Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Juliet India Lima Charlie Papa... and Soccer in a spring rain shower

I sometimes am asked what JILCP stands for (because one of my primary websites is at www.jilcp.com). It is nothing more than my initials and those of my business name, Classical Photography. My first name is so often misunderstood in telephone calls that I have been known to try to describe it as"Juliet Echo Sierra Sierra", but that use of the "NATO alphabet" simply led to gender misapprehension: "Juliet who?" Which reminds me of Romeo, who is also in this spelling alphabet, and Shakespeare's phrase "what's in a name?" And drawing from the end of my middle name, who is in the Hotel?

Anyway, speaking of Hotel Echo Alfa Delta Echo Romeo Sierra (ridiculous segue, I know), I shot a soccer game in the rain Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, all kinds of leaping and running was going on.

The slick, rain soaked ground led to a few spills.

The players soldiered on, and so did my camera, which was covered with water (but the lens hood kept the glass dry).

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/juliet-india-lima-charlie-papa-and.html

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Double take from a gray squirrel

Here's a "Carolina Koala", hopped up on spiked eucalyptus...or maybe it's just an ordinary gray squirrel. It did quite a double take when I pointed the lens at it.

"Yeah, so I'm here, whaddaya want?"


"Wait, what?"

Let's put it in motion:

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/double-take-from-gray-squirrel.html

Friday, April 26, 2013

A flower that provides its own light diffusion

I love the way this plant looks when the light comes through it. Care is required in exposure to show the shape of the fruiting area and the texture of the petal.

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-flower-that-provides-its-own-light.html

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Experimenting with Irises

Here are seven more photos of purple irises. The first five were shot a few days ago using the lens that I usually grab for close work, a Canon 100/2.8 L IS macro. I used a hint of off-camera flash to add sparkle to the dull daylight. The flash was behind the flower, to the left and above, just out of frame.

In the first example, a narrow aperture gets almost all of the subject in focus, but leaves the background looking a little busy, though maybe not objectionably so in this case.

I experimented, using a wider aperture to soften the background, and stacking (blending) several exposures focused at different distances to get most of the flower in focus.

Moving in closer, the high magnification ensures that depth of field will be shallow no matter what the f/stop.

The last of that series is close to life-size in camera (larger than life on your monitor).

These last two were done today, with just natural daylight. In order to turn the distracting, detailed background into a wash of soft color, I used a very long focal length: 600 mm, achieved by attaching a 2X tele-extender to a 300 mm lens. 

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/experimenting-with-irises.html


Monday, April 22, 2013

KidZNotes with the DSO

Katie Wyatt, executive director of KidzNotes, had every reason to be proud of the accomplishments of the young students who performed alongside the Durham Symphony April 20 at the Emily K Center. The program was varied and refreshing, including works by Wagner, Beethoven, and Stephen Jaffe, who arranged one of his own compositions so that the kids could participate.

DSO music director William Henry Curry joined the youngest of the kids (the "Mozart" orchestra) for a photo before the concert.

The young musicians were fearless in performance.

The intermediate children ("Beethoven" orchestra) played side by side with the DSO pros.

Composer Stephen Jaffe was pleased with how the KidzNotes ensemble performed. He had spent much time rehearsing with them.

At the end of the program, maestro Curry accepted the applause for everyone involved.

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/kidznotes-with-dso.html

Keep your eyes on the ball

When I played baseball as a kid, we were always admonished to "keep yer eyes on the ball!" Amazingly, if you did that, the bat (or glove) would seem to meet the ball almost of its own volition.

Watching kids play soccer these days, it becomes obvious that the best way to connect foot (or other body part) with ball is watching the ball as long as possible.

Here's a young lady who does that really well.

The photo sequence spans approximately one quarter second. :)

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/keep-your-eyes-on-ball.html

Friday, April 19, 2013

Slings and Arrows...

of a floral kind.

An arrow, a budding iris, quivering in the breeze:

There were at least three almost microscopic spiders on the petals of this 15 mm flower (5/8 inch in diameter):

One of them appeared ready to sling a grain of pollen at its peers.

All photos from our yard this afternoon, before the gentle breeze became gusty wind.

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/slings-and-arrows.html

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More From Yesterday's Hour at the Arboretum

Trying to photographically explore a place like the Raulston Arboretum in an hour is a bit like attempting to "see" a major art museum in a day. A lot will inevitably be missed. Still, if you limit your goals instead of trying to  cram in too much, there's  value in the experience.

Yesterday I posted just two photos that were part of my whirlwind tour that afternoon. Here are a few more.

Athyrium otophorum:

I'm not sure what these are, but I focused on one and let the others almost disappear into their own haze:

Zephyranthes drummondii, giant prairie lily:

Sometimes it's astounding the variety of shapes that can erupt from one tree trunk:

This next is some kind of hybrid Viburnum. I also cropped the photo to make a different image, the one that leads this article.

Primula sieboldii, "Drag Queen":

And finally, Cercis canadensis, "Floating Clouds", variegated eastern redbud:

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-from-yesterdays-hour-at-arboretum.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Short and Sweet

I've been patiently waiting for our irises (or others in the neighborhood) to bloom. Nothing so far, so I made a quick hop over to the Raulston Arboretum to see what they have blooming today. There's quite a lot, and one of the first things I spotted was a nice iris.

This tiny pink flower (the size of my thumbnail) is known as "Short and Sweet" (Silene caroliniana). One nice thing about shooting at the arboretum is that virtually all of the flowers are identified (though not the insects)!

I have more photos to process later, but I'll keep this post short (and I hope sweet) so that I can publish it immediately. The photos were done with a Canon 5D Mk III and 100L macro lens, natural light (partly cloudy) only.

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/short-and-sweet.html

Friday, April 12, 2013

Flowers and perspective

Yesterday I used a wide angle lens and a close perspective to play with the appearance of skimming over and around a patch of azaleas. Today I used a narrow view and more distant perspective to get a very different look.

In a way, I feel that there is more intimacy to these images than the others, perhaps because the individual flowers occupy a larger proportion of the frame. These were photographed between 300 and 400 mm focal length (using a 70-200 zoom with a 2x extender). The moderately high magnification results in shallow depth of field, while the long focal length means the background blur is even more apparent. (A narrow angle of view leads to a more distant camera position for a given subject size. Therefore, the distances from camera to subject and camera to background are relatively similar. This makes the background appear larger than when a wide angle of view leads one to use a close camera position. In that case, the background is proportionally further away, is magnified less, and appears less blurry. This is why telephoto lenses are good for throwing a background out of focus.)

For most of these shots, I was just over a meter - say four feet - away from the closest flower.

Moving my viewpoint just a few inches changed (simplified) the background.

Incidentally, one reason I chose the 70-200 + 2X rather than a "native" 400 mm like the 100-400 zoom is that an extender (also known as a multiplier or teleconverter) preserves the close focusing range of the bare lens.

These are patiently waiting their turn to open.

Permalink: http://jilcp.blogspot.com/2013/04/flowers-and-perspective.html