Flickr Contest: Timothy Brooks!

No use without photographer’s permission under any circumstances.

Photo Info: “I was out birding with my new Canon 400mm lens, when this butterfly came right in front of me. I had no space to back up, but I did have an extension tube with me. I quickly put on the tube, only to find that I couldn’t fit the whole butterfly in the frame.

You may notice the abnormal square framing of this shot, that it because I took two photos (vertically), and merged them like a panorama. I actually really like the square framing, and by having this made of two photos, the resolution is a lot higher then if you were to take one, and crop it to look square.”

This is a beautiful shot, with a very simple and quiet background. You’re able to see all the fine details of the butterflies features which is great as well. Maybe trying capture the butterfly from another angle. Other than that, great shot Tim!

Cool Depth (Flickr Contest Image by J. Shultz)

Cool Depths, originally uploaded by J.Shultz Photography.

Nice use of High Dynamic Range (HDR). I like the dramatic sky and the glow on the horizon. We will have an article on HDR in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Lost Ladybugs, its shooting time!

In the Washington Post today there was an article in the kids section discussing the decline in the ladybug population. For the scientists concerned into their disappearance they want photographers to send in pictures of ladybugs so they can find out where these little insects are dissappearing off to.

“There are about 500 species of ladybugs in the United States, but only about 75 of those are what you think of as ladybugs: red bugs with black spots. Losey’s project focuses on three types of ladybugs that are native, meaning they’re from the United States: the nine-spotted, the two-spotted and the transverse ladybug, which has a long stripe instead of a spot on its back….

…His goal this summer is to get 100 photos of ladybugs from every state and Washington, D.C. So far, Maryland has sent 87 images, Virginia, 79, and the District, only 4! Colorado has sent in the most images at 1,517!…

…To find ladybugs, look for them on higher vegetation in a meadow or on a wildflower. Ladybugs also like milkweed plants and roses. A good clue to tracking down a ladybug is a sticky plant. That’s because ladybugs eat aphids, which are insects that secrete a sticky sap onto leaves. But really, Losey says, ladybugs could be anywhere during the summer….”

To see the whole Washington Post article click: HERE

Visit the website and upload images to the Lost Ladybug project: HERE (and make sure to share some of your images on our FlickR site too!)

-Emma Canfield

Manning Park Weekend Trip (Connor Stefanison)

This past Saturday and Sunday morning, my dad, Jess Findlay, and myself went to Manning Provincial Park for a quick camping trip. Manning Park is located 2 hours east of Vancouver BC, Canada, in the Cascade Mountains. Manning is a very good spot that’s close to the city to produce some nice images.

On Saturday my dad went on a 44 kilometer hike, while Jess and I took the truck out in search of wildlife. The majority of our time was spent on Mt.Blackwell, which provides very good opportunities for Pika, Marmots, Yellow-Pine Chipmunks, Columbian + Cascade Ground Squirrel, Sooty + Ruffed Grouse, Mule Deer, and Snowshoe Hares. After taking some morning scenics, we went down the mountain and saw a big 4×4 Mule Deer (picture below). I took out my camera with my 70-200mm on and clicked the shutter. OOOPS, it was on self timer. I took a second shot, OOOPS, I was on F16 (slow shutter), then I took a few more before it wandered off. I was wondering why my shutter speeds were so low, I forgot I was on 100 ISO. I got two decently sharp shots. So a good tip to remember is to change your setting back to wildlife settings after you take scenics.

During mid day light, we went down to Lightning Lakes and watched runners come in from a 100 mile/27 hour trail race. Honestly, they

didn’t even look tired. We also tried Bird Jam for the first time and it worked with Hermit Thrush.

That evening, we stayed at the Pika rocks for a while and ended up having one eat some grass in the wildflowers. The sun was half behind a mountain, causing very slow shutter speeds. It was very challenging since I was handheld with a 500mm F/4, at around 1/125 sec.

On Sunday morning, as we were driving up the mountain, we quickly spotted a female Lynx with a kitten on a cliff. We hiked up, and Jess was able to get a few shots of the adult running away. Last year we got some shots of two large 4×4 Mule Deer Bucks

Continue reading

Blue Jay (Flickr Contest by Tuker L)

Blue Jay, originally uploaded by BackpackingBirder.

The background makes the shot! The clouds, and the blue sky that matches the blue in the blue jay, really blend to make this an interesting shot. While most birds on a stick do not keep your attention, I really like this one. Just one tip for next time – try placing the bird off center. I think it might work a little bit better. Great job!

Hi

Hi Everyone
Hope all is well. Good to be here and hope to see some great work and postings.
Thanks and greetings
Wynand van Wyk

Image by Tobias Hayashi (Flickr Contest)

While Tobias calls this “not the most exciting photo in the world,” I really like the subtle light and the beautiful background. There is just enough detail in the background to make out that it is water instead of sky. The detail in the duck’s feathers is lovely. Overall, a very solid shot. And, as we all know, birds in flight are never easy!

Tiger Beetle by (Luke Theodorou)

Tiger Beetle, originally uploaded by Luke Theodorou.

This is such a cool photo! I like it so much because Luke got right down to the eye level of the beetle to make the shot. This perspective makes the beetle look huge! I love the sand and all the detail. I would like to see what the photo looks like with more-depth-of-field – just so the legs would be in focus. Great job Luke!

Suburban jungle (Jodie Randall)

Ant with aphid colony

Honey bee with flare

After a good few weeks of dry, bright summer days and high temperatures, the weather has turned and brought with it some much needed rain. It is now much more like an English Summer. For this reason I’ve been sticking close to home and venturing out only in the odd sunny spell. My garden has proved surprisingly productive for macro photography, and being the quickest place I can get to, extremely convenient. The foxgloves and poppies hum with big bumble bees banded with bright warning colours, while the smaller more discreet honey bees collect pollen from the lavender. Ladybirds seem to be having a good year. Their black and orange pupas are like tiny baubles decorating the garden. The Californian poppies are a favourite of the hoverflies, their abdomens glowing with the brilliant orange light radiated from the flowers. Spiders wait patiently in their webs, while comma butterflies warm their fiery wings in the sunlight. It is a miniature jungle. Life cycles are playing out underneath my feet.

A mass of cadmium red poppies growing at the end of the garden have become home to thousands of tiny black aphids. Frantically scampering up and down the spindly, towering stalks, an army of ants work tirelessly to protect the aphids from ladybirds and other predators. There is a brilliant alliance going on here. Ladybirds feed on the aphids. The ants protect the aphids, which in turn excrete a sugary substance, which is consumed by the ants. Everybody’s happy (except perhaps the ladybirds) and they are just one example of the fascinating life cycles happening in an ordinary suburban garden.

There are many things you can do to encourage wildlife to your garden. Simple things like introducing a log pile or leaving a small area to grow wild will make a big difference. Nettles attract butterflies, and long grasses will provide cover for all sorts of creatures. A small pond will encourage frogs, newts, water snails, and possibly even damselflies and dragonflies.

Flickr Contest: Evan Pagano!

No use without photographer’s permission under any circumstances.

Some photo info: “I took the photo at Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA, right after sunset on July 3rd, 2010. I was using a Nikon D50 and a Manfrotto 055xprob tripod setup just inside the shoreline. The image was exposed for 1.3 seconds; f/22.0; ISO 200; and at a focal length of 17mm. I had to run down the beach with all my camera gear just to make sure I had enough time and light to take some shots. I ended up taking around 30 different exposures, all of which gave me a different pattern of flowing water.”

Evan, I really like this photo. It looks like you picked a great time to shoot, with the subtle natural lighting and beautiful horizon line. It’s very simple, nothing distracting the viewer from the landscape. Well done!

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