Photo of the Day - May 2021

Apple fanboy

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Lack of caterpillars at the moment means any food will do. Here a spider will provide a tasty snack for his 8 babies. At least they will all get a leg!
_DSC6944.jpg
 

Clix Pix

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Thank you, SS! The setup was quite simple: a grey foam core board set down on the plastic table out on the deck, just the subject, natural lighting and the camera with my beloved 90mm macro lens on it, and me..... I shot the iPhone from various angles, then came in the house and found something with which to prop it up somewhat in order to produce a more interesting angle than it just lying flat on the surface, and did some more shooting..... The deck is shady, no direct sunlight comes in on it, which is good for a lot of kinds of shooting.

The photo of Alfred that you mentioned is one that I shot last year and just quickly grabbed from my 2020 archives to stick into the theme of the moment, which was (again) birds..... It's not really my best photo of Alfred but it definitely is nifty because I captured him with his mouth full of a freshly-caught fish -- one of the first times I'd managed to do that. Alfred was the main reason I bought the 100-400mm lens so that I'd have something to carry as a walk-around lens while going around the boardwalk and the lake; the 200-600 is just too darned awkward and big for me to carry; it is much better on the tripod. However, I'm not about to carry the tripod with me while on casual strolls around the lake, and so the hand-holdable 100-400mm is just perfect.

Alfred Snags Another Treat.jpeg
 

Scepticalscribe

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I love the shot of Alfred because of the composition, and the way in which you capture colour, especially with a limited palette.

It is an excellent example of how to shoot in colour with a limited palette which enhances, but doesn't overpower, the subject.

Anyway, I really love the various shades of green of the foliage - and the reflection of the foliage in the water - along with the contrasting shaded whites of Alfred's plumage, and his reflection in the water - and how colour and composition combine to make a terrific photograph.
 

Clix Pix

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Thank you! I can't take credit for the colors with which Mother Nature blessed us on that early Summer day.....but, yes, when shooting birds in the water I always am mindful to check for a reflection, as that can add such impact to an image. Shooting something in the water or actually just the water itself also is fun because depending upon lighting, time of day, the angle at which I approach the subject, the colors of and in the water can change dramatically as well. Some days the lake looks positively green, such as in this image. Other days it is more brownish/grey, especially after a rain and/or when it is cloudy and dreary. The season of year makes a difference, too, of course. Right now I'm looking out the sliding glass door at the lake and it is vividly green thanks to the sun lighting up the newly-emerged foliage and tree leaves across the lake from me.

When I shoot I always pay attention to what is around the subject, behind it, above it, below it and beside it, as that is a key part of composition. Regardless of the subject, whether it's Alfred or a flower, eliminating unnecessary distractions and elements from the scene is key in contributing to the impact of the final image. Of course it's easier to manage this when shooting a non-moving subject under controlled conditions such as shooting a still life/tabletop or macro image indoors. With wildlife, one has no control over the subject! In post-processing/editing there is also the opportunity, if needed, to clone out (remove) an errant offending distraction which either went unnoticed at the time of shooting or was noticed but couldn't be changed due to the situation.

Also in the editing process, when one shoots in RAW, as I do, there is the latitude to adjust contrast, color, exposure values, etc., as needed and to taste. Just as in black-and-white imaging, contrast plays a key role in color photography as well. Sometimes it becomes the subject itself, and definitely part of the overall impact in, say, a simple abstract image with two or three bold contrasting colors. In this particular image, of course, as you noted, SS, the varying shades of green complement each other and then there is Alfred, with his blue-and-creamy white coloring, who provides the contrast, standing out from the background. What also makes this image interesting to the viewer is that Alfred is not just standing there gazing vaguely off into the distance; the fish in his mouth adds the bit that often is the first thing to grab the viewer's attention. Another colorful contrasting element is Alfred's yellow, piercing eye, which again is an attention-grabber.

Now that spring/early summer is upon us I am looking forward to spending time again with Alfred in the water and me on the boardwalk or the path, wherever I can get a good angle......and also shooting his fellow herons and the geese, ducks and cormorant(s) who also share the lake with the humans here.
 

Clix Pix

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So busy writing that other post that I forgot to actually post an image for today!!

Shot with my new iPhone 12 Pro, then cropped and edited to give the image more pop and impact:

In the Depths of Purple.jpeg
 

Pumbaa

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Yes not the correct focus point, but I liked it.
I disagree about ”not the correct focus point”. Maybe it was not the intended or the planned one, what do I know, but if you like the result then it is a correct one, if not the correct one. :greenthumb:

That is unless someone commissioned you to take a specific picture, I guess…
 

Apple fanboy

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I disagree about ”not the correct focus point”. Maybe it was not the intended or the planned one, what do I know, but if you like the result then it is a correct one, if not the correct one. :greenthumb:

That is unless someone commissioned you to take a specific picture, I guess…
Not very likely!
 

Clix Pix

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Our newest residents in the neighborhood! Unfortunately these are not the only ones, as there are plenty more of them (thousands! Millions!) who have already arrived and who will be arriving in the Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic states area over the next few weeks. What you are seeing are Periodical Cicadas, often called "Seventeen-Year Locusts" because they emerge only once every seventeen years. These guys have laboriously crawled up from underground, and the colorful one on the left is working his way towards leaving his exoskeleton behind while others are still freshly emerging (molting) from theirs. They very quickly acclimate to their new fresh-air environment, turn brown and then black, with rather alarming looking bright red eyes, the better to help them find their way to the nearest tree to climb in search of romance and a mate.

New Cicadas Emerging.jpeg
 
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