I’ve long been meaning to borrow some exotic lens I can’t justify buying from the good folks at LensRentals, and last night’s eclipse gave me the perfect excuse. The 80-400mm zoom I rented turned out not to be the exact lens I wanted for lunar photography, but it gave me an improvement over last year’s eclipse shot at least.
We had just come home from Mass one evening, and my sons were rounding the front bumper on their way into the house when I saw something jumping in parallel to them. I first thought it was a mouse, and then remembered that mice don’t jump like that. It was a toad.
We’ve had a very wet summer in central Illinois, so perhaps it’s not that surprising to find a toad so far from the nearest creek, about 4-5 blocks away; still, I wonder what this fellow was doing at our house. I couldn’t get him to turn around and give me a face-on shot, unfortunately.
Even a side view was difficult, as I could only photograph through a small patch of weeds. The old telephoto I was using (to avoid spooking the toad) is standing up very well to the 24 megapixels of my D7100 in this image.
Chicory grows everywhere around here, especially on abandoned or unkept lots, or on the edge of the road out in the country. I decided to go for a little drama with this bloom on an abandoned lot, taking advantage of my X100’s electronic viewfinder to stare into the sun as long as I needed without hurting my eyes. 🙂
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
Two of my neighbors grow these red irises, and I was fortunate to capture one of them this year just in time for Pentecost.
Thankfully, this spring has been much milder than last, and the sakura at Japan House bloomed right on schedule in mid-April.
The Tamron 90mm macro lens shines when used as a macro lens and focused manually. It most emphatically does not shine as a replacement for a fast AF 85mm; its AF motor lacks snap and the ability to track rapidly. Since I don’t own a fast 85mm, I’ll sometimes spray-and-pray with the Tamron and hope for the best, which turned out all right for me in both these images.
Depending on the calibration of your monitor, you may or may not see subtle texture in the background of this shot. It doesn’t show up in prints made on my Epson 3880 with my usual B&W process, and I’m not sure it’s worth it to tweak the print to make it show up, as the light sakura really pop against black.