Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review of Spring Photography

Lilacs in the Springtime

Spring is such a wonderful time for photography.  Flowers are blooming everywhere including my own backyard.  I love to go for walks in the neighborhood each day and see what new flowers and flowering trees and bushes are blooming on that day.  In the area of the country I live ,  midwest USA, the beauty begins to unfold in mid March.  From that time and for the next 2-3 months there are new delights to find each day!  On this page I will share with you, through my photography,  some of my favorite springtime flowers.


Early Bloomers

Tulips are one of my favorite early spring flowers.  There are different types of tulips that will start blooming in our area throughout April and May.  The photographs taken below were captured during the first week of April.

This next photo was taken in late April.  This tulip is fully opened and still beautiful.

Zazzle Cards from my Tulip Photos

I love creating cards to send to friends and family from my photographs.  Here are a couple I made on Zazzle.

Yellow Tulip
Yellow Tulip
by mbgphoto

Flowering Trees and Bushes

In the springtime flowering bushes and trees are a wonderful sight to behold.  I particularly like the Lilac bush as seen in the photo at the beginning of this article.  In addition to being beautiful they have a very fragrant smell and I love cutting some off my lilac bush and bringing them in to my house. They make the whole house smell good.

The red bud tree is another beauty of springtime.  In the spring you can see them all over the hillsides in our part of the country.  Here is a photo of one that I took at a park near our home.

One of my favorite trees is the dogwood tree.  They can be found in both pink and white flowers.  Here is a photo of each.

Later Spring Flowers

Once spring is well under way, in late April or May, the Iris's start to bloom.  They are such beautiful and stately flowers.  I love to photograph them.  This first  photo is an Iris from my friend's garden.
I really like the two toned colors.  Here is another two toned Iris, this one was taken on a walk I took at the Missouri Extension garden.
A solid white Iris can be quite striking.  Here is one taken at Missouri Extension garden.

Wildflowers in the Spring

Spring is a wonderful time for wild flowers.  You can see many of these native plants along the sides of roads, in parks and in some peoples gardens.  Here are a few that I found beautiful.






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Friday, April 3, 2020

Teton Trek at the Memphis Zoo Review

The Teton Trek

I absolutely love zoos!  My all time favorite zoo is in Memphis, TN.  They have been improving and adding new additions to the Memphis Zoo for years.  Every time I go, it is like a new adventure.

The Teton Trek opened on Oct. 2, 2009.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when my husband took me to Memphis the very first week it was open
for my birthday.  

The Memphis Zoo really outdid itself with this gorgeous exhibit.  The Teton Trek is stunning!   Not only is the lodge beautiful, but the Grizzly Bear and the Grey Wolves are delightful and mesmerizing to watch.

I wish they had rooms in the lodge to rent.  I would move in today!



The Teton Trek Lodge at the Memphis Zoo


Early on this beautiful, glorious day, I donned my new black Keds tennis shoes, jeans and blouse that my daughter gave me for my birthday, grabbed my new camera which was a birthday gift from my son, snatched my sunglasses and jumped in the car for our new zoo adventure.


Let me tell you, this place was breathtaking! The entrance to Teton Trek is through this huge lodge. The entire area is surrounded by magnificent trees and there is a water fountain in front of the lodge were several people were wading.


This is the perfect setting for Grizzly Bears and Grey Wolves. I was so excited to see the animals, that I practically ran through the lodge when we first got there, but I did go back in hours later to explore. The picture on the right is actually the last picture I took that day at Teton Trek.

Even now, I find myself wanting to skip over writing about the gorgeous lodge and get right to the animals on exhibit, but I will try to contain myself long enough to describe the inside of the lodge.

It is a two level structure with second level decks on both the front and the back of the building where chairs have been placed so you can sit and watch the animals from afar. There were a lot of Moms with their small children on the deck facing the Bear exhibit. I didn't blame them. It is a nice, shaded area out of harms way where they can rest and watch both the children and the animals at the same time.

Downstairs, there are tables and chairs sitting around the vast, open area. This would make a great meeting room or party area. There are also indoor restrooms in this lodge. A necessity when you spend the whole day hangin' with the Grizzly Bear.



Grizzly Bear Habitat in the Teton Trek


WOW!!!

Step outside the lodge and the first thing you see is an expansive enclosure with a beautiful waterfall.  The entire area has been designed to replicate a wilderness most of us would not traverse without a ton of provisions.




The Teton Trek Path

The entire Bear exhibit area is surrounded by a paved walking path. On the outer side of the path, are additional animal exhibits. Since we were there the first week, some of the animals, like the elk, had not arrived so their new homes set empty, ready and waiting for their future inhabitants.

The Trumpeter Swan and the Crane were already in residence by their pond. There were also a few ducks and a lot of area birds filled the trees.






Gray Wolves on Amazing Wild Animals
See More Photos, plus read Grey Wolf Facts on AmazingWildAnimals.com

Grey Wolves in the Teton Trek


I have always loved wolves. They have such an intelligent look and they often seem to be trying to communicate something. 

The Grey Wolves at the Memphis Zoo appeared to be like playful dogs. 

One was busy tearing up the new square of sod while two others were busy fighting over a stick.  But I was not fooled.  They knew we were there.  They're just not as interested in us as we are of them. 

Take a look at my pictures and tell me they weren't posing for the camera.

Grey Wolf Ripping up Sod
Two Wolves Playing
Beautiful Grey Wolf


Grizzly Bear in the Teton Trek


Baby Grizzly Bears at the Memphis Zoo (2009)
These are the little guys I had to see and they were definitely worth the trip!

There are currently three Grizzly Bears in Teton Trek.  


When they first arrived (2009) they were babies and were absolutely adorable.  I knew that even the babies would be dangerous up close, but I found them captivating.  Like all babies, they were sleeping when we first entered the Teton Trek, so we waited. When they woke up, they were ready to play.  They ran back and forth across the enclosure at a shocking speed.

They chased each other.  They swam.  They slapped, splashed, snorted and roared their way into the hearts of everyone present.


We were all completely enraptured with their every move.

The Game of Chase
Searching for Fun
Swimming Together

One Sad Thing


This was such an excellent day!  Very little could have rained on my birthday trip parade.

However, when we got back home and I had a chance to upload the hours of video that I took of those precious grizzly bear babies, I made a sickening discovery.  My brand new video camera records when the light is red.  I thought is was recording when the light was green, thus all I video taped were my feet walking on the pretty walkway.

Dang!  I guess that means we just have to load up the car and go back to Memphis to video record those grizzlies.

One good thing I discovered:  My video camera makes great still shots.



The Babies Have Grown Up
And, I have been back!


Adult Grizzly Bear
Adult Grey Wolves
Still Enjoying the Limelight







Read More about the Memphis Zoo

  • The Memphis Zoo Review
    The Memphis Zoo is one of the best zoos in the United States, actually in the world. Outstanding habitats for animals with safe viewing for visitors...



The Photos in this article are the Exclusive Property of ©Sylvestermouse.
Please Do Not Copy, Reproduce or Use the Photos without the written permission of Sylvestermouse Cynthia.

Many of the photos are available for purchase at Zazzle.com if you would like to own a legal copy.

The Photos by Sylvestermouse Available for Purchase at Zazzle.com



 
Thank you for stopping by!
Do Come Back and See Me Again!




© 2009 Cynthia Sylvestermouse - This Article was originally published on a website that has closed.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Review of Facts and Photos of the American Robin

Robin after a Bath

To celebrate the start of spring, I thought I'd share a bit of information and some photos on one of my favorite birds, the Robin.  Here is a poem that I found that celebrates the Robin and the start of spring.


Robin Poem by William Warner Caldwell


From the elm-tree's topmost bough, Hark! the Robin's early song! Telling one and all that now Merry spring-time hastes along; Welcome tidings dost thou bring, Little harbinger of spring: Robin's come!

 Of the winter we are weary, Weary of the frost and snow; Longing for the sunshine cheery, And the brooklet's gurgling flow; Gladly then we hear thee sing The reveille of spring: Robin's come!

 Ring it out o er hill and plain, Through the garden's lonely bowers, Till the green leaves dance again, Till the air is sweet with flowers! Wake the cowslips by the rill, Wake the yellow daffodil; Robin's come! 

Then, as thou wert wont of yore, Build thy nest and rear thy young, Close beside our cottage door, In the woodbine leaves among; Hurt or harm thou need'st not fear, Nothing rude shall venture near: Robin's come! 

Swinging still o'er yonder lane Robin answers merrily; Ravished by the sweet refrain, Alice claps her hands in glee, Calling from the open door, With her soft voice, o'er and o'er, Robin's come!


Robins and Bird Bath


I have found that Robins love to take baths in our bird bath.  Other birds will stop for a drink, but a Robin will plunge right in for a bath.

In the photo below the Robin has just finished his bath and I caught him sitting on the edge of the birdbath, shaking his tail feathers.  They are so much fun to watch.


Robins Features




  • Pot Bellied look
  • Brick Red Underparts
  • Yellow Bill
  • White Chin
  • White Eye Arcs
  • Male has darker head and deeper red underparts than female
The Robin's song is very cheerful.  I often see a lone Robin sitting on the peak of our neighbors roof just singing away for hours on end.  It is always a joy to hear.


I have found the National Geographic book Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America to be a wonderful guide for information on the birds I find in my backyard. I know I can find all kinds of information about birds online, but sometimes it is just good to hold a book in my hands and look up information on the birds I find in my backyard.



Robins in our area Year-round



Robins are migratory birds, but although we seem to have more in the spring and summer, we do have Robins in our area in the Midwest all year round.  The photo above shows a Robin in the snow.

My Photos on Zazzle Products









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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Review of Designing Collages and Composites in Photography


Putting photographs into collages is a fun way to display a grouping of photos.  In the grouping above I show a simple collage with a group of my bird photos.

Create a Simple Collage in Lightroom


The above collage is one that I created in Adobe Lightroom.  To make this collage I moved several of my bird photos to the Print option at the top left of the Lightroom screen and then followed the directions to add the framing and sizing.  You also have options to change the color on the frames and the background and to add some text.

Here is another collage that I made in the same way.


Composites


I belong to a Facebook group called "Create 52" where each week we have a theme to create a photograph and post it on the page.  One of our recent themes was called Collages/Composites.  I posted one of the collages that I made on Lightroom.  I then decided to try to stretch my knowledge and try some of the composites.  Many of the other members were posting some very interesting composites.  Composites are a very creative way of using your photographs.  For my first try I went to Photoshop and opened the collage of the Cardinals and then opened a texture that I had of snow.  I combined the two into one photograph and then changed the opacity to get the desired effect.  Here is the resulting photo.


More Advanced Composites


After seeing some of the other posts in our "Create 52" group, I decided to try some composites using multiple photographs.  I had been on a field trip with a group I help mentor in photography and we went to a local college and several students displayed their musical instruments for us to photograph.  I took several of the photographs and combined them into one design and then used a photo of some sheets of music for a texture.  Here are two of my designs.  Remember, I'm just learning but I think you can get the idea.



Creating your own Collages and Composites


If you are interested in trying one of these procedures there are a lot of tutorials that will help you online.  If you have Photoshop just search for tutorials for creating composites in Photoshop.  If you use other editing software just search online and I'm sure you will also find tutorials for them.  Many of the tutorials are on YouTube and are free.  You can watch them and pause whenever you need to review a step.  I have learned a lot on YouTube.


Zazzle Design from my Collage





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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review of Bird Photography in the Snow


I love photographing birds and in the winter a snowy day can give a wonderful backdrop for my bird photographs.


Female Cardinal


As I reviewed articles online in preparation for writing this article, I found many tips on photographing in the snow.  Most of these talked about protecting your camera, wearing gloves with the fingers cut out and that type of tips.  I have a different setup for photographing birds right from the comfort of my own home and that is what I will be sharing in this article.

Photographing through Glass



The photograph above, as well as all of the photos on this page were taken through glass.  I have tripods set up in my home that I use to photograph the birds in our yard.  The photograph above was taken through our sliding glass doors in the kitchen.  I often get a surprised reaction when people hear that I photograph through glass, but it has worked well for me.

               When photographing through glass
                be sure to keep the glass clean.

I keep a cloth handy to quickly wipe away any smudges on the glass.  On a snowy day I will frequently open the door to wipe away sleet or drops that have formed on the glass outside.

                Set up the camera as close to the
                glass as possible.

I have my cameras set up on a tripod just inches away from the glass.

My Setup


I have two cameras that I use to take my bird photography.  Both are set up on tripods.  
  • Sony A57 DSLR set up with a Tamron 200-600 zoom lens.  This camera is perfect for getting the birds that are at a bit of a distance.  I use these when the birds are at my far feeders, up in the branches of the trees along the back of our property or in the bushes.
  • Sony a6300 mirrorless camera.  This camera set up with a 70-210 zoom lens is perfect for the birds on the deck and in the closer feeders.  I use it in connection with a wireless remote so that I can sit at the kitchen table and trigger the shutter release when I see a bird.  I used this setup in photographing the BlueJays pictured below.













Bright Colored Birds on a Snowy Day


I love to photograph all birds but catching some of these brightly colored birds against the snowy backdrop are my favorites.




















Dark-eyed Junco or Snowbird


Another favorite of mine is the Junco which is commonly called the snowbird.  It has a dark top and white underside which looks great on a snowy day.


Zazzle Products from my Photographs





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