Friday, August 30, 2013

Pre School Session

During the first week of school, all of the teachers in my district sit through three long days of meetings.   For me, this is a perfect opportunity to do some photography before school!

On Wednesday, there was a very thick fog that rolled over eastern Massachusetts.   I had gotten up early to photograph the sunrise.   The fog was so thick, that a sunrise (at least a visible one) wasn't likely.   Rater than be disappointed, I was ecstatic!  I love fog and snow.  They change the everyday landscape into something exotic and new!

My first stop was to see my "buds".   My "buds" are cows that I drive by everyday on the way to work.  They live on a small farm in Marshfield.   This morning they were hanging out by a beautiful tree in the fog.   This session was particularly difficult, because the light was so dim, that it was hard to record details on the black cows.   I raised my ISO, opened my f stop and slowed down my shutter speed.  Then I hoped that the cows would be still for a moment.  Their movements would cause them to blur in the image.  I was fortunate to make one image that I liked.  

After photographing the cows, I went to Scituate Harbor to photograph boats in the fog.   Along the way, I found a mourning cloak butterfly!   It was only a foot or two from the water, still covered in morning dew.   I was able to make a handful of images of this beautiful species.   I was quite surprised to see this butterfly so close to the ocean.   I usually associate this species with forests and my woodpile behind my house.   Mourning cloaks actually overwinter as adults.   They will fit themselves into crevices between bark on trees, woodpiles, and empty sheds to protect themselves from harsh winter weather.   It is always a treat to find one in my snowbound woodpile in the middle of February.   Of course, I always leave them in a safe place.  In March, they are often the first butterfly to be seen in the new year!

After spending some time with the mourning cloak, I returned my attention to the boats.   There are a number of beautiful boats to photograph in Scituate.  I focused on the row boats and dories.   The hardest challenge was to focus in the thick fog.   Autofocus was worthless, so I switched to manual focus, but that was not very effective either.   Finally, I turned on the live view and zoomed in as much as I could and then manually focused.  It worked very well!

The dory that I included in this post was shrouded in soupy fog.  By adding a lot of contrast, I was able to create a clear image.   It does not look the way I saw it that morning.   To me, this clear version is a superior image compared to the soupy fog version.   Yet, the emotional side of me still leans toward showing the soupy fog.   Sometimes as artists we have to make difficult decisions.   Which image do you prefer?

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