Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Indigo Bunting

INDIGO BUNTING, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 23, 2016

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/400 sec. f6.3
ISO 1600

Looking just like a goldfinch dipped into a pot of Washable Blue, this little bird is a rare visitor to our feeders. I hadn't seen one for two years when he paid a brief call to get some nyjer seed late one evening when the sun was low and gave his color a special glow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Song sparrow

SONG SPARROW, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 17, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/1600 f7.1
ISO 1600

This ground-hopping little sparrow crept right under the feeders while I was photographing finches and paused nicely for its portrait.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Grosbeak No. 1

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, GREEN, MICHIGAN, MAY 11, 2016

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/800 f6.7
ISO 1600

The more colorful birds have at last returned to our cabin on the shore of Lake Superior. I used a high ISO to ensure a decent shutter speed while hand-holding the camera and long lens combination in the overcast light.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fuzzlings

CANADA GOSLINGS, LOVELACE PARK, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 23, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 with Pentax 1.4x converter (322mm)
1/2000 sec. f10
ISO 1600

This is really a lens test photograph. I wanted to see how sharp the 55-300 and 1.4x converter combination would be, and it isn't bad at all when the 55-300 is stopped down short of the full 300mm extension. Lovelace Park is usually of limited interest to a photographer because, except for rare instances during migratory season, the waterfowl usually is humdrum—just mallards and Canada geese. But this season there happily was a breeding pair, and they produced six goslings.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Orchid No. 8

ORCHID, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, MARCH 6, 2016

Pentax K-3
Tamron 90mm macro
1/125 sec. f16
ISO 1600

It was back to the Orchid Show at the Botanic Garden yesterday for more captures before the show closes soon. Many of the specimens are wilting already, but not this one. I used a high ISO because tripods were barred and hand-holding the camera was required.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Orchid No. 7

ORCHID, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, MARCH 5, 2016

Pentax K-01
Pentax 35mm f2.4
1 sec. f22
ISO 200

I bought this orchid at a local florist just for the purpose of taking it home and photographing it on the dinner table with a black velvet background. Lighting came from the big windows a few feet from the table. In my opinion, the best orchid photography is done in the studio where conditions can be carefully controlled.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Orchid Show No. 6

LADY'S-SLIPPER ORCHID, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, MARCH 3, 2016

Pentax K-3
Tamron 90mm macro with 1.4x Pentax extender (126mm)
1/180 sec. f8 with off-camera flash
ISO 6400

I somehow mis-set the ISO for this shot extraordinarily (and unnecessarily) high, but a little work with Lightroom saved the photo for Internet use. Also helping was my new Pentax electronic flash, which works through the lens with the camera settings to provide the right amount of illumination.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Orchid Show No. 5



PAPHIOPEDILUM ORCHID, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, FEBRUARY 28, 2016

Both photographs:
Pentax K-3
Tamron 90mm macro
Top: 1/8 second f5.6 ISO 200
Bottom: 1/13 second f5.6 ISO 400

Rather than buying another orchid from a vendor, as I did yesterday, I found two more specimens of the Lady's-Slipper Orchid in the reflecting pool hallway of the Regenstein Center at the Botanic Garden and photographed them in situ from different angles.