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Archive for June, 2013

Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) may look very ordinary at first glance, but when you look more closely, you find that they have amazingly beautiful, green speckled eyes.

cabbage_A_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Damselflies have such narrow bodies that it’s often hard for me to get my camera to focus on them, but I love to chase after them, hoping to capture some of their beautiful colors. I was happy that I managed to get this shot of mating damselflies with enough detail to see some of the differences in coloration between the male and the female. I don’t dare try to explain the physiology of the mating process—I don’t really understand it and will leave that to the experts.

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Click on the photo to see a higher resolution view of it.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The water lilies at one of my local gardens seem to be blooming a little late this year, but two of them finally were in bloom yesterday. Here’s a shot one of them and if you look closely you’ll notice a damselfly perched on the water lily. The image is not in his style, but water lilies always remind me of Monet, one of my favorite painters.

water_lily_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I just can’t get enough of the Blue Dasher dragonfly. Here’s a shot I like of a male Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) on an unidentified green plant that I took at Hidden Pond Nature Center here in Springfield, VA. Often I will try to go for maximum possible sharpness and realism, but I like the composition of this image and it has a kind of an “artsy” look that appeals to me.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The response was so positive to my recently posted photos of a bee on a lavender plant that I decided to post a couple more of my favorite images from that session. Unlike my previous shots that attempted to capture a bee in flight, these ones were taken while the bee was busily working. The light was starting to fade, so both of these were shot with my pop-up flash and I am happy that the flash did not totally blow out the highlights.

Using flash is an area that I have not paid much attention to, but it looks like it’s worth spending some time learning more about it and experimenting with different ways of adding additional light to my photos.

top_blogmist_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Today there seemed to be a lot of small hover flies buzzing around the flowers, so I decided to try to get a shot of one of them. As their name suggests, these flies spend much of their time hovering, but fortunately they land sometimes, which gave me a chance to get an image of a hover fly.

Hover flies, which are also known as flower flies and syrphid flies,  are part of the insect family Syrphidae. There are quite a few different species of hover flies and I find it difficult to tell them apart, so I’ll merely identify this one as a hover fly.

hoverfly_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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My normal instinct is to move in really close to my subject, whether it is physical movement with my macro lens or virtual movement with my telephoto zoom, but when I saw this dragonfly, I consciously pulled back in order to bring more of the stalk of the lily into the image.

This is a new species of dragonfly for me and I think it is probably a Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). I love the contrast between the dark blue color of the dragonfly’s body and the orange shade of the lily.  This dragonfly’s muted colors give it a somewhat more sophisticated look that the more garishly colored Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) that I also photographed that day. (Check out my previous posting to see the contrast between the images of the two dragonflies in similar positions.)

In addition to the colors, I like the composition of the image and the water in the background blurred out pretty nicely too. In the next few weeks, I’ll be off trying to catch some shots of dragonflies on lotus flowers and waterlilies—it’s that time of the year again.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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