"Sol's Keeper" - Marsh marigold flower in spring, Virginia

I haven't photographed a flower in a couple of years at least, but the urge to stop and try while driving by this carpet of marsh marigold shimmering in the warm spring sun was quite literally irresistible. I knew that I wanted to approach them in an abstract manner, so I got low and used my 70-200 f/4, 1.4x teleconverter, and an extension tube, to really throw the background out of focus. While looking through the viewfinder, I came across this bloom seemingly cradling the out of focus flower in the background. I moved the camera and lens up and down a few inches until I came up with the composition I was seeking. The final result reminds me of a keeper guarding the setting sun. This image serves as an important reminder to always keep an open mind when out in the field.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 1.4x teleconverter + 25mm extension tube. 1/160th, f/6.3., ISO 400. Tripod. Polarizer.

"Inner Workings" - Ice patterns, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia

It's weird, spring is finally arriving but still I'm digging back through some images captured this winter. It seemed wrong to let them sit there on my hard drive unused and unloved. The following was taken after a very long and deep freeze (by Virginia standards). I loved the way these bubbles took on unique shapes and how they formed both above and under the beech leaf. The image reminds me of some sort of inner mechanics of a watch or something. I'll be out in the field later today to search for some flowers to photograph ... perhaps you all will get to see them soon!

"Inner Workings" - Ice patterns, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 70mm. .6 seconds, f/22, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Mason's Nebula" - Ice patterns and beech leaf, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia

I never get tired of photographing ice. Even with spring approaching, I would happily continue photographing the infinte shapes, textures, and lines found within ice. Each trip in search of ice is always different, and I love that. In this image, a small pond at Mason Neck State Park had frozen over completely during an extended cold snap. I doubt this has happened even once in the previous decade. The pond contained many bubbles that rose from the depths, likely caused by decomposing matter along the bottom. The bubbles in this image seemed to originate from and around this beech leaf. The way the pockets of air have been elongated and frozen in place reminded me of a nebula giving birth to stars. 

Next week I will be heading down to Florida for a week of family vacation and a bit of photography. I'm so excited to see my first green leaves of the year, and hope to get a few new images while out kayaking and exploring the many parks of central Florida. Peace out, homies!

"Mason's Nebula" - Ice patterns and beech leaf, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 500D Closeup filter @ 78mm. 0.4 seconds, f/22, ISO 100. Tripod. Polarizer.