Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dragonfly Festival 2016 Take Two

After reviewing my photos from yesterday's Dragonfly Festival, I decided several more are blogworthy, and therefore decided this follow-on post was in order.

In addition I meant to mention in yesterday's post that conditions were not particularly ideal for taking photos: bright sunny day it was not, at least during the time Deb and I visited the Festival. Usually it rains a little before it rains a lot, but not yesterday. We were treated to a rare "instant deluge" of rain! Fortunately, most vendors had tent tops, and most of the Festival attendees made their way quickly under the nearest tent when the deluge began. I was able to do the same, though not until my camera equipment managed to get a little wet. Fortunately, my gear is designed to be "weatherproof", so after a quick wipe off, and waiting for the rain to stop, I was able to continue my photo taking.

As mentioned, the darker skies created extra difficulty for some of my shots. Many photos in yesterday's post and this post are at ISO 3200 and ISO 6400. Also, unlike my photos at last year's Dragonfly Festival, this year I decided to take many with my 75-300mm (150-600mm equivalent) telephoto lens. So, while I could "bring the action in closer" for my shots, a few of them were not quite as sharp as I'd like since highly zoomed shots normally require much faster shutter speeds and that's hard to do successfully on a dark day, where one needs to let as much light in through the lens as possible.

This next photo is the only one in this post taken with my 12-40mm lens.

Closer View of Dancer

Idyllic Setting

Brass Player

Sharing Under the Rain

Pushing Off Rain Water With Several Helpers

Dragonfly Festival Organizers Steve and Andrea Enjoying the Event

Dragonfly Studio Color

Gabrielle and Other Vendors

That's Chuck on the left in this next photo. I didn't realize he was in the shot 'till later. He's the official inventor of the floating fire devices.
Street Scene One

Street Scene Two

Water View

Scary Horns

Street Scene Three

Natural Designs

Wooden Delights

Gabrielle Enjoying the Day

Happy Potters

Dragonfly Peeking Out from Behind Tree

More Dragonflies Hanging Around

All photos © 2016, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dragonfly Festival 2016

The third annual Dragonfly Festival celebrating the arts descended upon Ashland this afternoon. Here are some of my favorite photos that I took at the event.


The Lighting Crew

Fire on Water


Beauty Under Cover

AFM Organizers Relaxing

Pass the Kindling

Reflections of an Artist

Young Musician

Gabrielle's Dragonfly Wares

All photos © 2016, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Day at the Beach

Salisbury Beach State Reservation is part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) system. Deb and I made a recent visit on what turned out to be a perfect weather day. While I'd been to Salisbury Beach before, I'd been to the section outside of the State Reservation. This visit was to the maintained State Park portion and we were greeted with well maintained grounds, and an overall terrific beach experience. The water was remarkably clear, and the sand was smooth with no sharp objects, making barefoot beach strolling a joyful pebble and shell free experience. I had my Olympus camera along with my 75-300 telephoto and took some shots. Kids, waves, and seagulls were my prime targets.

Red Rimmed Seagull Eye

Bird's Eye View

Gray-Brown Speckled Feathers

Wowza! Check out this woman. The Black Lives Matter pin is an important part of the ensemble.
Gorgeous Woman Spotted on Beach 

Closed Eyes Water Ballet

Stop Action Walking

Water Coating

Best Friends Embark

Boys Being Boys

Splash Landing

Pure Joy


Beach Grass

Keeping Us Safe

Copycat Seagulls

Seagull Legs and Toenails

Landing Zone

Formation Takeoff

I've collected many poor shots of birds in flight during my time as an amateur photographer. These shots are a source of great humor as they are invariably blurry and/or partially out of frame. Taking a sharp picture of a bird in flight is one of the most challenging photographic subjects in existence, especially if the bird is mid-sky, with no nearby objects, and isn't just taking off or landing. However, once in a while the camera gods shine down on me, and I get a shot off with the subject completely in frame with the focus point close to perfect. Witness the rendition below of a seagull in flight. This is a 600mm eq. shot, while panning the sky to attempt to follow the bird's flight pattern. It is still slightly blurred, likely due to the 1/800 second exposure being not quite fast enough. Image data says this subject was 90 feet away.
Seagull in Flight

All photos © 2016, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.