MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Blue

Another snow storm is on our way tomorrow (1/20). This winter has been really like a NJ winter with lots of snow, snow-storms, snow-showers, rain, bone-chilling cold and freeze. Just like before the storm comes the calm, the severe weather sometimes breaks out into nice spring like weather. Though the temperature is always below zero, but the bright sunshine makes everything bearable; high blue sky with scudding clouds signals the harbinger of spring within two months (March 20, 2014 is the spring equinox). But, then comes the snow-storm and the spirit of spring evaporates.

The ground is frozen solid. Except for the few evergreen trees, all that stands around in the garden are dead sticks, seed-heads, dry leaf molds and leaf-less skeletons of plants. Though few winter-salads and vegetables are growing under cloche and in tunnels, but I feel too cold to look after them. However, that didn't deter me from going out and playing with the marco lens that I rented for a day.

I wanted to capture the stillness and ruggedness of the winter, the majesty that lies within the dead seed-heads of the plants that appear dead and or in suspended animation at the top; but the roots are busy, building up energy to emerge renewed and invigorated comes the spring. But who knew macro photography is so difficult. I assumed that I would put in the lens and click away, taking mesmerizing pictures like those national geography photos. But woman proposes, God disposes; or shall I say the micro lens disposed? It was quite heavy. Then, one has to really fiddle with all the variabilities of ISO, exposure, shutter speed, distance to the object and aperture. On top of that a minute shake will completely ruin the picture. A tripod or a self-timer also doesn't help as the object might be moving in air. After much permutation and combination and some light reading, I realized that a 105 mm does not allow one to get really close (like one inch) to the object; for that a more shorter focal length like 90 or smaller is required. It's best to use the manual mode and open the aperture at the maximum f that the lens allow; then only change the shutter speed to find the good exposure.

Here are some of the photos that I took:

Can you see me :-)? The triangle and the eagle in the US dollar bill.

The first image is that of a tiny dead flower-head. The size of the original flower-head is between 0.2 -- 0.3 inches; the second is that of a new bud that's appearing on the tree. The original size is about 0.1 inches. The third is that of white Paperwhite flowers.

Another dead-flower head in the first picture. The original size of the head is between 0.4 -- 0.5 inches. Thyme-leaves in the second picture. The original size is about 0.2 inches. Another dead flower-head with the original size being about 0.3 inches.