Stack ‘o butterflies

10 09 2019

I think the top and bottom ones might be Clouded Sulphurs, middle one is a Variegated Fritillary; feasting on Purple coneflowers (with purple Lantana in the background)

Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm micro lens, 1/250 sec, f/14, ISO 400

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Stacked Butterflies WEB





Daring Jumping spider

26 06 2017

Daring Jumping spider (Phidippus audax) on an iris (unknown cultivar)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Daring Spider Iris 2 lorez





Cicada on ‘Sweet Kate’ spiderwort

16 05 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cicada 1 web





Cicada on Love-in-a-mist

15 05 2017

Ah…finally out and shooting flowers for the first time this season, thanks to the urging of my dear friend Michael Powell on this beautiful Sunday. We went to Green Spring Gardens to shoot and although it was pretty windy for photography, we both still managed to capture some images in between blusters! Here’s a shot I got of a cicada making its way through a cluster of love-in-a-mist blooms.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cicada love-in-a-mist lorezCicada love 2





Pineapple lily

10 08 2014

Closeup of Pineapple Lily (Eucomis comosa); one of my favorite plants to photograph—the flower stalks are like high rise condominiums full of ants, beetles and other critters, weaving in and out of the blooms!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Pineapple Lily





In the studio: Mary Ellen Ryall

1 11 2013

Butterfly posterMary Ellen Ryall and I crossed paths more than eight years ago when I purchased milkweed seeds from her through eBay. This connection quickly morphed into a frequent e-mail exchange and a great friendship! I do volunteer design and photography for her environmental education organization, Happy Tonics. For several years, I designed and produced her quarterly 4-page newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, as well as other marketing materials. I also designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Poster for her a few years ago. The poster included original photographs by me and my friends Brian K. Loflin (www.bkloflin.wordpress.com) and Jeff Evans (www.evanimagesandart.com).

I had the chance to visit Mary Ellen in her former home base in Minong, Wisconsin, in August 2011. (Sidebar: at the time I was making the three-hour drive from the Minneapolis airport to Minong, I called Michael and learned that I had just missed a big earthquake in the D.C. area; it was enough to scare both him and our cat, ZenaB, and for a vase to fall off a bookcase and break!). While in Shell Lake and Minong, I visited Mary Ellen’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat and met many of her friends, most notably Diane Dryden, a published author and feature writer for the Washburn County Register. Diane’s novels, The Accidental King of Clark Street and Double or Nothing on Foster Ave., are available on Amazon here.

About a year ago, Mary Ellen relocated to Fitchburg, MA, to be closer to her sister. She talked of slowing down, but I knew she wouldn’t—she’s brimming with far too many ideas! An author and truly dedicated environmental educator, Mary Ellen’s first book, My Name is Butterfly, was published by Salt of the Earth Press in 2011. This teaching book about a little girl and a Monarch butterfly was illustrated by Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza and is available here.

TwoBooksEarlier this year, I assisted Mary Ellen with producing The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. Written by Mary Ellen Ryall and illustrated by Moira Christine McCusker, It is available for purchase here. It is published by Mary Ellen’s new company, Butterfly Woman Publishing. Our next project is a plant guidebook, which we hope to debut in 2014. She visited the D.C. area a few weeks ago to attend a three-day conference for the North America Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). She is presently on a task force to design a smart app called S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment). This app will allow gardeners around the country to list their habitats on a national map. Mary Ellen blogs about organic gardening and open pollination for diversity on her blog here.

After seeing the portraits I did of her while she was in town, Mary Ellen said, “now I see that I have to go out and buy a new wardrobe!” The outfits she is wearing came from my “modeling rack” as well as my closet. She feels I captured her energy in the shots—and if you’ve ever met her, you know how high-energy this woman is!

P.S. Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators after bees. Butterflies as pollinators are in trouble too. The Monarch butterfly population is down to only five percent in 2013. The Monarch and other butterflies need native host plants. We need to plant native wildflowers to bring butterflies home. Milkweed is the only host plant of the Monarch butterfly. If you would like to be part of the solution to stop the decline of Monarch butterflies, plant some milkweed seeds in your garden! Mary Ellen sells seed on her website here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MaryEllenHeadShots





Katydid

21 07 2013

My friend Michael and I think this might be a tiny Handsome Meadow Katydid nymph (Orchelimum pulchellum) because of the blue tint to the eyes. I photographed it at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area this morning.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

HandsomeMeadowKatydid





From the archives: Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

7 07 2013

A sampling of photos taken at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens over the past few years

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Kenilworth Collage 7232009KenilworthCollage2





Distracted by dragonflies and damselflies

17 08 2012

This much is true—I think photography has made me a more patient person (I think I just heard my dad mutter “hmppph” all the way from Texas). It is all at once stimulating, frustrating, exhilarating, overwhelming and all-consuming—and it requires immense patience. No more so than when I’m trying to photograph dragonflies! Today I sought a little time out of the studio at lunchtime—taking advantage of cooler temperatures—and headed to my favorite spot, Green Spring Gardens.

Mid-August is a time of fewer blooms, so I headed down to the ponds, which I rarely frequent when the gardens are ablaze in color. I found a semi-shady spot at one end of the pond where a few lotus flowers were in full bloom, spread out my traveling cushion (a plastic trash bag) at the edge of the bank, and set up shop to try and capture some dragonfly images. It was full sun—never my favorite for shooting outdoors—but I decided to work with what I had at the time, shadows accepted begrudgingly.

The pond was a flurry of activity with what seemed like hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies—staking out their territories, looking for love in all the right places, dipping into the surface of the water to drink and knocking fellow insects off their perches.

The first thing I did upon my return was ask Michael to set up my Nikon D300 so that I am unable to shoot without a card. Why was this important to do? Well, after the first 10 minutes of my photo session, I tried to review my images and got that dreaded “NO MEMORY CARD” alert. I actually said out loud, “Are you kidding me?” I am truly fortunate that this is only the second time I have forgotten to put in a memory card. Michael set it up so I can’t even shoot without a card now! I shot some truly spectacular images of dragonflies and damselflies in that brief 10 minutes. Alas, they are now just committed to my memory. I think I made up for the loss, though, by deciding to shoot continuously for the next hour to make up for my ineptness.

I tallied up the total of clicks—728—more than 8 gigs of images in just over an hour of shooting! These include overexposures, underexposures, out-of-focus, just-missed-its, but there are definitely some keepers, which I’m sharing below. I’ll have many more to share in future posts.

© 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.

______________________________________________________________________

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)

______________________________________________________________________

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)

______________________________________________________________________

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.
______________________________________________________________________

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)





The beauty of pollination

15 02 2012

Thanks to my friend Jeff for sending this amazing video to me!





Egyptian Star Flowers (with bonus bug!)

17 10 2011

This one is for Galen, expert bug-spotter. Can you spot the spider (that I just now discovered!) hiding in this photo? Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Monarch Butterfly on Egyptian Star Flowers

17 10 2011

Egyptian Star Flower (Pentas lanceolata) is a fall-blooming herbaceous perennial that is treated as an annual in my Zone 7 area. The cluster of buds open into small (1/2 inch at most) star-shaped flowers that are irresistible to butterflies and bees. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Here comes the sun(flower), do do do do…

19 07 2011

I shot this image at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Montgomery County, Maryland. The sunflowers are shorter (once again) this year (some barely knee high), so it’s a challenge to get shots head on without groveling in the red dirt. The field was buzzing with honey bees, bumblebees, Cabbage White butterflies, cucumber beetles and various other flying critters. Very few of them cooperated for this photographer, though. I was bombarded several times by wayward bumblebees that tried to fly through me to get to a prized sunflower on their radar. Michael and I shared the field with only three other photographers (and a poorly constructed scarecrow that we thought was another person). I used a wide angle lens (atop a tall ladder) to get this shot.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The culling process

1 07 2011

When I return from photographing any subject, I immediately delete (or cull) out the images that are out-of-focus, too overexposed or underexposed, and the occasional experimental image that didn’t quite pan out. I’m immediately drawn to specific images—sometimes it might be a great composition, a combination of colors that moves me, or an expression on someone’s face. These are the very first images I prepare for my high resolution stock files and for this blog. Sometimes when I revisit a session, even years later, I will occasionally find an image or two that didn’t get my attention initially but now deserve a second look. Below are just a few that made it out of oblivion to the light of day!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens archives…

29 06 2011

Since I didn’t get the photographic bounty I usually do at Kenilworth, I thought I’d repost images I’ve created in past years. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





Buttonbush

28 06 2011

I photographed this Buttonbush cluster (Cephalanthus occidentalis), also known as Button willow and Honey balls, this morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. A native wetland tree, it can grow 10-15 feet tall and spread 15-30 feet. The mid-summer blooms are rich in nectar that attracts butterflies and other insects.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Damselfly emerging from aquatic larval state

14 04 2011

I’ve asked permission from my longtime friend/former boss/photography mentor, Brian, to share this video slide show he created. (Thanks, Brian!) Here are the details of the project:

The insect is a male Desert Firetail damselfly (Telebasis salva). It is emerging from the aquatic larval state to the winged flying adult. This series was shot (exactly, by coincidence) one year ago on April 14, 2010 in a pond here in Austin. It was made with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera with a Nikkor 200mm F4 macro lens. For this sequence, I shot 88 images over a period of one and a half hours. I used 58 of those images to make the video clip in Lightroom 3.3. No computer enhancement or manipulation was done. The series is synchronized to the instrumental soundtrack “Africa” #1009 by InstantMusicNow.com, for which I paid a fee for the reproduction rights.

© Brian K. Loflin. All rights reserved.

Enjoy!





Updated Green Spring Gardens portfolio

21 10 2010

Take a look! http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p787446313





Another Monarch for Mary Ellen!

3 09 2010

This one is for Mary Ellen Ryall, creator of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin! I photographed this Monarch butterfly on a ‘Zowie’ Zinnia at Green Spring Gardens this afternoon. An overcast but very bright sky made for great lighting for photography. The gardens were swarming with insects—including Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Monarchs, various Skippers, Sulphurs and Common Buckeyes. I photographed an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a ‘Zowie’ Zinnia  few weeks ago here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Closeup of Globe Artichoke

31 07 2010

The Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a perennial thistle. If the buds or “globes” aren’t harvested, six-inch bluish-purple thistle-like flowers will form. This is an abstract closeup shot of two unopened buds and one flowering bud. Bees are especially drawn to the flowers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

28 07 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Good Day Sunshine!

11 07 2010

I rolled out of bed at 6:30 a.m. this morning (the things I do for you people!) to get ready to go pick up Jeff, my friend and fellow photog, then drive up to the McKee-Beshers sunflower field on River Road in Maryland. The weather was perfect and the sky was cornflower blue—a perfect backdrop to the cheery sunflowers! We didn’t really need to bring the big ladder—this year’s crop was substantially shorter than last year, so you could see over the field pretty easy without needing more elevation. We both got overhead shots on the ladder, so I’m glad we brought it anyway. There was a throng of other photographers already there, standing on step stools and squatting in the fields. I counted at least 20 just as we entered the area.

Although I wasn’t able to capture any images of them, the fields were full of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Monarch butterflies and goldfinches (would love to have gotten a shot of a yellow goldfinch on a yellow sunflower against that blue, blue sky! Sigh…

Still, I was a little trigger happy—after culling out the out-of-focus and bad exposure shots, I have 265 images to peruse (and these were all shot in just about an hour)…so stay tuned for more! You can see images from my first visit to McKee-Beshers in my July 22, 2008 posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Think pink, updated series #2

9 07 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Think pink, updated series #1

9 07 2010

Last year I posted a series of botanical collages based on various colors. I’m adding recent photos to those collages, beginning with pink—in every shade imaginable! I had so many new shots of pink flowers that I had to divide the collage into two separate postings. Click here to read my posting last winter entitled, “This post is brought to you by the color pink.” Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Revisiting the Kenilworth archives…

22 06 2010

Next month, the lotus blossoms will be at their finest at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. And yes, I’ll be there once again (even though these lovely blooms choose to do their thing on the hottest day of the summer, year after year. Ah, well, no pain, no gain, right? Even for photographers! Here are some images I shot last year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





New additions to my Zenfolio Gallery

27 04 2010

I just added more photos to my Zenfolio Botanical Gallery. Click on this link here to view all 423 photos in thumbnail size. If you double-click on a photo, it will enlarge and a sub-gallery will show on the right side of the screen. You can also select “slide show” at the top. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did photographing them!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Post redux: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

8 12 2009

If you’re in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland area, be sure to visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, particularly in July. The main attractions are obviously the lotus blossoms, which bloom during the truly hottest time in our area (sigh), but I’m sure there are water lilies in bloom throughout the summer.

You can view my previous posts on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens by clicking on the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/kenilworth-park-and-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/

What a muse that place is!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





A look back at some little gems

27 09 2009

At long last, she blogs! It’s been several weeks since I posted on the blog—I apologize for my absence. I’ve had design work going in and out (not complaining, mind you), and lots of other tasks to complete. Plus, gardening season has slowed down quite a bit and I haven’t had a chance to get out to shoot what is still in bloom (not much!). I’ve been doing a slew of creative projects and will post about those soon. You’ll have to be patient until I can share them with you in early November!

Tomorrow baby Josie turns one years old and I’m heading off to Fredericksburg to wish her a happy one and I’m hoping to get some new photos of the birthday girl to post. I miss being out shooting, but work and other commitments beckon. I’ll promise to post new material shortly!

Check out Josie’s first debut on my blog here.
See Daddy’s little girl here.
View Josie “au naturel” in my studio here and with Mom & Grandma in the studio here.
See her when she was 147 days old here.
Check out our last studio session in June here, when she was eight months old.

MyLittleGemsRevisited

Check out my updated Zenfolio!

The “cream of the crop” of my garden and landscape photos is now in one easy-to-navigate gallery. Eventually I’ll have the gallery set up to sell prints as well as stock photos, but in the interim, this is just a way to wrangle all of my web-viewing-only images into one gallery. I’ll be adding more images in the future. Currently there are 406 images in the Botanical Gallery. That should keep you plenty busy! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll recognize many of the photos. Once you click on the first link below, you can click “view all” at the bottom and see everything on one page, scrolling down as you go. If you click on an individual photo, it will enlarge and thumbnails for other images will show up on the side (as shown in the collage below). You can click on any of those to enlarge, or you can just launch the slide show in the second link below. I hope you enjoy the show!

Gallery:  http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Slideshow: http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135/slideshow





DIY overcast sky

10 07 2009

As promised, I have new photos for you!

Picture this: Today. Green Spring Gardens. High noon. Not the best time to photograph flowers, but ventured out anyway. And I brought my own overcast sky. I carried my trusty Interfit 5 in 1 collapsible reflector (translucent portion only) to block the mid-day sun and get more saturated color. Amazon sells the 32-inch version for just $38.99. And, of course, you can use it as a regular reflector once you zip on the double-sided covers that utilize four other colors—gold, silver, opaque white and black. I just noticed that there is an even larger one (43″) for just $29.95, made by Opteka. These handy little contraptions fold down to an easy-to-carry size, so I would recommend buying the larger one for almost ten bucks less. You can find that one here on Amazon. If you don’t already have one—run and get one! They are invaluable in and out of the studio and for virtually every subject, from portraits to plants to products. I especially like the 5-in-1 products. Just don’t lose the zip-on cover (I speak from experience)! And you’ll most likely need to use your tripod to use it. I set the camera up, focus on my subject, then hold the reflector over my head with my left hand to block the sun (doubles as protection from the sun on you, too!). This leaves my right hand free to focus and shoot. Yes, you’ll look silly, but you’ll also look like a pro and intimidate people passing by. You can purchase an arm-and-stand holder for these reflectors, but that means more equipment to carry—who needs that? If you can convince your significant other or a friend to hold the reflector in exchange for a free lunch, good on ya (again, I speak from experience)!

Today’s photo challenge: Can you spot the little bug playing peek-a-boo in “Kilroy was here” fashion in the Cleome flower—the first image? I didn’t notice him at the time I was shooting this image. He popped out at me when I opened the image in Photoshop. Here’s a clue: he has black and white striped antennae with an orange-ish colored head.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Check out my garden gallery here: http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

GreenSprings7102009