June 15: Flowers

Flowers are difficult to photograph in a way that makes them interesting. Most people spray them with water drops for added appeal, and I’ve done that, but I decided not to do that with these.

The evening primrose is common in Florida but that doesn’t lessen its beauty. They are quite small, but their bright yellow color always stands out against the lush green. The insect is a metallic sweat bee.

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June 8: The Birdbath

This first one isn’t the greatest shot, but I love the way the blue jay’s eye is illuminated by light through the trees.

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June 1: Backyard Birds

I recently mentioned putting up the feeders again, because I missed the birds. After the first week or two, I spotted something small and dark scurrying between the woods and the spilled seed on the ground.

You guessed it: RAT.

It was a young one, but the head and tail were unmistakable. I took pictures through the bedroom window to confirm, because I don’t like killing anything else. Rats, however, I will destroy without hesitation. Also cockroaches, because hey, they’re disgusting.

These are roof rats, currently a plague in Florida (so watch out, folks; they may be coming your way soon). I spent a lot of money getting rid of them, but you never totally vanquish rats once they’ve discovered you, so it’s an ongoing battle. Continue reading

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May 28: Blue Jays

After some careful thought, I decided to set up my bird feeders again. I’d taken them down last year after the bear ripped the pole down, and that was followed by a roof rat assault on my house. They’ve become a big problem in Florida, and it took me several months to figure out the best way to deal with them.

I take the feeders in at dusk and put them out in the morning. That helps make sure only the birds and a few squirrels enjoy the seed. I also added a water source.

The first bird to show up was the blue jay. I set up a chair about fifteen feet away. He didn’t seem to mind and neither did the other birds that have appeared since.

I take pictures of the entire bird, then crop it to show detail. I like seeing wildlife closeup, and I suspect most people feel the same way. Continue reading

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May 25: Lizards and Squirrels

Photography centers around lighting. I’m always shooting subjects in different, even extreme lighting. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. The lower the light, the higher the ISO, and that means more grain/noise. No photographer wants noisy photos.

Topaz DeNoise AI is terrific at getting rid of noise in most photos; I’ve talked about this program before. Without it, I wouldn’t dare push the camera as hard as I sometimes do.

In this first pic, a lizard is backlit by the setting sun. The noise is atrocious. You can see it in this unprocessed photo. Look at that background! Oy. It may not look so bad at this size, but when viewed at full size… unacceptable. The anole is also too dark, because the light was behind him.

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