Hoar Frost

Much of northern Illinois was covered with heavy frost at the first of the year. Some was Rime Ice, a very thick ice that forms when a fog is present during winter weather. Some was Hoar Frost, ice crystals that form when the temperature is well below freezing and the moisture creates ice crystal growths that resemble thorns or hairs. It was a very cold walk that day when I ventured out to capture images. Eye glass wearers always struggle on those very cold days to keep their glasses clear. But add a mask for COVID and fogging up just won’t stop. As a result, quite a few images captured were not in focus. That didn’t stop me from trying, however! Every branch and twig was covered with Hoar Frost. It was amazing to explore and get up close to see the ice crystals. The weather conditions have to be just right for this phenomenon to appear. And within hours the sun had melted all the crystals. It was a special time to be outside and look at all the ways the ice crystals grew.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

This lovely native bush is in full bloom in early July. The blooms look like the brushes for baby bottles, hence the name. But this species is native to Illinois and its full name is Bottlebrush Buckeye. It spreads out and fills the shaded area. Some branches are low to the ground.

Surprise! Fall Crocus Blooms

I found a surprising bloom of a fall crocus in a place I don’t believe I planted bulbs. Not that I’m complaining. Fall Crocus blooms are always a surprise as leaves are falling and most plants have died back. They are a very delicate flower, with translucence and a very thin stem. They often shoot up higher than the stem can support the bloom and end up falling down to the ground. Not this one! It stood up tall and strong so that I could capture it delicate beauty.

Antique Woodworking Tools

Studio 1 class opened my eyes to lighting in a refreshing and new way. I’ve posted my class assignment finals and my final project “Antique Woodworking Tools” to my website. The tools gave me a lot of latitude with creativity, and I enjoyed the hours I spent with them. They take on a whole new look with the Contour Shape lighting, very dramatic!

You can see the entire series, as well as class assignments on the main website.

Studio 1 Photography

Snowdrops-An Exercise in Selective Focus

I love Spring Flowers! Every year I collect an album of images from my yard, forest preserves and the Arboretum. 

My clump of Snowdrops was in full bloom, and using the macro lens with a shallow depth of field, I focused on different blossoms in each image. I was on the ground and driveway laying down and scooting around to get different angles. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy! Which do you like best?

Improving Macro Skills

I recently attended a Macro Workshop led by Lou Nettelhorst to improve my macro photography skills. I did learn a lot, and was able to apply some of the recent experience in Studio Lighting as well. And, as always, I learned more about how to better use my Nikon D800!

In two photo sessions, I captured about 130 images. These four were the best of the best.