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All posts for the month July, 2012

Ringlet butterfly resting on a leaf

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

Bumblebee on a fireweed collecting honey

D800, ISO1600, 1/2000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Two bumblebees sitting on a water hemlock collecting honey

D800, ISO100, 1/320 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm, on-camera flash

Hoverflies flying around a thistle

D800, ISO1600, 1/8000 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

Hoverflies flying around a thistle

D800, ISO1600, 1/8000 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

And one where I was simply too slow :D

Grass against a blue sky

D800, ISO100, 1/320 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm, on-camera flash

 

We came home late(r) from town last night and I couldn’t really catch sleep. Luckily, because -out of the blue?- a thunderstorm rolled over part of town. Lightning like crazy (of course exactly in a corner where I just couldn’t reach with the camera. I set up anyway, plugged in the remote shutter, set the camera on C(h) and locked the shutter with a 6 second exposure, figuring that the storm must every now and again, if not totally, move a bit out of the that wretched corner into the viewfinder. In the mean time an incredible amount of rain came down in a very short period of time, temporarily flooding the streets out front. Did some other things in the mean time and ended up with some 250 images (yay for D800 raw files, that’s about 10 gig right there :D ), mostly without any lightning, some with some lighted up sky, and one or two with a really nice strike. The best one is below:

Lightning

D800, ISO100, 8 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 14-24mm

I bet I could’ve got much better pictures, but I would’ve had to go out in weather a dog wouldn’t even go out. And it was 1:30, barely dressed and not in the mood. Anyway…
I figured I could have a go with a timelapse sequence with the rest of the images and that didn’t come out too bad, either.

It caught my eye the very first time we passed these signs.
Two signs following each other, both warning for wildlife crossing the street.
The combination of these two in such short proximity leaves you wondering. It did me, in any case. I found it strangely hilarious. But then again… My sense of humor is at times strange.

Anyway… Be warned if you come along this stretch of road, it’s between Tampere and Jyväskylä in Finland, just after you come off the motorway after Tampere.
There’s possibility of some wild life crossing the street :D

Traffic sign warning for crossing wildlife

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

I love it. Just to go out there, be surrounded by wildlife (read: mosquitoes, and occasionally the persistent horse- or moosefly), take pictures without being disturbed (except by mosquitoes, and occasionally the persistent horse- or moosefly)… :D
But I’m persistent, too. And that leads to some interesting pictures every now and again. This’ll go into a few posts, since I can’t really stuff all those images into one post.

So here goes. It all started after a good rain shower…

Drops on the leaves of a plant

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

Of course us human beings (with cameras) are the only ones nagging about a bit of water (while it’s coming down, it’s all fine and dandy when it’s done and dry outside… ;) ). These critters don’t really give a toss.

Bumblebee

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

Bumblebee collecting honey from the flower of a yellow aster

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm

Bumbebee sitting on a water hemlock collecting honey

D800, ISO100, 1/320 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm, on-camera flash

Bumblebee flying to a fireweed collecting honey

D800, ISO1600, 1/4000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

 

I got a lot of stuff done in the past week.

A year and a half or so ago I wrote about Photoshelter vs PhotoDeck. I quit Photoshelter in favor of PhotoDeck for the simple reason that PhotoDeck had better and more simple features and it was cheaper. Not too long ago I got a mail from Photoshelter inviting me to reacquaint myself with them for 30 days for free. I did. And I swung right back to Photoshelter. Their features have become so much better compared to what it was, and their prices so much more attractive than they were before that I just couldn’t let it go.
I’m still with PhotoDeck, but my subscription is ending in a few months. I haven’t decided yet if I will keep it up. Compared to Photoshelter they all of a sudden have become a lot more expensive, actually, for the storage space I get with Photoshelter now I would pay double the price with PhotoDeck. That’s too bad, because I really like them. But it’s business. And if I have to pay twice as much for a similar service, it simply is a no-go; that’s too big a difference.
So I’ve been editing and uploading and tweaking my new website with commercial back-end. You can find it at www.stockphotography.nu and it looks like this:

www.stockphotography.nu store-front

www.stockphotography.nu store-front

You can order prints, canvases, mugs, mouse pads or just the plain digital file. The whole nine yards. You can contact me for special prices if you find something you would like. You can do a search for pictures with the search box at the top right of the blog.

The other thing I’ve been collecting stuff for is the One Life photo competition from PDN. If my pictures are deemed good enough, I could win a nice prize. My page there looks like this:

Arno Enzerink portfolio for the One Life competition

Portfolio for the One Life competition

You are free to “Collect Me“, if you have the time and think the images are worth it. The images you see are crops, they are all links to the full size pictures. If you click the link Collect Me you are requested to either sign up or sign in with your Facebook or Twitter username. Do that, then click the image and in the window that opens then at the top right “Collect Me”. Or just leave a comment with the pictures and tell me what you think, that’s fine for me too :)
Thanks in any case!

Yeah, pun intended…
Sometimes it happens that you’re driving around somewhere and all of a sudden your eye sees something (that isn’t there), and you need to stop. You need to stop and get out (if you happen -for a change- to have your camera with you) to take a picture of that something that isn’t there.
My mind’s eye is ruthless like that. To me it’s a blessed curse, I say. I haven’t had a problem with it, but I’ve had people in the past whom I knew to roll their eyes if I would pull over again and drag the camera out to take pictures of something that just isn’t visible to their eyes.
Usually people get it when they see someone take pictures of a beautiful landscape, but when they see someone sitting on their knees in the knee-high grass taking (close-up) pictures of an old weathered hinge of a gate… That may not receive such understanding.
But of course they haven’t seen what I do with it.
My cross-processing baby, my little bastard child, misunderstood, misnamed, confused with much less artistic things… *grins*

Anyway… Here’s another one. If you’re new here, type it in the search box to find more of them :)
I find this one actually quite appealing. It’s not as colorful as the rest, but there’s something funky with it :)

Hinge of an old weathered gate

D800, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/4.8, Nikkor 50mm

The layer palette from Photoshop showing the steps in the process to the end result

The layer palette from Photoshop showing the steps in the process to the end result

Old weathered hinge of a gate

The end result after all the work is done

He’s got a baby brother now, who looks just like him when he was that age.
But my godson didn’t stay that age. It’s been awhile since I took some pictures of him, but last Saturday, when we were out with the whole family, I got and took the chance. It was an excellent setting. In the middle of one of those typical Finnish scenes: a field full of blooming, bright yellow oilseed. We were on our way back to the car and he was just walking there with mom and dad, fussing with the flowers. The light was beautiful, and right in his face. So I looked at mom and dad and they were okay with it, and even helped the little guy pose. I’d say he’s a natural.
And he’s the cutest! Ever! Period! <3

Boy

D800, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

Boy

D800, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

(also love the little bug flying toward him in the second picture :D )

 

You don’t find rainbows on and under the leaves. Other colorful and not so colorful stuff you do.
This little bug(ger) was very patient and let me do my thing for about 10 minutes, before taking of. I guess it thought that after turning left, right and face front I must’ve got all there was to shoot of it. And I did.

Fly sitting on a leaf

D800, ISO1600, 1/350 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 105mm

Fly sitting on a leaf

D800, ISO400, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 105mm

And then this weird thing… We were heading out of the woods and I happened to spot it crawling around on a leaf. Funky stuff going on in those tentacles/antennas (whatever you call them). I thought it was some sort of thing to lure or keep away other animals. It really looked like there was a maggot inside of them moving up and down. When I was keywording for stock and searched for the snail with maggot like antennas I came across the Wikipedia page where it was explained that this snail was infected with a parasite. It’s originally in bird poop, where the snail eats from and ingests the parasite. The parasite then starts to consume the snail slowly and it nestles in the tentacles, basically switching off the snails ability to determine whether it’s light or dark, so it doesn’t know whether to hide or not, thus being a nice little prey for birds, who then consume the snail including parasite, which returns to the digestive system of the bird and ends up in the bird poop, where another snail east from and ingests the parasite. Etc. etc. etc. Amazing how nature does its thing, isn’t it?

Snail infected with a parasite in its tentacles

D800, ISO400, 1/350 sec @ f/4.8, Nikkor 105mm

Another parasite, or pest, plague, if you like, is this one.

Sack of the tent caterpillar hanging under a tree trunk

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Tamron 90mm, on-camera flash

The caterpillar makes some sort of web around the entire tree and eats it completely empty. The web is funny stuff. It feels like plastic, the kind of plastic they vacuum-wrap food and other products in, and it’s super strong. It doesn’t feel at all sticky like a spider’s web. This image doesn’t really do it justice, but the light was beautiful, especially reflecting off of the webs. Destructive as it is, it does look really pretty.

Webs of the tent caterpillar in the branches of a tree

D800, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

And then there was still this little fellow, who at first I thought was dead, but then regained consciousness and took off. I did get my pictures, though :)

Bumble bee on a thistle

D800, ISO800, 1/350 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

The bee photo is a focus stack of 10 images. I wanted the whole flower and the bee in focus and since the little guy played dead for awhile, it gave me all the time to get enough images to do the focus stacking.

My friend was kind enough to lend me his new Nikkor 105mm macro with VR. I have a Tamron 90mm (it’s about 8 years old, I think, and my only non-Nikkor lens) and I’ve been considering for awhile already to switch. I never got to try it out, though, even if a couple of my photographer-buddies have offered to lend it to me. This day I did give it a go, and I must honestly admit that, with the images that I shot, there’s not much difference in quality and sharpness. One clear difference is that the Nikkor focuses at least twice as fast. The Tamron really needs a clear contrast in the image for the autofocus to properly lock on. If there isn’t enough contrast, the lens keeps on searching and you get the annoying buzz of the lens zooming in and out to try to find something to focus on (and your object/subject/target will probably have left by the time you decide to switch to manual). So in terms of quality I would stick with my Tamron. The massive price of the Nikkor doesn’t justify the switch for me. I know when to autofocus and when to manually focus, so that’s no issue for me. However… If someone would have a (good as new) Nikkor for a good price up for sale, I would probably still get rid of the Tamron and buy the Nikkor.