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Tag Archives: flowers

Sunflowers look good even without the sun

Sunflowers in Hillsborough field.

A friend told me about a field of sunflowers that are in perfect bloom. I like sunflower fields and since I am going to be in Vermont for over a week, I figured the sunflowers might not look too good when I get back. Even though the sun wasn’t out, I went to the field late in the day and shot away.

The sky was pretty cloudy with a few blue spots, so I initially tried keeping the sky out of the photo. Since the sun wasn’t shining strong, many sunflowers were bowed down for the night and the ones still looking up were beginning to droop.

As it happens so many times, the photo I had envisioned before I got there wasn’t doable, so I had to try something else. I went back to the Jeep and got a strobe and umbrella reflector so I could be sure there was good light on the sunflowers. I under exposed the overall scene about a full stop and made sure the strobe was outputting the right amount of light for a proper exposure. I like the dramatic effect it created.

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It isn’t not a snap dragon, but don’t tell the orchid

I was photographing this morning along the D&R Canal in Griggstown, NJ, with my Meetup group. It is fun going out with other people and taking photos.

During my days as a news photographer, I always noticed that the photographer who got away from the pack and wasn’t standing around chatting with the other photographers was usually the one with the best photos at the end of the day. I’m noticing that with our meetups too. Now some people are there to meet other photographers and get photo tips, which is great. But some are there to make the best photos they can and that person is rarely bunched up with the others.

Today I spent most of the time talking to others, showing them what I was shooting and thinking and answering their questions. I then wandered over to a nice little flower garden and got out my macro lens.

I saw this orchid growing tall above the others, so I moved in and started shooting. I liked my initial shots of one stem isolated against a dark background. I loved the way the rising sun was backlighting the stem and shining through the pedals. I thought I had my shot.

When I looked even closer, there it was: an orchid face! It looks like a dragon coming at me.

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An afternoon along the canal

Old tools are visible inside a building along the D&R canal

I spent the afternoon with my good friend and photographer Nat Clymer wandering along the D&R Canal in East Millstone and Somerset, N.J. Nat lives nears the canal and knows the history and most of the people along it. There are several old buildings in various places along the canal that served as houses or vantage points while the canal was in operation many years ago. In fact, Nat used to have his office in an old canal house in Kingston.

A canal house is reflected in the water.

The houses are pretty neat but they have a major flaw, they are near the water and when the big floods came from Hurricane Irene last year and Floyd in 1999, many flooded up to the second floor. Most have been repaired but a few need tons of work.

Nat and I stopped a couple of the canal houses to look around. Nat has photographed the canal and the people around it for years and is preparing for a show in the fall and gathering some fresh scenic shots and I was just hanging out, making some photos and enjoying his company. I liked the reflection of one canal house in the water, so I spent some time working on a shot of it. The colors turned out pretty good.

Across the street from the canal at Blackwells Mill is an old studio that was used by an artist Nat knew. The man dies a few years ago but Nat has several of his paintings. The building got hit pretty hard by the flood and the man’s sister hasn’t been able to restore it. His tools are still hanging in a window as ivy creeps up the side of the building. It a classic look at Americana and I hope it stays for a long time.

Near the studio was a solitary tiger lily with the sun shining on it. Almost everything behind it was in dark shadows so I framed the shot so only the flower was illuminated. It looks like it is growing out of the darkness.

A tiger lily grabs the sunlight.

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Give me sunshine and a dandelion

The beauty of a dandelion.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy.

Today was a beautiful Vermont day with great sunshine. I got out my macro lens and tripod and walked through the yard to take a close look around.

I shot some fiddleheads, new ferns that many Vermonters eat, but was too happy with what I was getting. There was a steady breeze and the fiddleheads kept moving, making it hard to shoot with long shutter speeds.

A fiddlehead fern.

I saw some large dandelions close to the ground, so I got down on my belly and looked close. I was working with my 100mm macro lens but it couldn’t focus as close as I wanted to get, so I added an extension tube to allow closer focusing and larger magnification.

When I got in extremely close to the regular old dandelion, I saw the beauty that most people don’t take time to enjoy. I photographed several different dandelions, they each looked different.

It makes me wonder why most people call them weeds and dump poison to kill them off.

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PhotoShelter likes rose photo

Morning rain drops cover a red rose

Grover Sanschagrin at PhotoShelter selected one of my photos for his blog post 10 Cool Photos of Water Drops. Thanks Grover!

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Getting down to the ground and looking close-up

Frost covers the edges of a leaf.

This morning was rather chilly, in the low 30’s when I hit the road before sunrise. I wandered back to Colonial Park in Franklin, NJ, and was happily greeted by a light frost on the ground. I enjoy getting down on the ground with my macro lens to shoot close-up shots of frosty things, especially colorful leaves.

Frost is melted off a leaf by the morning sun.

I had my tripod splayed out and I was on my knees hovering over the camera and concentrating rather hard on getting the angle I wanted as the rising sunlight swept across a leaf. I heard a little noise and I was rather startled to see a man standing nearby with his dog. I was in a part of the park that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, so this was the only person I had seen. As I looked up, the man was a little startled too. “I don’t see someone on the ground very often, I came over to make sure you were OK,” he said. I laughed and thanked him for his concern, I guess I did look like a blob of humanity on the ground. It was nice that he took the time to check on me.

The rising sun shines through the blades of a plant.

After my old knees didn’t want to be on the ground any longer, I noticed the sun shining through some long leaves along a fence in the formal garden. I liked the way the light interacted with the blades and created a highlight on the edges.

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What’s good: Ferns in a bog

Interupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana) in the Eshqua Bog Natural Area, maintained by The Nature Conservancy in Hartland, Vermont. (Copyright 2010 Loren Fisher)

Interupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana) in the Eshqua Bog Natural Area, maintained by The Nature Conservancy in Hartland, Vermont.

Just outside of Woodstock, Vermont, is a natural area that has been protected by The Nature Conservancy. It is called Eshqua Bog Natural Area and it is 41 acres with hiking trails that go through the bog area and up the hillside to the forest. I’ve been there many times and the ferns always catch my eye.

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What’s good: Beautiful morning in Vermont

Clouds reflect in a Vermont pond before sunrise. (Loren Fisher)

Clouds reflect in a Vermont pond before sunrise.

Another beautiful Vermont morning. I watched the sun rise at my favorite pond. The pond was quiet this morning, a few frogs were making their presence known and the wind blowing in the trees was about the only other noise.

Dew drop sits on a leaf as the rising sun hits a Vermont pond (Loren Fisher)

Dew drop sits on a leaf as the rising sun hits a Vermont pond.

An overnight rain put a clean shine on everything and left some drops.

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What’s good: A field of sunflowers

A fleld of sunflowers near Flemington, NJ

Another heatwave settled into New Jersey, so I went looking for sunflowers. Several years ago I saw a field of them while riding my bicycle in Hunterdon County, so I went there. The field has corn in it this year but across the street were sunflowers! I thought sunflowers followed the sun across the sky, but all them were pointed away from the sun. Maybe they don’t like heatwaves either.

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Alaska photo adventure slideshow


Alaska – Images by Loren Fisher

These are some of my favorite photos from my trip to Alaska.

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What’s good: Sandhill cranes bid us goodbye from Alaska

Sandhill cranes in Fairbanks, Alaska

After eight days of fun and awe in Alaska, it is time to head home. Our last stop was the Creamer’s Field State Wildlife Sanctuary in Fairbanks. The preserve is known as a haven for sandhill cranes after their migration to their summer home. Cranes like open fields, like airports, so they put out plenty of food at the preserve so the cranes aren’t tempted to fly over to the airport. Cranes have a funny mating dance but they weren’t in the mood today. We have been keeping track of how many critters we could identify. The cranes let us hit our goal of 50.

Birch trees and fireweed surround a Fairbanks, Alaska field.

On our way to the field, we drove past a grove of birch trees behind a grassy field that was lined with the ever-present fireweed. A beautiful end to a great trip.

Read more at Walter’s blog.

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What’s good: Being in Denali, Alaska

A coyote poses in Denali, Alaska.

We traveled to Denali National Park on our bear search. On the way, we saw a pretty coyote sitting along the road. So, of course, we screeched to a halt and went back for some shots.

Fireweed grows everywhere in Alaska.

You can drive 12 miles into the park and then you have to take a converted school bus the 89 miles to the end of the road – unless you know somebody. Walter has a client doing road work past where the buses go. So we are going in with them tonight at 6 p.m. It is a four hour ride, then Walter will shoot some photos of them working for a couple of hours and then we’ll ride back out.

A gull sits on our car roof in Denali National Park, Alaska.

We drove the 12 mile route a couple times this afternoon. It was a rainy day so we decided not to do any hikes. We’re also saving energy since it will be a sleepless night. We are amazed at the number of gulls in Alaska. They are everywhere, including Denali which is hundreds of miles from any major body of water. At one of the pulling off spots on the 12-mile drive, a friendly gull lands on car roofs. It seems like it his gig, being cute for food. I’m sure it works way too much.

Be sure to read more at Walter’s blog.

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What’s good: One last day in Vermont

Morning sun makes water drop glisten on phlox pedals.

Today was my last day in Vermont on this trip – back to the reality of work. Overnight rain turned to morning fog, which created a nice mood for a shot of the phlox along the Ottauquechee River in Quechee. I don’t know if the wild flower was more prevalent this year or I really hadn’t noticed it before, but it is everywhere, at least near water. The little flowers are either white or purple and they’re beautiful. A couple of hours after sunrise, the sun broke through and made the water drops glisten.

Phlox grow along the Ottauqueeche River.

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What’s good: Flies on the eye of the frog

Flies sit on the eye of frog in Pomfret, Vt.

I went back to the big pond on the property I visited yesterday. It was the perfect day and place, the air was warm but not too hot, the scenery was beautiful and the only sounds were frogs, birds and wind. It is a place of total relaxation, I’ll be spending a lot of time there.

Blooms are just appearing at the edge of the pond.

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What’s good: Looking close in the yard

Close-up of two-inch iris

After I got home from work, I thought I would walk down to a nearby park and see what was there. It was another rainy, gray day and I needed to find something good to lift my mood. I threw my tripod over my shoulder and headed toward the gate. Like I’ve said before, our yard isn’t an arboretum. There’s really only about four flowers growing in the yard and the dogs think plants are for stomping. At the side of the house are a few small iris.  They are only about an inch or two long, but the closer I looked the more I liked them. I ended up spending about 20 minutes just looking at things in the yard. Nothing is spectacular or probably even special, but there are lots of little neat things. I enjoyed looking at the neighbor’s nice ivy wrapping around our wood fence, the weathered, wooden fence looked neat when I looked closely at it. I soon noticed my blue mood had gone away and I was feeling pretty good.

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