"Striking a Balance" - Marsh marigold flowers, northern Virginia

Here is another of my interpretations of the carpet of marsh marigold flowers located in a local floodplain here in northern Virginia. The day was sunny and warm, and I wanted my photograph to sort of reflect that and all that spring feels like to me. Happy, bright, warm, and full of promise and growth. I utilized a longer lens, the 70-200 f/4 with 1.4x teleconverter, plus a 500D closeup filter to really decrease the depth of field, smooth out the backgrounds, and create a nice warm, soft, abstract look. I carefully shifted my camera until the blooms lined up just how I wanted them. I liked the way the out of focus flowers and the in focus flowers carried different visual weight, and how they ultimately balanced each other out within the composition. Until next time!

"Striking a Balance" - Marsh marigold flowers, northern Virginia, United States.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 1.4x teleconverter + 500D closeup filter @ 280mm. 1/100th second, f/5.6., ISO 200. Tripod.

"Celadon" - Cracked blue ice atop Dolly Sods, West Virginia

This simple image was taken on the top of Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia. With only a few inches of snow on the dirt forest roads to the top, I managed to make my way up there for sunset. The sunset was colorful and intense, but most of all I enjoyed these potholes filled with water that had frozen into interesting patterns. The radiating cracks out of the center really were interesting to me, and the blue sky reflecting above helped make the ice look even more blue as the light faded to dusk. The image reminds me of a type of glaze known as celadon that originated in China. The glaze can be anywhere from pale white to cerulean blue to slightly green, and often is often crackled extensively with "crazing". I think that viewing other types of art and then incorporating those ideas into my photography is very important to help keep things fresh for me.

"Celadon" - Crackled ice atop Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.

"Celadon" - Crackled ice atop Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 104mm. 10 seconds, f/16, ISO 400.

One of my celadon teapots. A small 180ml (6 oz.) Longquan Ge Yao "Ice Veins" from China.

Techs: iPhone :)

"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.

"Calligraphy" - Backlit palmetto leaf, Florida

Arriving in Florida on the first day of my short visit, my family and I decided to visit a local park and take a walk. It was just what I needed after spending even a few short hours on the cramped and busy airplane. The quick transition from Virginia winter to Florida spring green made me giddy with excitement. Every sight, sound, and smell felt new and shocking. It was like I hadn't seen the color green, heard the warble of a passerine, or smelt the nectar of a fresh bloom in years. It was then that I saw a palmetto leaf shining brightly among its neighbors. The sun struck the backside of the leaf at a perfect angle. The leaf was transformed into a sharply defined jigsaw of shape and line. A few lone fronds of another distant palmetto cast small shadows. Nature's calligraphy was complete.

"Calligraphy" - Backlit palmetto leaf, Florida.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 135mm. 1/8th second, f/22, ISO 400. Tripod.

"Fault Line" - Ice patterns, McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, Maryland

The weather last week was finally cold enough to form some interesting ice patterns here in the northern Virginia area. Traveling just a bit further north to McKee-Beshers WMA, I found even more ice formed in the numerous puddles located on the property. Initially I was attracted to the elongated cell-like structures found in this puddle, but as I drew closer I noticed the distinct line of darker ice running through the middle. It formed the perfect line to create movement within the composition.

"Fault Line" - Ice patterns, McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, Maryland

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 500D Closeup Filter @ 154mm. 1/4th second, f/22, ISO 100.