At the end of April I was knee deep in work trying to get ready for or mid-May move to a new house but I hadn’t taken any pictures in awhile so I drove to one of my favorite photo spots, Blackburn Park. Normally I walk there but driving saved me 60-90 minutes. It’s only a mile from my house but when walking I dawdle taking pictures, especially on the way back as more people have flowers at the edge of their front yards that I can easily photograph.
So anyway I went to the park with my Sigma 105mm macro but was pretty disappointed because very little (in terms of variety) was in bloom. I decide to walk over to the bird sanctuary section to see if maybe there were any wildflowers. The bird sanctuary is just a wooded natural area. The only man made things are a couple of dirt and mulch trails with log and branch borders.
There were no interesting flowers in bloom so I decided to see about photographing a large dead tree which is located near the center of the sanctuary. The tree is huge and is black and white because a lot of its bark is missing. Its small branches are long gone with just four or five large ones that most trees would be proud to call trunks. The tree appears to be very photogenic but I’ve never had any luck (and I’ve tried many times) because you really need a wide angle lens and the widest I have is the 24mm short end of a zoom. On the D7100 a 24mm lens is the equivalent of 36mm in a full frame DSLR or film SLR and that is just not wide enough.
Even though I had the Sigma 105mm (157.5mm equivalent) macro with me I still decided to ignore Mr. Einstein and take some pictures anyway. (I’m paraphrasing this but Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When it comes to photography I often meet this definition of insanity.)
I went to the photogenic tree that I knew would not let me walk away with a good photo and there were three or four ladies standing around the tree. I started to take a couple of pictures trying to get some interesting contrast between bark/no bark or detail of the texture of a knot (too far away) when one of the ladies asked me if I got a good shot.
I looked over at her and saw she and the other ladies all had their iPhones out and I said, “no, I have a short telephoto lens and I really need wide angle, you and your friends will probably have nicer compositions than me”. She looked at me and said, “Well I’d think a telephoto lens is what you would need to get a good picture.”
Turns out there were a pair of baby owls up in the tree. I looked up at the owls with my view finder and realized that not only was my lens too long for this tree, it was too short for the baby owls in the tree. I took a number of pictures knowing I could crop them. The next day I played hooky (again) from what I was supposed to be doing and I drove back to Blackburn Park with my Nikkor 80-400mm lens. I could see I was still going to have to crop but I took a number of pictures in about 15 minutes time and hurried back home to work. Below are a few of the photos from both days.
I’ve said it before with a number of insects but Mother Nature sometimes outdoes herself with regard to camouflaging critters.
I don’t know, maybe because they were too young or maybe they have very mellow, laid back personalities, but while I was taking their pictures they didn’t give a hoot.
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