Flowers & Bee Friends

I took the 105mm and the 50mm for a spin and got these shots. Some of the simplest things are the most beautiful.

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The Nikon 105mm f/2 DC

I was recently able to splurge and get the lens I’ve been pining over for the past 6 months.

The Nikon 105mm f/2 DC!

This is one of Nikon’s best portrait lenses and is said to be their sharpest 105mm.

But besides that, it has a very unique feature called “Defocus Control”, that’s where the DC comes from. This has often been misunderstood as a soft focus lens, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. When used properly, your subject stays in focus and the background is enhanced with the best, amazing, creamy bokeh that you’ve ever dreamt of!

I really like bokeh. So naturally I wanted this lens.

There are only two lenses that are made with this DC feature. The Nikon 105mm f/2 DC and the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC. And now I am the proud owner of a 105!

I’ve been able to practice shooting with it over the past week and have been really impressed with the results.

I think the most impressive thing is the color and clarity that is possible.

Here is a little gallery of some of my favorites from this past week.
These are the JPGs straight from the camera. No edits, just resized.
Please click on the picture to see the full resolution.

I am looking forward to doing some actual portrait sessions with this lens. Hopefully the weather turns around soon! I’m ready for green grass, leaves and spring flowers!

My visit to Rock Island, Wisconsin

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Rock Island Shoreline

This past weekend I was able to escape for a couple nights for the annual Washington Island trip with the horses. This year, Sofie and I decided that we were really curious about Rock Island and wanted to spend a little time discovering it. We were able to catch the noon ferry ride over and hiked around for a couple hours trying to soak it all in.

Cars aren’t allowed on the island, or bikes. So we walked with the other tourists that were enjoying the beautiful day. There is a campground on the island, and I would actually like to camp there sometime. They are primitive sites, but it would be an awesome adventure.

Here are a few pictures that I took during my short visit. I’d like to go back, and am trying to convince Adam that a night in October would be perfect (fall colors? yes please).

I hope you enjoy these pictures. It wasn’t the best time to shoot since the sun was shining high, but I think you’ll get a flavor of what the island is like. Please click on the picture for a better view.

A hint of fall.

A hint of fall.

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The typical trail on the island. Only foot trails, no bikes allowed.

The typical trail on the island. Only foot trails, no bikes allowed.

Fliterary Butterfly

Fliterary Butterfly

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Loving all the different colors and textures.

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The gate at the top of the hill.

The Island Boathouse. The first thing you'll see upon arriving at the island.

The Island Boathouse. The first thing you’ll see upon arriving at the island.

Washington Island in the distance

Washington Island in the distance

Gorgeous ground cover, including thyme.

Gorgeous ground cover, including thyme.. it smelled amazing.

Rock Island Lighthouse (Pottawatomie Light). The oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.

Rock Island Lighthouse (Pottawatomie Lighthouse). The oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.

The steps leading to to shore below the lighthouse.

The steps leading to to shore below the lighthouse.

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The top of the Boathouse, Viking Hall.

The top of the Boathouse, Viking Hall.

These Saddled Prominent Caterpillars are an invasive species and are defoliating the island hardwood trees.

These Saddled Prominent Caterpillars are an invasive species and are defoliating the island hardwood trees.

Fiery Searcher Beetle. This guy is also called the Caterpillar Hunter and aids in the caterpillar control. The only thing is they probably need about 10,000 more on the Island.

Fiery Searcher Beetle. This guy is also called the Caterpillar Hunter and aids in the caterpillar control.

More pretty groundcover with a rock hedge.

More pretty ground cover with a rock hedge.

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We are hiking back down the hill. It was around 2pm and a gorgeous day. Washington Island is in the distance.

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Trying to notice the little things.

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There really wasn’t a bad view anywhere.

Busy Bee

BeeConeHere is another Cinemagraph I just created. I think I may start to get addicted to doing these. My mind is swimming with ideas!

In this one I also had the foreground flowers move with the bee. I like the effect it gives.

I wish the quality was a little better, but since I am working with a GIF, I can’t expect much. It’s still fun though!

Fun with Cinemagraphs

BeeI took a crack at my first Cinemagraph today.

I first saw this technique of blending a still photo and video sometime last year from Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg (see their amazing work HERE).

I was mesmerized.

For some reason I didn’t think I’d be able to create one. I probably didn’t really feel like sitting down and learning about it.

Today I did!

Last night as I laid in bed, I was trying to figure out what I would shoot as my subject. I decided that a bee on a flower would be great for a first time go at it. I took several videos and if I have time later I may post a few more for fun.

So what do you think of it? I’d like to learn how to easily adjust the colors.. this is straight from the camera.

Thanks for looking!

Savannah Sparrow

SavannahSparrowThis little guy was so proudly singing his song, I couldn’t help but notice him!

After I got home, I was confused as to what kind of bird it was. After a little investigation, I found it to be a Savannah Sparrow. I’ve never heard of one before, so I was happy to discover him today. I’m sure I’ve heard his delightful song hundreds of times while at the barn, and now I can put a name to the song.