Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Photo of the Day

How you compose your photograph and what is in the background are key elements you have to consider if you want to make the best possible photograph. I was working off a tripod shooting a 180 mm macro lens with a 1.4 extender attached. This native wildflower is called Daisy Fleabane, a member of the Aster Family. I photographed this tiny beauty at the Watershed Nature Center located in my hometown of Edwardsville, Illinois. I used another native wildflower, a Brown-eyed Susan, as a background to add to this shot.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Photo of the Day

I photographed this Little Blue Heron early Sunday morning at the Edwardsville IL. Watershed Nature Center. It is great to see the herons and egrets returning to the nature center. It must mean warm weather is here to stay.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Open Road

I have the itch bad! The open road calls to me and it is a very strong force. Sitting in an office or being cooped up inside just drives me absolutely crazy at times. I am happiest when I am traveling and seeing new sights and exploring new regions. I am blessed to live in a country that has such a large and diverse geography. I have said it before, and I will say it again. Two of my very favorite words are "Road Trip"  I always want to know what is around the bend, over that mountain, or through those woods. Where does this road go? What new experiences will I have? It is a truly powerful pull for me. So when I see photos of the open road I start daydreaming and planning my next trip.

Have  great weekend


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photo of the Day.

I was photographing White Pelicans along the Mississippi River near Alton IL. very early this past sunday morning.  There had been some clouds, and the morning sunrise light was very diffused. I had a 500mm lens with a 1.4 converted attached giving me 700mm of focal length to reach the pelicans as they flew along the river. Suddenly the sun came through a break in the clouds and created some beautiful light. Well my wide angle lens was back in the car so I only had a few moments to try something creative. I framed this shot using the cables of the Clark Bridge.   

Monday, April 4, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is an HDR photograph I did recently. The scene is a wooden walkway over the water in  the Japanese Gardens located in the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. This was a 3 bracketed exposure and then processed in the NIK HDR Pro software.

Clicking on the photo will open it much larger in a new window so you can view it better.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is an HDR Photo that was taken just a few minutes before sunrise this past Sunday morning after a overnight spring snow. This is the Watershed Nature Center where I live in Edwardsville IL.

Clicking on the photo will open it larger in a new window for better viewing.

Have a great weekend!


Watershed Nature Center

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is a photograph I took during live fire training exercises that involved several area fire departments where I live. An old farm house out in the country had been donated for them to use and then burn down. After weeks of interior smoke and live fire training, the house was finally burned down in a controlled burn.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is a photo that a took inside a fully involved house fire. The house was being burned for live fire training exercises. These three fire fighters were instructors that posed for me after lighting the living room on fire so a hose team could come in and put it out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Of The Day

Ft. Jefferson is located about 70 miles west of Key West Florida in the Dry Tortugas National Park. The fort was started before the civil war and was one of the largest coastal forts ever built. Due to continued improvement in modernizing artillery, the fort was obsolete before it was even completed. A must see place if you ever go to Key West Florida.

Ft. Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is a Polar Bear I photographed at the St. Louis Zoo. He had just broken the surface of the water after a swim and started shaking off the excess water

Polar Bear - Urus maritimus

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photo Of The Day

This is a HDR photograph I did of an abandon and crumbling building I did in Jerome AZ. Jerome is an old mining town that sits high up in the mountains. The mine is closed and the town has serious mine subsidence problems and is literately sliding off the mountain in places. The town has become a haven for artists and there are quite a few unique shops and galleries. I was just walking the streets when I passed this building. I took a 3 exposure bracketed series hand held. I used a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 24-105 mm f4L IS lens. Since I did not have a tripod I dialed my ISO up to 800 to have a high shutter speed on all three of the exposures to minimize camera shake. The bracketed photos were processed in the NIK HDR Pro software.

I have no idea what used to be in this building but I loved the architecture. If you click on the photo it will open larger in another widow.

Unknown Abandon Building, Jerome AZ.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Of The Day

The Malachite Butterfly - Siproeta stelenes, has black and brilliant green or yellow-green colors on the uppersides and light brown and olive green on the undersides. It is named for the mineral Malachite, which is similar in color to the bright green on the butterfly's wings. The Malachite is found throughout Central and Northern South America, It's distribution reaches as far north as Southern Texas and the tip of Florida.

Malachite Butterfly - Siproeta stelenes

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blue Morpho Butterflies

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Missouri Botanical Gardens Butterfly House located in Chesterfield, Missouri. In the winter months when it is nasty, cold, and drab outside, it is hot and humid in the tropical interior of the butterfly house. In March every year they have "March Morpho Mania" For the month they add thousands of additional Morpho Butterflies to their normal inventory.

Achilles Morpho 

Interesting Facts about the Blue Morpho Butterfly:
The Blue Morpho butterfly is a tropical butterfly found in Central and South America.

This Blue Morpho butterfly can also be considered to be one of the biggest butterflies seen, their wingspan measures 5 – 8 inches in width.

Its characteristic blue wings are extremely beautiful to look at. The brilliant blue wings are not really brightly colored for the female Blue Morpho butterflies.

Female Blue Morpho butterflies have a dull blue with brown edgings for their wings. They also have white spots in the blue area.

At birth, the caterpillars are reddish brown in color. They also have green colored patches on the back area.

The undersides of the wings of the Blue Morpho butterflies have a dull brown shade. This brown color is dotted with many eyespots.

When this butterfly is spotted flying, it is one of the most beautiful sights one can ever imagine. The flapping wings create a fine blend of the bright blue and the dull brown colors and the flashing colors create a beautiful effect. 

Common Morpho Butterfly

It is frustrating to get good open wing spread photos of the different species of the Morpho Butterflies. Their underside wings are a dull Brown color with eye spots, and this allows then to blend into the vegetation very well and hid from predators. When the Morpho lands they generally immediately close their wings up to blend in. I have very few good photos of Morphos for all the hours I have spent in the butterfly house. You have to be very quick to catch one that is opened up.