A very small ice formation I found along the Sunwapta River.
f8, 1/1000 of a second, 90mm
Interesting Macro Fact of the Day:
These pictures were taken a few seconds apart at the same iso, aperture, and in the same lighting conditions. So why the different shutter speeds? Macro lenses, when they start focusing really close are actually a lot darker than the aperture suggests. If we measured the amount of light coming into this lens when it’s focused really close, it is probably about half the light (around an f4 value), even though the aperture blades haven’t moved from their open position. This happens with all macro lenses.
A honeysuckle vine wrapping around an alder branch, with an alder leaf peaking out from behind.
Taken with a Canon 5d, Sigma 150 macro at f4 and 1/200 of a second.
In my design studies at university, we had a fascinating sculpture assignment called “Drawing in Space”. We used strips and small blocks of wood to create a sculpture with interesting lines when viewed from any angle. Both the lines and the negative space they defined were equally important. I really enjoyed framing spaces and cutting into volumes of space, and that is something that I don’t get to do quite as much with photography. But when opportunities present themselves, as they did this last week, I get lost in the creating. I’m not sure how long I spent in this particular treasure trove of grass curls. The shallow depth of field I’ve used here really adds to both the ethereal-ness and the depth of the photo, letting you almost feel the space around the grass.
If you’re still reading and interested, I’ll just write a quick note about composition. In the last two photos I’ve done something that is generally disapproved of in standard compositions – there is a strong line running vertically through the frame (even directly in the middle of the frame! the horror). In these cases I think it works as an unusual visual device to emphasize the depth of the photo. If the grass curls did not wrap around the vertical line it would not work.
When there’s a awe-inspiring waterfall in front of you, it’s easy to miss the interesting shots and instead take waterfall pic #269. It pays to explore the small, unnoticed corners around the edges of spectacular sights. This is something I often need to remind myself of when I’m out adventuring.
Some animals don’t require much of a telephoto lens. The chickadees at Elk Island (and almost everywhere else too) are a lot of fun to photograph, and are quite brave. They will come very close, even sit on you (briefly) if you stay perfectly still or if they think you have food. They’re also very acrobatic in the air, so it’s fun to try to catch them in flight.
I went for a hike on Astotin Lake yesterday. I’ve been to the shore often enough looking out at all those islands, but I’ve never been on the lake. I decided, before it all melts, to walk out and see some islands up close.
I headed out, wondering how far I’d get. The crust on the snow wasn’t thick enough to support me and made it even harder to walk through the thigh-deep snow. I found a few old snowshoe tracks which usually held me up, and got out onto the lake. It turns out that further out onto the lake, it is easy walking. Once away from the shore I was only sinking down a few inches. This was a pleasant treat, and I got to three islands before heading back.
Here are some cattails (Typha latifolia) from the shore of an island in Astotin Lake.