspended ceiling just happened to be covered with more than a dozen strands of colorful garlands made up of origami paper cranes. Neat! 🙂

“Soarin’ ” (Origami Paper Crane Garland) Nikon D300, 120mm, F/5.3, 1/160s, ISO 3200, Built-in Fill-Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -1.0 EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Infrared Film Soft” Filter w/Selective Toning & Vignette

Not one to miss an opportunity for intriguing subject matter, I instructed my students to shoot the birds (with their cameras, of course 😉 ) and look for angles and patterns that create interesting compositions. I also joined in the fun, playing around with different camera settings and switching back and forth between shooting in color as well as in black and white.

Those shots remained completely forgotten until today when I came upon them while scanning through my media cards. Turns out, I preferred the compositions I’d taken in color except for the stained drop ceiling tiles in the background (which I thought would have faded away with the shallow DOF I was using). 

So, I popped on over to Nik Silver Efex Pro to see if one of the trusty black and white filters could diffuse that not-so-great background and perhaps, bump up the contrast to make these birds really sing. A few clicks later and that’s an affirmative on the background and the contrast but now, I missed the color. 😦

Hmmmm, lemme think. Welllll, it was the orange bird who caught my attention in the first place soooooo let’s give him the spotlight and see if that does the trick.

Click, click, click – Boom! One fun abstract image! 🙂

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