Iced

An after market telephoto lens with really terrible optics can still create intriguing images with its distortion. In these images, rain falling through 29-degree air is coating branches and pine needles with ice.
Branches with icicle stubs. Having fun with terrible aftermarket lens. Jan. 11, 2015.

Feeling a little black and whitish

Of course, these are not truly black and white, having been shot in living RGB on digital point n’ shoot. When framing a shot for eventual conversion to black and white, or specifically infrared-ish, there is still the challenge of evaluating the color and contrast in the viewfinder and filtering it through your brain, hoping the resulting image will match your ambitions.

The first lesson I had in this area was in the pre-digital days. As wire editor for a newspaper chain, I’d watch as The Associated Press LaserPhoto machine spit out, on a special paper, color photos as color separations. There were four images for each photo and though they were black and white, each represented the yellow, black, cyan and magenta components of a full-color image.  When aligned correctly and run through a four-color press, magically, a full color image would appear.

When shooting through an RGB device, your imagination has to substitute for those CMYK separations — taking it a step further and using only three mental filters, red, green and blue.  Of course, if your image doesn’t meet your ambitions, there’s probably a fix in Photoshop.

Cypress growing in a backwater.
Cypress growing in a lake near the Arkansas Forestry Commission nursery east of Little Rock.
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Clouds spread out like rays from the north.

This was originally shot for this weekend’s In the Background photo challenge, aiming for a little bird in a tree in the background. Once downloaded, the clouds just leapt from the frame.

Heffalump trunk

Ferns fronds are elegant, whether simply lobed or carved with more complexity. And they present themselves to the world in such a beautiful way, slowly unfurling into the filtered light of the forest floor.

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DOWN AND UP  — This frond was reaching downward into a channel carved by runoff into the mountainside. It seemed to me like an elephant’s trunk — you almost want to hand it a peanut.
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UPRIGHT — Captured last week, this curled frond reminded me of nautilids.

Gossamer

Sometimes beauty can emerge from even the most ignominious end. This damselfly past fell from the plastic cover for the garage light while replacing a bulb. Low-slanting fall sunlight pouring through its wings spilled an iridescence onto the white paper below it, like the most subtle stained glass. Too subtle, truly, for our pixel catchers  to render.

DELICATE — The wings of this damselfly are delicate in reflection and shadow.

At the pond

Infrared is fascinating for the fantasy quality it lends to images. There’s a lot going on in this image, it’s also somehow meditative as the eye wanders through it.

BY THE POND — Tree leans over the placid pond.