Enfield Wildlife Management Area Sept 16, 2017

Here are a few photos I took at this beautiful spot late morning today.  Check it out. You can zoom into the bottom image and pan around to explore it in detail.

To the top of Everest

It is one thing to get published, but it’s an entirely different matter to get a print of a photo one took carried to the top of Mount Everest. Here is Mingmar Sherpa, the son of good friend Chhongba Sherpa, on the summit of Mount Everest in May this year. He is holding a photo I took of the Board of Directors of the Tara Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping the people of Nepal.

This was Mingmar’s third ascent of Everest.  You can see photos of him at Everest Base Camp just before he made his first ascent if you CLICK HERE.

Little Blue Heron in Norwich

Yesterday Chris Rimmer of VCE found a Little Blue Heron at Campbell Flats in Norwich, VT. He reported, “… and an immature egret/heron that was either a Snowy Egret or a Little Blue Heron. I never managed to get my spotting scope on the bird, but based on a 20-25 second view through binoculars as it perched atop a tree, I believe it was a Little Blue.”

By this morning a few folks much more expert than I had concluded it was indeed an immature Little Blue Heron.

I was fortunate to spend 13 minutes with this beautiful heron this morning. I normally do not like to photograph birds with backlight, but it worked out very well with this bird.  

This is how many large birds signal they are about to fly.

 

But it did not launch. It first needed to scratch…

 

… and stretch its wings.

Finally it flew.  I believe it was reacting to a farm vehicle that started up nearby.

 

Here are some more photos I took.

 

Photo Lessons

This weekend I gave two 3-hour photo lessons to two very enthusiastic photographers. It was fun for me, and I think they benefited from the time we spent together. Both Saturday and Sunday we started indoors covering techniques and composition. Then we moved outside to practice what was discussed, answer questions, and touch on other topics in the field.

Saturday was sunny, but when we headed to the Etna Library area the sun was softened by some high clouds. This allowed some nice flower photos that otherwise would be poor in bright sun. We photographed mostly with shallow depth of field to blur the background.  I like this one because of the background colors.

And then there were some fast-moving bees to try to capture.

One simple thing I stress when teaching is that if the sky is not dramatic and does not contribute to the photo, try to eliminate it. Previously I had photographed the nearby barn with very beautiful skies, but this day the sky was white. So I practiced another simple composition tip — sometimes a piece of the subject can be better than the whole.

Sunday afternoon we headed to Hanover and the Dartmouth campus. The other option was Moose Mountain, but it was way too sunny for that. The woods are too contrasty for good photos with full sun. But architecture is often excellent on a sunny day. So we took some photos of buildings. I suggested focusing on details rather than trying to get it all in. And I pointed out that sometimes shadows are an important part of the composition. 

 

I showed how to get a sun star. It is caused by diffraction (bending of light) at the edges of the lens diaphragm. It is strongest when the physical size of the aperture is small, which means both a large f/number and a wide angle lens. At any f/stop, the aperture is 10 times smaller at 20 mm than at a focal length of 200 mm. I wanted to create one at the very top of Baker Library, but a tree got in the way and blocked the sun. So I put the sun star on the top of another building.

We tried some panning. I showed how to create some motion blurs by zooming during exposure with a slow shutter speed.

 

While we were walking and looking for the next interesting subject, I got a few photos of people on the Green and along the streets.

 

It was a good weekend.