Saturday, April 23, 2011

Making Traditional Easter Eggs




 Let's Color Some Easter Eggs


One of my favorite traditions at Easter was getting to color eggs.  Since that time has long past, I thought it would be fun to try and experiment with Easter eggs.



Sophie got all excited and has come out to help with the project.


I was curious and wanted to find out why  we color and then hunt for eggs at Easter time.  Checking with Wikipedia, I found that "the egg is a pagan symbol of the rebirth of the Earth and was later adopted by Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus". 

As a child, I was told that the Easter Bunny delivered the eggs in a nice basket with other treats and I would have to hunt and find where it was hidden.  Looking back, I guess this was one way to get me up early and ready for the special church service.





From what I learned with Wikipedia, painting and delivering eggs has been around for at least 2,500 years.  I also discovered that onion skins were boiled with the eggs to give them a popular tan color.  This gave me the idea to boil my white eggs with the skin of a red onion.






After carefully placing my eggs in a pan of  water, I gently heated them so that none were broken.  I then allowed the eggs to remain in the hot purple water for about 15 minutes to absorb the color.
 




I returned to Wikipedia for more ideas on how to decorate my egg while they were cooling and drying.   There are many traditions and variations on decorating eggs. Some of the designs are so very complex. I think each region and/or country has its own custom.


Sophie lends a helpful paw, checking to see if the eggs are ready.



After gathering ideas from various countries, I made my colored eggs with simple designs. Trying to stay with tradition, I placed my eggs in a basket with dried grass that I cut from my yard.  What a fun project this was, it took me back to my youth and so many fond memories. 
 




For more information on the customs and tradition of Easter Eggs please visit  Wikipedia





No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.


"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.









Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photographing Birds at the Pond


 Backyard Fun With Blackbirds


In the spring, around the second week of April, my back yard comes alive and begins to sound like a jungle when all the migratory birds arrive.  The most interesting grouping is a varied assortment of black birds:  Red-winged, Yellow-headed, Tricolored, Brewer's and even some starlings. 




The birds congregate in the 50 foot, 15.24m elm trees, which are close to the pond, near my back fence and as if on signal, they float down to the pond for drinks and baths. 


Not only are the birds quite entertaining, they also offer some great photo ops when they are drinking and splashing around in the pond.  All I need to do is set up my Nikon D90 with the 500mm 4.0 lens on the tripod and wait quietly on the walkway in the back of my house. Once I become still and out of sight, the birds will begin to trickle down to the waterfall and pond from the trees.  


 



To be far enough away and go unnoticed by the birds, I am shooting at a distance of approximately 48 feet, 14.63m and even with a 500mm lens the birds appear much smaller in the camera.  Many times, I will have to crop in on the image to bring the bird up to fill the frame.




Since the 500mm lens is manual focus, I really have to concentrate in order to get the bird's eyes in sharp focus. However with the continuous drive of the D90 shooting up to 4.5 frames per second, I have a pretty good chance to catch the action with some sharp images. 




 Opening the aperture to f/8 allows for greater depth of field but also calls for a slower shutter speed.  In order to get up to a speed of 1/500sec. for stop action on the birds, I adjust the ISO from 400 to 800 depending on the light to bump up the shutter speed. 




 I don't think there is anything quite as entertaining as watching birds splashing around in water, taking baths.  It is not necessary to have a pond to attract birds, any shallow object filled with water will do.  The best location is always under or near a tree.  And this has just given me an idea for my next blog entry:  "Let's Make a Birdbath".  So check back next week and see what objects I've found that will make great  bird baths!  







No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Sunday, April 10, 2011

Macro Photography, Up Close and Personal



Exploring Hidden Worlds With Macro Photography

Spring is finally here and flowers are starting to bloom, bringing photographers out of their winter hiatus. I just recently returned from an exciting wildflower workshop in Death Valley that I conducted with Karen Linsley and you might have read about it in several previous posts. So I thought in this entry, I would go into further detail with how I like to set up for macro photos of flowers.


The way I prefer to photograph flowers if at all possible is in diffused lighting and with a small aperture of f/8-11 for maximum depth of field.  A small aperture and low light, thanks to the good old laws of reciprocity, equals a slow shutter speed, which makes it all most impossible to hold the camera steady and to focus on the flower.




For the above stated reasons, to me a tripod is essential in photographing flowers or with macro work. The tripod that I prefer is the Manfrotto NA24 with the Manfrotto 3265 Grip Action Ball Head and Quick Release. 




This tripod is light, with a weight of only 5 pounds, 2.26 kg, and lowers to 23 inches, 50.8cm, from ground level.  The Grip Action Ball Head allows me to position the camera with just a squeeze of the handle within a 180° sphere.


 


Having the tripod low to the ground and tilting the head, I can get up close and personal to the flower and also concentrate on where I want my area of selective focus to fall. 





The lens I use most often for closeups on flowers is the Nikon 150mm 2.8 macro. Sometimes when photographing the macro world, you might even get a surprise visitor.




If the flower is on a flat plane and depth of field is not critical or I want to blur the background, I will open the aperture to f5.6 




For my taste with macro and flower photography, I like to isolate a subject so that it stands out against the background and becomes the main subject. In the following photo, it is difficult for the eyes to pick out the main subject.




Photographing flowers with macro photography is like exploring hidden worlds and inner universes.  So many of nature's secrets are revealed. 




A special thanks to Photographers Karen Linsley and Donald Heldoorn for use of their photos in this post.






No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Sunday, April 3, 2011

Clouds, Moon and Sky

 

Clouds, Moon and Sky Opening at Never Ender



 Wassuk Moon



On April 1st., at the Never Ender Gallery on 26 Cheney Street in Reno, was the opening of my Clouds, Moon and Sky exhibit that will hang through the month of April. The reception was on Friday evening and I would like to give Melanie Crane, owner of the Never Ender, a big thank you for the lovely event.  I also would like to thank all the people for coming out and showing their support.  



Melanie and I decided on the theme of Clouds, Moon and Sky from the photos that I have been posting on Facebook that reveal my passion for photography through Nature's artistry.  I believe there is nothing quite as inspiring as a sunrise, sunset, or huge full moon lighting the night sky.




If you are in the Reno area, please drop by the Never Ender, check out my exhibit and the huge of selection of artistic gifts that are available for purchase.


Joshua Tree and Moon



"My passion for photography is revealed in scenes of Clouds, Moon and Sky. The inspiration of Nature's artistry, ever changing from moment to moment, never remaining the same".
 
Again, a very big thank you to Melanie and the Never Ender Gallery! 





No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/