Thursday, September 12, 2013

08/17/13 Nature & Summer Wildlife

A butterfly pollinating on a summer morning outside Peoria, IL

Last month, I was able to capture some wildlife and nature shots from the summer season. In Kewanee, IL, I shot a hawk that was a frequent visitor at my parent's farm outside Kewanee, IL this summer. I was also able to capture some stunning photos of butterflies as well this summer after visiting Jubilee College State Park west of Peoria, IL on a couple of occasions. I've added photos from these successful days of photography below:

A hawk in-flight and some fun with layers
and tones in Photoshop...
 (Canon 70-300mm telephoto-zoom lens)
 Beautiful arrangement of colors on this one!
Nature doesn't get much closer than this!
Another shot of the picturesque butterfly...
Hawk in-flight with a sepia tone!
Another cool perspective...
Showing off its long wingspan...
One of my best shots!
Hide-n-seek with my camera?!
Another close-up of the hawk!
Nature at its best!
This hawk kept flying near the sun which led me to come
up with some ideas with Photoshop tones that made a boring
picture much more interesting...
Another good one!
A nice pose here...unfortunately I couldn't get the sun to
cooperate on this day (stuck behind high clouds)
as this could of been a much better shot with
the sun and a blue-sky backdrop...
If you look close a bumble bee made it into this shot...(right)
Another sepia tone...
One last photo to end on as both this butterfly and
bumble bee enjoys some nectar together...

That ends this post. I'll be doing some more photography over the next couple months with fall foliage as usual. Stay tuned for future posts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

07/31/13 Summer: 2013

Summer begins to end as we start the transition into fall in Peoria, IL

Over the last couple of months, I've been hard at work capturing summer photos across Peoria, IL and Kewanee, IL. I also visited Sunnyfield Nursery southwest of Kewanee, IL to capture some summer "colors" as well. I didn't manage much photography in August as I had my hands-full so to speak as I moved into my new apartment. Heck, really it's a miracle I'm sitting down typing this post right now. Usually, every year I try to capture a good variety of summer photos using my macro, wide-angle, and telephoto-zoom lenses. This year, I ended up quite happy once again with this past summer's photos. I've added below my best shots of summer around the area below:

Fantastic late-summer vivid colors last month!
One of the few days we actually saw rain this summer...
(Canon 60mm macro-lens)
Who wants to go swimming with a croc?
Late-evening photography rarely disappoints!
Mother Nature showing off!
It's absolutely crazy how "real" this crocodile looks
in my parents pond...
Lily pad mania!
A hibiscus is always quite photogenic...
Early morning summer haze in this corn field!
Early morning daylight illuminating summer weeds...
An all-around good shot here!
A weird shot here as this tree is sideways in this
pond creating a neat canopy...
Nursery's are always great places to visit to capture
stunning spring and summer photos!
Another shot of the "crocodile" about to eat my camera and more...
One of my favorite shots!
Another cool macro shot!
A bee pollinating...Good stuff!
Yet another shot of the fake crocodile inhabiting my parents pond...
More vivid colors...
A fly captured here!
This flower looks out of this world actually...
Some type of beetle I'm guessing here...
(Canon 60mm macro-lens)
Love the color here...
The sun poking through the clouds illuminating
some of these lily pads!
Butterflies can usually be found on this flower...
A hibiscus being illuminated by the afternoon sun!
Quite possibly my favorite insect shot!
Photogenic daisies!
A "hot" pink hibiscus!
Bigfoot chasing?
A cool shot with these wildflowers along the wooden fence!
An odd looking flower here, but quite photogenic...
A cool arrangement here I thought!
A close-up of the daises in the nursery...
Another bee pollinating!
 (Canon 60-mm macro-lens)
Another hibiscus, but this time a yellow one...
More wildflowers...
Wildflowers along this old-fashioned wooden fence
I couldn't pass up!
Vibrant red to say the least!
Symmetrical lily pads!
"Walking along the path of summer"
"Summer wildflowers of central Illinois"
Another spectacular shot after a summer rain!
Summer moisture providing a nice photo-op!
A very vibrant portrait-shot!
A well set-up shot of a fisherman attaching
 his lure on a summer evening...
Another obvious summer scene!
A quick drive through Jubilee College State Park
"Driving through the woods"
The early evening sun illuminating the road
through this wooded-area!
"Around the corner and though the woods"
I was hoping to capture a cyclist through here
and sure enough I did (left)...
Kickapoo Creek!
One more as I had enough hiking
through the woods on this day...
Shot at Brimfield Park in Brimfield, IL
Late-evening photography magic!
A close-up!
A stellar reflection through the trees off this pond!
One more to end the evening on!

That will wrap up my Summer: 2013 post. As you can tell it has been quite a productive month or two for myself on my down-time from work. Hopefully, the on-going drought across much of Illinois will not cause any issues with fall colors over the next couple of months. We really do need rain across these parts badly! If you have lived in central Illinois this year you experienced flooding rains this spring only to now be in the middle of a drought months later. Crazy! I'll update with my fall photos at a later date. Stay tuned.