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Early Spring V

Purple vs. White Trillium

Purple Trillium, a different species from the white, present different challenges. The purple blooms tend to dip down toward the ground. White flowers face upward toward the sky. My successful photographs of purple (Click me for another Purple Trillium posting) have the camera lower than the plant, say where there is a bank above the trail.

Shot from beneath, White Trillium project a hopeful air. Here is a comparison of the two species in the environmental and individual treatments.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Early Spring IV

exploring Trillium habitat

Trillium as subjects are a continual challenge to find the compelling composition. Click me for another Trillium posting.

This afternoon’s sky was overcast, perfect for photographing wildflowers: clouds thin enough for light to pour through. In the clouds’ shadow there is not enough light for the plant to cast its own distracting shadows. Compare an earlier trillium photograph (click me to go there).

For the following photograph is a study in habitat. At f32, focusing on the trillium, the surroundings are clearly identifiable: several budding Foam Flower heads (Scientific Name: Tiarella), fern, rotting wood, the forest floor hidden by leaf clutter.

I released the shutter (with a 2 second delay) during a break in spring breezes, the overcast lighting bright enough for a speedy 1/8 second exposure. The focus on the opening trillium bloom is just as crisp in this exposure as the next.

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At 4 f-stop, the entire plant is in focus while many habitat elements are a soft blur. An interesting point is the leaf on the left. It is in focus somewhat and is a distraction. This was an issue, in my opinion, for the first photograph.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Early Spring III

Circinate

A thumb’s width span for each unfurling stalk of this unidentified colony. Fern? Flowering plant?

Each image is from a Canon 100 mm macro lens, camera mounted on a sturdy studio tripod I carried a few hundred feet to this bank within Fillmore Glen New York State park.

Here is another assignment from the “Fundamentals of Photography” course, to capture a scene at different f-stops, the degree to which the diaphragm is open, to control the width of the lens aperture. Increasing f-stop narrows lens aperture.

For this f32 image, the least possible apeture for this lens, resulting in maximum depth of field. Everything in view is in focus, increasing the visual elements competing for the viewer’s attention. On the other hand, a distracting element is more information about where the plant is thriving.

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At 8 f-stop aperture is at a midpoint, elements of the background are out of focus, though still recognizable. The sturdy tripod, well situated, enables me to take the exact same view, changing only the f-stop (and associated shutter speed, the higher the f-stop the slower the shutter speed. As the aperture decreases, less light enters the camera and more time is required to collect enough light to expose the digital media. Slower shutter speed means more time for spring breezes to move the delicately balanced plant stalk, resulting a blur for a subject otherwise in focus.

In this image I removed all but the immediate surroundings of the red stalks.

At f2.8 the diaphram is wide open, a maximum amount of light enters the camera and shutter speed is higher as well. Less of the image is in focus, a single subject is in sharp relief. Prior to cropping more than one stalk is in focus, competing for attention.

After cropping a single stalk is the image subject, reminding me of swirling galaxies. The drawback is reduction in image size: 30 reduced to 1.3 (6,744 to 1,371). I needed to reposition the tripod and camera for a closer shot of the circinate scene elements and a image with a higher resolution of this fascinating episode in the life of a plant. I am tempted to visit Malloryville where large ferns unfurl.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Early Spring II

Hepatica from April 2007

Yesterday you saw a grouping of Hepatica flowers and seed heads. (Click me for another Hepatica posting from this season).

Here you see two seed heads in selective focus, one still has flower petals attached.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Early Spring I

transformation to seed

Afternoon, May 5th last week was spent in Fillmore Glen New York State Park, Moravia New York. Back in 2002, this was my first wildflower photography experience and repeated many times over the years (Click me for another Hepatica posting). Here is a follow-up showing the next step in the development of Hepatica blossoms, forming seed heads.

Here you see both flowers and a single seed head set in three bracts.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

American Spirit

during New York PAUSE for COVID-19

I spotted this sign May 5, 2020 on the way to Fillmore Glen New York State Park.

Stopped on the way home to document this message.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Dunseverick Castle Ruin, roadside info

Pride of History on display

On Causeway Road there is a turnoff an information placard for Dunseverick Castle near a cottage. This is the left side of the placard with the historical context. The right side is natural history of the area.

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Click me for the first post of this series.

Reference: Wikipedia “Dunseverick Castle.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills