Common Whitetail and Blue Dasher dragonflies

25 09 2012

This is my first-ever photograph of two different kinds of dragonflies on the same perch! The bottom one is a Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia) and the top one is a Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). Photographed at Huntley Meadows Park; the marsh water was low and very muddy in color

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Feng Shui 101 for Arachnids

23 09 2012

Michael Powell and I watched this little spider building a web at Huntley Meadows Park recently and were curious about what it was doing with this bit of fluffy seed (which I think is eastern cottonwood seed). We watched for several minutes as the little spider tugged on it long enough to be able to free it from the web, then it continued with the task at hand—building a perfect web sans the clutter! Imagine that—a spider with a knack for feng shui.

I think the spider might be a Barn spider like the one in book Charlotte’s Web, but I’m not certain.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him.

22 09 2012

Remember that line? In “The Abominable Snow Rabbit” (1961), the abominable snowman grabs Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck saying, “I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him” with Mel Blanc doing an unmistakable imitation of Lon Chaney, Jr.‘s Lennie. This material was re-used in “Spaced Out Bunny” (1980), the last Warner Bros. cartoon in which Bugs Bunny was voiced by Mel Blanc.

This rather handsome critter is actually called a Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum). I put down my camera bag at Huntley Meadows Park and he hopped onto the side and I got this shot! My photo partner, Michael Powell, has some really great shots that he made at Huntley Meadows Park last month here and here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 





Three photo amigos

22 09 2012

Three photo amigos (notice Michael Powell’s strategically placed leaf?—not planned, but funny anyway!); on the trail at Huntley Meadows; Michael Schwehr on the left and me on the far right

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Announcing nature and outdoor photography workshops with Brian Loflin in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

12 07 2012

My photography mentor and former employer, Brian Loflin, will be in the Washington, D.C. area in August to conduct a series of lectures and hands-on photography workshops. Brian and I are partnering with my friend, Rob Bergsohn, who founded the Northern Virginia Outdoor Portrait Photographers group at meetup.com.

I’ve worked with Rob on several small workshops for the group and we wanted to expand the offerings to include workshops conducted by Brian Loflin, who is a published photographer, experienced teacher and author as well.

MY GO-TO MENTOR
I’ve learned so much from Brian and he is my go-to mentor whenever I have technical problems or want to learn a new photographic skill. When I worked with him, I assisted with him on shooting everything from the world’s largest offshore drilling rig to a western clothing catalog to an aloe vera processing plant to an overhead view of a shopping mall from a small plane. He is an excellent teacher who makes learning fun!

PUBLISHED AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER
A master natural science photographer, Brian has photographed and authored several books with his wife, Shirley: Grasses of the Texas Hill County and Texas Cacti, both published by Texas A&M University Press. They have just completed text and photography for their next new book, also by Texas A&M University Press: Texas Wildflower Vistas and Hidden Treasures.

Brian Loflin is a seasoned photographic professional with a career that spans more than four decades in the advertising, aviation, bio-medical and publishing industry. As a graduate biologist with a background in marketing and communications, his early experience was as a medical photographer and a freelance photojournalist.

During his career, Brian’s photographs have been published in many international magazines as well as books and other publications, including major news agencies of the world. His work has won numerous industry awards and has won the admiration and respect of his clients. Those clients include leading names in the advertising and aerospace industry including: Bozell Worldwide, Milici, and Frye-Sills Advertising, Fairchild Aircraft, Aeritalia, Raytheon/Beech Aerospace and BFGoodrich Aerospace.

Brian has been active in several professional industry organizations, is past president of the Minnesota Nature Photographers and founder and current president of the Austin Shutterbug Club. He is now is an active photography instructor in the Informal Classes program at the University of Texas at Austin. Brian and his wife, Shirley, actively teach and conduct seminars and workshops in many areas of photography. They also lead nature photography tours to a variety of destinations. Below is a small sampling of his nature photography.

See his work at www.loflin-images.com and www.thenatureconnection.com. His blog, www.bkloflin@wordpress.com, highlights tools and techniques used in natural science photography, in both outdoor and studio settings. Below is a video that promotes his ongoing photography classes in Austin, Texas.

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Register for the workshop of your choice by clicking the register link next to each course. Meetup.com will require you to create an account, which is very simple to do. Once you have an account, you may pay for the workshop through PayPal on the site. If you have problems or questions, e-mail Rob Bergsohn directly at rbergsohn@gmail.com.

These workshops are a fantastic value with an experienced and published photographer who is also a great instructor. August is fast approaching, so sign up today!

For more information, e-mail us:
Rob Bergsohn: rbergsohn@gmail.com
Cindy Dyer: dyerdesign@aol.com

The workshops below are listed in chronological order and some repeat more than once to allow participants ample choices to fit their schedules and interests.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4

9:00 a.m. – Noon
$45/per person (Register here)

Macro/Close-up Photography Class
Location: Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners

This class will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of tiny subjects around us. It will illustrate the procedures and equipment to make images at- or near-life size or larger of various subjects from small plants and insects to postage stamps and miniature electronic components. Macro equipment need not be purchased prior to the course; the class will provide insight as to the appropriate equipment for each participant’s needs. Emphasis will also be made on how to construct many of the tools you may need. It is valuable to the film and digital photographer alike. (Photo of currency © Brian K. Loflin)

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

Nature Photography in a Studio Environment
Location: Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners

This course will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of natural subjects from the world around us without leaving our kitchen. It will illustrate the procedures and equipment to make excellent images of living plants and flowers, animals, patterns and textures. (Photo of ant © Brian K. Loflin)

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 4

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (lunch and beverages provided)
$90/per person (Register here)

All-Day Nature Photography Workshop at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA
Lecture Location: Lecture at Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners.
Outdoor bbq lunch will be provided on Rob’s deck after lecture.
Photography Location: We will all meet at Huntley Meadows by 2:00 p.m. to begin the hands-on photography portion of the workshop. Huntley Meadows Park is located 12 miles from Rob’s house at 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA. For exact directions from Rob’s house, click here.

This is a comprehensive hands-on workshop to teach the skills, tools and art of nature photography. A classroom discussion will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of natural subjects from the world around us. In addition to the mechanics of making a technically accurate nature photograph, the class will cover the tricks of the trade that will hone the understanding of the art of nature image design. Following the classroom discussion, the group will break for lunch and reconnoiter at Huntley Meadows Park. Brian will guide us through a four hour nature shoot, putting into practice the techniques during the morning class discussion. Participants are advised to bring a tripod. (Photo of dragonfly © Brian K. Loflin)

About Huntley Meadows:
Nestled in Fairfax County’s Hybla Valley, Huntley Meadows Park is a rich, natural island in the suburban sea of Northern Virginia. Its 1,425 acres harbor majestic forests, wildflower-speckled meadows and vast wetlands bursting with life. Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is enjoyed here. From the ½ mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, you’ll have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot, with over 200 species identified in the park. The Visitors Center has informative exhibits on local natural and cultural history, as well as the gift store featuring nature-related books, jewelry, and stationery. (Photo of dragonfly at Huntley Meadows Park © Michael Powell)

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MONDAY, AUGUST 6

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

National Zoo Photo Safari
Location: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. (map)

Zoos can be a visually depressing environment for visitors, but animal photographs made in zoos don’t have to be! Learn how to make dynamic animal images at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. with Brian Loflin. Learn the tricks of avoiding cages, concrete and confinement as we spend time on our walking zoo photography workshop. You will learn hands-on how to take advantage of the best light, composition and use of lenses to improve on animal photography. Watch for the fleeting moment that will make animal pictures pop! Learn how to accentuate the positive aspects of animals in their existing environment in order to make effective and dynamic images.

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

Night Photography on the Mall
Location:
Meet at 23rd and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., near Foggy Bottom metro, on-street parking available (map)

How do you make perfect pictures of cityscapes, monuments and other scenes at night? This class will cover the use of time exposures using manual exposure techniques to produce stunning nighttime images. Many photographers have never used shutter speeds longer than one second, and low ISOs to produce the perfect image. This class will break open the mystery of low-level and night photography. Participants must have a tripod available for the class. We will meet up at the corner of 23rd and F Streets N.W., and begin the class with a walk to the Lincoln Memorial.
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

National Zoo Photo Safari
Location: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. (map)

Zoos can be a visually depressing environment for visitors, but animal photographs made in zoos don’t have to be! Learn how to make dynamic animal images at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. with Brian Loflin. Learn the tricks of avoiding cages, concrete and confinement as we spend time on our walking zoo photography workshop. You will learn hands-on how to take advantage of the best light, composition and use of lenses to improve on animal photography. Watch for the fleeting moment that will make animal pictures pop! Learn how to accentuate the positive aspects of animals in their existing environment in order to make effective and dynamic images.

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

Night Photography on the Mall
Location:
Meet at 23rd and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., near Foggy Bottom metro, on-street parking available (map)

How do you make perfect pictures of cityscapes, monuments and other scenes at night? This class will cover the use of time exposures using manual exposure techniques to produce stunning nighttime images. Many photographers have never used shutter speeds longer than one second, and low ISOs to produce the perfect image. This class will break open the mystery of low-level and night photography. Participants must have a tripod available for the class. We will meet up at the corner of 23rd and F Streets N.W., and begin the class with a walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

______________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

National Zoo Photo Safari
Location: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. (map)

Zoos can be a visually depressing environment for visitors, but animal photographs made in zoos don’t have to be! Learn how to make dynamic animal images at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. with Brian Loflin. Learn the tricks of avoiding cages, concrete and confinement as we spend time on our walking zoo photography workshop. You will learn hands-on how to take advantage of the best light, composition and use of lenses to improve on animal photography. Watch for the fleeting moment that will make animal pictures pop! Learn how to accentuate the positive aspects of animals in their existing environment in order to make effective and dynamic images.


7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

Night Photography on the Mall
Location:
Meet at 23rd and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., near Foggy Bottom metro, on-street parking available (map)

How do you make perfect pictures of cityscapes, monuments and other scenes at night? This class will cover the use of time exposures using manual exposure techniques to produce stunning nighttime images. Many photographers have never used shutter speeds longer than one second, and low ISOs to produce the perfect image. This class will break open the mystery of low-level and night photography. Participants must have a tripod available for the class. We will meet up at the corner of 23rd and F Streets N.W., and begin the class with a walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

______________________________________________________________________

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11

9:00 a.m. – Noon
$45/per person (Register here)

Macro/Close-up Photography Class
Location: Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners)

This class will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of tiny subjects around us. It will illustrate the procedures and equipment to make images at- or near-life size or larger of various subjects from small plants and insects to postage stamps and miniature electronic components. Macro equipment need not be purchased prior to the course; the class will provide insight as to the appropriate equipment for each participant’s needs. Emphasis will also be made on how to construct many of the tools you may need. It is valuable to the film and digital photographer alike.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
$45/per person (Register here)

Nature Photography in a Studio Environment
Location: Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners

This course will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of natural subjects from the world around us without leaving our kitchen. It will illustrate the procedures and equipment to make excellent images of living plants and flowers, animals, patterns and textures. (Photo of leafcutter ant © Brian K. Loflin)

______________________________________________________________________

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (lunch and beverages provided)
$90/per person (Register here)

All-Day Nature Photography Workshop at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA
Lecture Location: Lecture at Rob’s studio, located at 3106 Shadeland Drive, Falls Church, VA, near 7 Corners.
Outdoor bbq lunch will be provided on Rob’s deck after lecture.
Photography Location: We will all meet at Huntley Meadows by 2:00 p.m. to begin the hands-on photography portion of the workshop. Huntley Meadows Park is located 12 miles from Rob’s house at 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA. For exact directions from Rob’s house, click here.

This is a comprehensive hands-on workshop to teach the skills, tools and art of nature photography. A classroom discussion will cover the skills and techniques required to enable the participant to capture photographic images of natural subjects from the world around us. In addition to the mechanics of making a technically accurate nature photograph, the class will cover the tricks of the trade that will hone the understanding of the art of nature image design. Following the classroom discussion, the group will break for lunch and reconnoiter at Huntley Meadows Park. Brian will guide us through a four hour nature shoot, putting into practice the techniques during the morning class discussion. Participants are advised to bring a tripod. (Photo of cardinal © Brian K. Loflin)

About Huntley Meadows:
Nestled in Fairfax County’s Hybla Valley, Huntley Meadows Park is a rich, natural island in the suburban sea of Northern Virginia. Its 1,425 acres harbor majestic forests, wildflower-speckled meadows and vast wetlands bursting with life. Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is enjoyed here. From the ½ mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, you’ll have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot, with over 200 species identified in the park. The Visitors Center has informative exhibits on local natural and cultural history, as well as the gift store featuring nature-related books, jewelry, and stationery. (Photo of Great Blue Heron at Huntley Meadows Park © Michael Powell)