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Tag Archives: Orange

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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It’s that time of year where all the birds have one thing on their minds… makin’ babies! 🙂 The wrens have taken up residence in the large yellow bird house, the chickadees are in the bellows bird house and the sparrows (both the English and house varieties) have found spaces in the gutters (despite our attempts to discourage them. Sigh).

Looking down from one of my office windows, I can see the large arbor that extends over our garage. Two weeks ago, I watched this female robin tirelessly gather building materials for her nest.

“Material Girl” (North American Robin, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 420mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G lens with 1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 640

The nest is lovely and she barely fit inside of it when it was finished. However, with all the rain we’ve had in the last two weeks, I didn’t get a chance to scope out a spot where I can get a good camera angle on the actual nest itself (it is tucked within the trumpet vines just below the garage eaves…a very tricky spot, indeed). Sadly, this week the nest has been empty. 😦 (I am hoping this is merely a temporary situation and that it hasn’t been abandoned even before being utilized for its intended purpose). Stay tuned.

“Orange Crush” (Baltimore Oriole, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 640

 
 

Over the weekend, a flash of orange streaked across the sky and I knew in an instant it meant the Orioles were back!! I immediately cut an orange and filled the rind halves with sweet jelly in the hope I could entice the little beauties to stay around.

I have no idea where the nest is being built but this morning, I spied two males and a female flitting about the yard. Good enough reason for me to haul out the large lens and tripod, dontchathink? 😉

“Getting Ready” (Baltimore Oriole, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400 F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/100s. ISO 640

 

 
 
Now, while the brightly-colored male eluded my lens (must be related to the male cardinal, eh?) I was able to capture the female as she took 5 in a nearby tree, a tuft of freshly picked grass clasped in her beak.

Folks, I did my best paparazzi moves to capture these images! Even so, I was eventually spotted by the orange girl and she then decided the photo shoot was over.

Seeing that these are my first ever Oriole photos, I’m okay with that! 🙂

“Spring Stretch” (Crocus ‘Yalta’, Tommasinianus hybrid, aka Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/80s, -0.7EV, ISO 320, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -0.7EV

Last year at this time, the Snow Crocus were still fast asleep, buried under two feet of the cold, white stuff.This year couldn’t be more different!

With an overall lack of snowfall during the winter and the crazy higher-than-normal temperatures here in the Northeast, the happy little blossoms are popping up all over the landscape.

One little beauty caught my attention since it appeared to be caught in a sleepy yawn, stretching its petals as if perplexed as to why it was roused so soon (we typically don’t spot crocus until mid-April).

The next bloom I found was hiding beneath a large rhododendron, seemingly timid to come forth, yet reaching for the warmth of the sun just beyond its grasp.

“Awakening” (Purple Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 200, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

As much as it is nice to see life returning to the garden, I’m not all that keen on rushing the seasons. Who wants to worry now if outdoor plants are getting enough water or if young shoots are struggling to dig their way out from under a bed of leaves? It really is just too soon. I’m sure I don’t have to stress over this as Mother Nature is known for teasing us with a few warm days followed by a return to chilling temps, even if the sole purpose is to remind us all of exactly who is in charge.

So, let’s hit the snooze button, shall we? I, for one, need a bit more time to get ready for the tasks ahead. 🙂

As promised, here are the revelations as to what the images I posted yesterday in Abstract Reality actually are! Everyone had really, really good guesses! I was very impressed! 🙂

First image: Grill Cover Tear

“Fissure” (Grill Cover Tear)

I focussed in tight on that top corner and then converted the image to b&w. Boy, this thing is really in sad shape, huh? 😉

Second image: Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake

“Wired” (Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake)

I composed this image using just the wing of the hummingbird garden stake. Because the leaf-strewn ground color was so close to the warm colors of the wing I decided to desaturate the entire image and then selectively bring back those wonderful rusted tones of the metal. Works for me! 😉

Third image: Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover

“Rusted” (Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover)

Yep, nothing more than a very rusty saw blade on a very dirty grill cover. Can’t fake this kind of texture! 🙂

Fourth image: Grill Cover Mesh Panel

“Grilled” (Grill Cover Mesh Panel)

Okay, I admit it, this one really wasn’t fair but Scott never said we had to play fair. 😉 Inverting the colors on the mesh part of the grill cover with the very reflective stainless steel behind gave this abstract a sequin-ish look (I really liked that guess, Kiwi! 🙂 )

Fifth image: Star Suncatcher

“Inprismed” (Star Suncatcher)

Going in close on the center portion of a bevelled-glass star suncatcher made for an interesting abstract. Except for the blue center, the glass is actually clear and gains its colors by reflecting all that is around it (green/blue tones from the evergreen trees close by and warm tones from the leaves and cedar mulch that lay below). My, that 105mm lens gives a lovely shallow depth of field at such a close range, doesn’t it? 😉

Sixth image: The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath

“Rosebud” (The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath)

I figured most would guess this one! (Does it make up for the grill cover mesh image? 😉 ) The inside of my sunflower bird bath has such interesting patterns and textures. Small red buds from the tree overhead added just that tiny pop of needed color.

Seventh image: Water Bottle with Reflection

“I.C.U.” (Water Bottle with Reflection)

My trusty Cool Gear water bottle! LOVE that it is orange and hot pink! (Yeah, sometimes I’m really such a girl). This thing is GIANT and is with me pretty much at all times when home. One evening, it was sitting on my desk when I noticed the light from the monitor was creating an eerie glow as well as a very cool miniature reflection of the bottom ring in the water line above. I played with many different compostions and angles and ended up liking how this one looks cyborgish.

The eighth imagewas fairly obvious: One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails

“One Red, Two White, Three Black” (One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails)

A pair of legs (if I recall, belonging to a man) wearing white pants and red sneakers. This shot was taken pretty much by accident while watching a parade in the Magic Kingdom and aside from a slight levels adjustment, is straight out of the camera.

So, there you have it, folks! Thanks so much for playing! 😀

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