Tuesday, June 22, 2010


As today is my regularly scheduled day off and the butterflies that I was chasing this morning refused to be photographed, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to look back and show you some of my favorite photos.   When I had this bright idea, I was apparently not thinking very clearly.  I had 365 days of photo files that I had to look through to find those photos.  I didn't look through all of them.  I stopped when I had a handful to share with you.  So here they are:

I love this Dragonfly close-up, originally posted 6/8/10 because of the difficulty level of capturing it.  I had to get super close to it to use the 10X macro lens and usually bugs don't like that.  Especially bugs with wings who can easily just fly away.  I also really enjoy showing photos here that people may not see on their own.  When is the last time that you magnified a Dragonfly?

Another image that people may not see on their own is a person using a drip torch to apply fire to a prescribed burn.  The photo looks very dramatic because it seems that the fire might engulf her at any moment.  Truth be told, the road edge is just to her right and she is in no danger at all.  It looks exciting though!  The photo is also composed in a way that would make my photography teachers proud.   I have always been taught the rule of thirds in photography.  If you divide a photo into thirds vertically or horizontally and break up the focus that way, it will be pleasing to the eye.   For example, if you are making a landscape image of the beach and you make the sky the top third, the water the center third and the sand the lower third, it will be more attractive than dividing it in half with a horizon line dead center.  Additionally, if you were to draw those lines dividing the image into thirds vertically and horizontally, where they intersect are called "hot spots".  It is more visually interesting to have your subject on one of those hot spots rather than in the middle of the photo.  You eye is drawn to those locations more so than the center of the photo.  In this image, the person is in the left third of the shot.  Her head is in a hot spot.  Your eye is likely drawn to her head and then follows the line that her arm makes to the tip of the drip torch.   The tip of the drip torch is also in a hot spot.

One of my favorite photo days on the blog was back in October.  I had a great morning where the light was in my favor and very inspiring.  I picked two photos from that day to display here.  I don't think that my photo teachers would have liked either of them very much.  There is no exciting subject or focal point.  In the first one, the top is very overexposed.  I'll tell you why I like them anyway though.  I like the way that the light carries your eye throughout the image in the first one.  If you follow the rays of light, you cover the whole image.  I also like that the water looks blue.  This is where personal knowledge makes a difference in the image to me.  The spring used to always look blue about 40 years ago.  Now, if there is a color it is much more of a green hue from the increased nitrates in the water and the subsequent algae growth.  The second image is the only one of my photos that is currently hanging on a wall in my home.  It isn't very unique and nothing is going in the photo.  I really like the diagonal line of the branch and the color variation in the leaves.  I love the way the sun lit the leaves from behind and created so much contrast in the image.

Another day in October produced a very fun image.  I liked this one so much because of the reaction that it got.  It is a crisp image of the subject and though it is centered, normally a no no in photography, the baby spiders are close to a hot spot.  Its not a textbook good photo, but the shock and awe from the blog readers made it great!  I love the reaction that I get from a good creepy crawlie photo.

I do love a good bug photo.  Many of my readers don't like the spider pics, but who doesn't love a butterfly?  I have a ton of butterfly photos, but this one may be my favorite.  I wish that I had shifted the camera over a little to put the butterfly in a more interesting place, but I'll take what I can get with a bug that likes to flutter away.  The sun was so nice and bright and the butterflies had been moving so much.  It was hard to catch, but I am proud of this image.  I am glad that the butterfly was perfectly in focus.  I also like how the swivel viewfinder on my camera can let me get right on ground level without having to lay in the mud.

Last, but not least is another photo that I got some good feedback on.  The colors turned out so rich and bold.  The sky was reflecting off of the water in a dark blue color and the white clouds were in stark contrast.  The puddle on the rock was in a hot spot and the dark red leaves were a pretty blast of color.  The blogged photo showed more of the scene, but I have another image of this view that I like even better because it was zoomed in on the rock puddle.  You can still see the dark blue of the sky in the water but it highlights the red of the leaves even more.

Thought of the Day #2
I really enjoyed going through my photos for this blog.  It reminded me of another benefit to this whole project.  Each photo jogs my memory of the day that it was taken.  If you were to ask me what my day was like on 10/28/09, I would never be able to tell you.  Looking back at my photos though, I remember the morning well.  I remember the walk that I took around the spring and the way that the light created so many amazing views.  The photos are like memories in themselves.


Paula said...

I have loved so many of your photos that I would have had pages and pages of favorites. I still love my frog. He has a special place in my most used room of the house where I live...the combo living/dining room. I have to say that I have also enjoyed the education you have give me and others who may or may not post comments. You have taught me to look a little closer and see what I would have walked by some months ago. Thank you.

Linda said...

Amy, I can't imagine how many more photo awards you'd have on your wall if your teachers were following your blog - so many favorites! Thanks for an excellent photography lesson...and for an entire year of fascinating photos and stories.

Ranger Amy said...

Paula, thanks for all of your encouraging words. All of the support that I have had from loyal readers has made this whole process much easier to endure. I'm glad that you like your frog!
Mom, thanks for a lifetime of encouragement.

Linda said...

You're welcome, Amy. It's easy to encourage someone with so much talent ... and it looks like all that encouragement paid off! You've returned the favor and then some. But I'm not proud or anything ;-)

Ken said...

Thanks for a really entertaining time! I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and narratives, but what the heck are you going to do with your time now that you've finished your 365 day commitment?