Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bumble Fleur

This was taken today.  It's a pastiche of PhotoShop plugins and filters.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Garden-variety foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).  Caught a bee bumbling out of the upper tube

According to Wikipedia, "the plant is frequented by bees, which climb right inside the flower tube to gain the nectar within." You don't say?

This was shot with the on-camera flash.  I'm waiting on parts to repair my ring flash.  My camera fell a few feet onto a carpeted floor and the hot-shoe mount to the flash unit cracked into a bunch of pieces.  Luckily, replacement parts are available on eBay.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Aphid punchers

Rounding up the little doggies before sundown.

Textures and Filters

It has been a while since I had played around with the AlienWare SnapArt suite, so in honor or #textureblendtuesday on Google+, I present the following:

The rendering filter is pastel - soft portrait.

Here's another summer re-run:

This one used some NIK filters to bring out more detail in the white petals.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Silver-spotted Skipper

I met the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) today at lunch.  According to Wikipedia, this is supposed to be "the most recognized skipper in North America."  Needless to say, I had absolutely no idea what this was until a few minutes ago.  Additional Silver-spotted Skipper trivia:  adults almost never feed on yellow flowers.  Hmmmm.

Once again, I have to credit the Massachusetts Butterfly Club for helping me ID this butterfly.

I'm almost as bad with identifying flowers, so forgive me for not naming the co-star in the above picture.  Here's a younger version of same flower:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Barbie's Little Sister

Meet the Hobomok Skipper Butterfly (Poanes hobomok) -- at least I think it is.  There are something like 3,500 different species in this family.   I saw this little bugger perched on a poison ivy leaf during a lunchtime walk along the rail trail near the Mountain State Company.

I was struck by its weird wing design.

Post Script:  The Massachusetts Butterfly Club (!) is a great resource for images.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Steady as She Goes

So much of my experience in photographing the world around me seems to serve more as a cautionary tale.  Take my lunchtime walk with camera down the rail trail.

I haven't progressed beyond my usual boring subjects of flowers and bees.  Even more to the point, though, is that I'm attempting these pictures without benefit of a tripod.  This shot is "good enough for government work," but the slight blurriness of a handheld shot is a bit shy of publication quality.

I've got a perfectly vivid flower and a somewhat cooperative bumblebee.   The problem is that this picture isn't sharp enough to really stand out.

Sure is a pretty flower, though.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Meet the noble Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) on an aptly named butterfly bush.

Taken at 6 p.m. this evening.  Canon EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM (1/60 sec; f/25; ISO 100) and Sigma EM-140 DG ring flash.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Honey Dipper

"If the ocean was nectar and I was a duck,
I'd dive to the bottom and I'd never come up!"
-- Rye Whiskey (sort of)

If not for the leaf, this would be a stunning composition.  May have to test my PhotoShop mettle on this one.

Monday, August 5, 2013

There are No Unknowns

I've begun using Microsoft's Lync at work recently. It's Monday, and my threshold for amusement has been significantly lowered, which might explain why I thought that this was funny:

It makes me think of the classic Donald Rumsfeld quote:
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." 
—United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 2002