Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Wider View - Purple Pitcher Plant


July 2013

Looking down into a purple pitcher plant growing in a sphagnum hummock.  Otisfield Maine.

-Tom

A Wider View- The Crooked River


July, 2013

Still shot at 10 millimeters, but without any subject close to the lens.  Yesterday's pickerel frog lived in the woods just above the Crooked River, a fine babbling river in western Maine, just down the road from my in-laws's place.

-Tom

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Wider View - Moving to Maine


Perhaps the best test of whether an ultra-wide photograph is successful is if it looks like an ultra-wide photograph.  Here's an image from the Crooked River in Otifisfield Maine that I took this past July.  While going through my images to create blog posts for this series, it isn't all that difficult to pick out my ultra-wide images.  With this one, however, I had to check the metadata to ensure that it was shot at 10 mm, the widest possible angle of view I can capture with my current camera setup.

Do you know pickerel frogs?  They seem to inhabitat cold places- think headwater streams and cold, boggy forests in Maine, like where I found this young frog hopping about on a rainy July day.

-Tom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Wider View - Wood Frog


June 7, 2013

While visiting Tummonds State Nature Preserve in Portage County last June, I didn't have my ultrawide angle lens with me, but that didn't prevent me from using the wide-angle closeup technique.  The so-called "kit lenses" that come bundled with digital SLR's can focus quite closely.  With my lens dialed in to its widest setting, I moved in on this frog as close as I could.  The end result is an image that shows the wood frog and its habitat.  To me, this picture provides much more information than a tight shot of the frog only.

-Tom

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Wider View- Common Lupines

May 16, 2013

Burying the camera in a clump of lupines gives us the view that a Karner Blue Butterfly might have as it searches for a mate.  Lou Campbell State Nature Preserve lies in Ohio's Oak Openings Region (which extends into Michigan), one of the the Great Lake's most fascinating ecosystems.

-Tom

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taking in a Wider View - Daughmer Bur Oak Savannah


May 8, 2013

Can you see that small house on the horizon to the right?  What a spectacular place to live, eh?

-Tom

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Taking in a Wider View - Daughmer Savannah State Nature Preserve


May 8, 2013

White this is just on the far edge of being a wide-angle closeup, I'm going to count it because I just really like this photo.  The closeup subject in to the right is a type of sedge, possibly Carex lacustris.  Daughmer Savannah is a true gem of Ohio that was dedicated as an Ohio State Nature Preserve in 2012.  A remnant of the Sandusky Plains, a visit here will give you some idea what Ohio's prairie areas looked like at one time.



-Tom

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Taking in a Wider View - Drooping Trillium


Commonly mistaken for nodding trillium, drooping trillium is fairly common in Ohio, excepting the northeast portion of the state, where I can't remember seeing it.  Getting low and close was key again to this shot, which is quite similar to the image of mayapples from Davis Memorial.  These three specimens were growing at the base of a tree along a steep hillside, excluding them from deer herbivory.  Again, I used flash to add a pop to the undersides of the trillium leaves and flowers.

Collier State Nature Preserve, May 8, 2013

-Tom

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taking in a Wider View - Woodland Stonecrop - Not So Wide


Our eyes have lenses that let us see the world at a certain angle of view.  We can't zoom in or out like we can with a camera.  My go-to lens for wide-angle closeup work is Canon's 10-22 mm zoom lens.  This lens lets me get an image like I shared yesterday, which put this small clump of Sedum ternatum in context- it was growing out of the root ball of a tree.  When I zoom the lens to 22 millimeters, I can focus more closely on the plant itself, getting the entire plant in focus, which is very difficult to do with traditional macro lenses.

-Tom

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taking in a Wider View - Woodland Stonecrop


Using all natural light this time, again during a site visit to Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve on May 3, 2013.

-Tom

Monday, November 18, 2013

Taking in a Wider View- Under the Mayapples


Another one of my more successful wide-angle closeup images, this taken while laying on the ground at Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve on May 3, 2013.  To balance the light between the bright background and the shaded foreground underneath the mayapples, I used flash.

-Tom

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Wider View - On the Bog


July 2013, Otisfield, Maine
True acidic bogs are amazing places driven by moss- mosses in the genus Sphagnum.  Incredible little plants, they create the acidity of the bog ecosystem, allowing organic matter to build up over time instead of decay gradually.  We have bogs in Ohio, but ours are glacial relics of a climate we no longer have in Ohio.  In Maine, it's another story.

-Tom

Something I Wasn't Expecting


Throughout all my wanderings in the East, I've never encountered a bat in the leaf litter.  That changed the day I was at Davey Woods this past April 17.  I believe this is an eastern red bat.  They migrate, and although at first I thought it was dead, it was entirely alive.  Hopefully it was just sleeping and resting, ready to move on when the weather improved.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Taking in a Wider View- Dutchman's Breeches


Again, from Davey Woods State Nature Preserve, utilizing a wide-angle closeup approach.

Taking in a Wider View


If you recall, way back in March, I set out to create closeup images of natural subjects that showed their place in the natural system, rather than isolated on a plain, smooth background, as is done in traditional macro photography.  This approach, known as wide-angle closeup photography, uses forced perspective to place the viewer right into the natural world.  The best way to view this type of imagery stick your nose right to the screen and immerse yourself into the scene.

Over the next few days, I'll be reviewing some of that work here, beginning with this image from Davey Woods State Nature Preserve in Champaign County.  This summer, as part of my work with the Division of Natural Areas & Preserves, I attempted to capture unique and interesting views of Ohio's State Nature Preserves.  If you haven't heard of the Division, it has helped protect many of Ohio's most spectacular places since the outset of the Ohio Natural Areas Act in 1970.  And, don't forget to follow us on Facebook.

-Tom

Friday, November 15, 2013

Litchfield Beach Dawn and Dusk



Often when I'm photographing a spectacular sunset or sunrise, I get caught in the moment and focus on what I perceive is the most interesting photographic subject.  On this morning, I was up early and in the surf clicking away.  It wasn't until my father-in-law, who was also out for a walk, tapped me on the shoulder, pointing my attention to the rainbow that had appeared directly behind me.

-Tom

Litchfield Beach Timelapse Video



While I can't say I've become obsessed with making videos, I have made an effort to use my camera to its fullest- and that means capturing time lapse and HD videos with my limited time.  I seem to find that vacations are now my time where I try new photo things- and our trip to Litchfield Beach this August was a perfect place to try time lapse.

Video has a big learning curve.  When I exported this video from Photoshop CS4, it rendered at 6 gigabytes.  Needless to say I received a message from YouTube with a link offering help how to better export my videos for the website.

When I set up my camera, I was expecting these billowing cumulus clouds to continue their upward development, when in fact, the opposite happened.  Although I didn't get what I had visualized, I really like this video- I had to watch it several times before I saw the man cleaning the pool.

-Tom

Monday, November 11, 2013

Suburban Red-shouldered Hawks



I've been well aware that Cooper's Hawks have wonderfully adapted to life in suburban Ohio. In fact, most of my neighbors think that a peregrine falcon prowls "our hood".  Moving to buteos, I would occasionally hear the shreaks of red-shouldered hawks at my parents house in Summit County, but their neighborhood street lies next to a large wooded ravine complete with stream.  A few years ago, I began to see and hear red-shouldered hawks in our Worthington neighborhood.  Relatively densely populated, but with plenty of mature trees that have grown up since the late 1950's, red-shouldered hawks now prowl the area.  Megan and Brody spotted this one early today.  Have you seen an increase in red-shouldered hawks in your "neck of the woods"?


Obligatory Fall Color, 2013



Grab shot- Sitting on the couch, probably watching a football game, I noticed that a pin oak a few houses down was on fire.

-Tom