Master Photographer Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs organized a Photo Walk in the U.S. and a friend and I attended the one in Nashville. It started around 7 pm so we were able to capture all the bright lights of lower Broadway and the downtown area. If you get a chance, check out Trey’s website. He is definitely a master of photography. In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorites from the walk.
I read an article on Digital Photography School about photographing dragonflies. That sounded fun! Steve Berardi fromPhotoNaturalistpointed out that their “bright contrasting colors make them really stand out in their natural environment, and their large size makes them easy to photograph with a standard telephoto lens.” Super, I thought. I know just where to find some!
A friend and fellow photographer joined me at a nearby lake early one Saturday morning to try our hand at photographing these flying insects. We were in luck…they were everywhere! At first they flew past us lazily, perching on a cattail or leaf for a few seconds or so. Then as their wings began to warm in the sun, they got much faster – quickly darting from place to place – and making it much more difficult to photograph.
One thing I noticed during this small adventure was that I had to sit quietly and move very slowly as not to scare the dragonflies. This gave me time to notice the small things around me…the way the dragonflies flew the same pattern over and over again…the fluffy heads of some of the cattails…the various colors of the insects from brown to iridescent blue.
I didn’t come away with a lot of good images of these flying beauties. Most of them were out of focus and I definitely wasn’t close enough. It’s going to take a whole lot more practice and patience! What I did accomplish was a morning photographing nature (which doesn’t come very often these days) and spending time with a friend sharing our mutual passion for photography!
A little digital painting and added textures on a couple of photos I took that day.
This was my 4th year to document the the Kids Triathlon in our town. As always it’s so much fun to watch these young athletes swim, bike, and run with all their heart. From the overall 1st place winner in the senior category to the littlest participant in the junior category these 7-15 year olds pushed themselves to finish the course. I admire these young people for their determination and perseverance. They all did a fantastic job, but I have to say that if there was a prize for the most determined athlete, it had to go the one of the youngest. This 7 year old swam the designated distance in the pool for juniors (sorry I don’t know the length, but it looked like about 4 lanes), climbed on her pink flowered “Girls Rule” bicycle with training wheels and peddled as hard as she could. One of the adults riding the course along side the youngster said that at one point she asked if they could stop and walk for a while! With his encouragement she got back on her bike and finished. I was watching her as she came into the transition area and she was giving it all she had to peddle up the small hill. I thought she would throw in the towel at this point, but this little trouper jumped off her bike and took off running…I think to everyone’s surprise! With a time of 48:24 minutes she completed the course with a smile on her face…and 2nd place in her age group! Kudos go to all the triathletes for a job well done!
One evening in June my neighbor excitedly called and asked me to come photograph an Owl Moth that has landed on her front porch. It was beautiful! I’ve never seen an insect that this before!
After a little research I found that this nocturnal beauty was actually a giant silk moth called Polyphemus Moth found in North America. It gets its name from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus because of its large “eyes” on its hind wings. These “eyes” also act as a defense by resembling the head of an owl when the wings are spread. Two unusual things about his moth: 1- it is looks like it is covered in fur and 2 – it doesn’t have a mouth. I don’t know why it’s hairy, but it doesn’t need a mouth because it only lives less than a week and there’s no need for nourishment. The adult’s only purpose is to establish the next generation. One last little tidbit about these moths. The difference between a male and female is the length of the hair on its antennae. Our little beauty was a female because the hair on her antennae was short.
There are so many amazing things on this earth. Get out, walk around, and open your “eyes” to the wonders of the universe!