Dennis has been in the field doing geology and making images. Some of the images from the geology field work will soon be included at As I Found It and Ideal Totem, most are job specific and will not. Below is one grouping, taken in the boreal forest, that will.
This image was made in the boreal forest of northern Saskatchewan. My field partner and I stopped at a small back woods picnic area for lunch. It didn’t take long to notice the butterfly aggregates on the aggregate (gravel). Dennis and most of us who have worked in the back country have seen these and other butterflies gathering in groups before. Most commonly on piles of bear dung. Wkipedia has an article about them but it does not mention bear dung. Over 500 species on all continents except Antarctica. That’s impressive!
Dennis does not know much about these butterflies except one most often sees them as individuals visiting different, usually flowering, plants. They are often seen in loose groups. As you can see he was able to approach quite close without disturbing them. If you approach them like this try and do so as not to cast a shadow across the group. He used an 80mm lens shooting from eye height, 1/200 sec at f8, ISO 400 and then cropped the image by about 40%. Almost any quality “point and shoot” (>8 megapixles) can do this. If your camera has a zoon feature even better. Just remember to work quickly, quietly and with a minimum quick movements. These groups can be much larger then this one. Dennis had a selection of groupings in the large parking area. He choose this one as the butterflies were spaced out sufficiently to see clearly what they looked like.
On June 21 the longest day of the year. Dennis payed a visit to Waterton National Park in southwestern Alberta. Waterton in Alberta and Glacier in Montana are sister parks. His purpose was to take advantage to the good weather and the plethora of wild flowers blooming at this time of the year and the maximum time of quality light. A good share of those images will definitely be seen at As I Found It and Ideal Totem. We know how camera shy this photographer is so you will just need to imagine him on his hand and knees or even laying down making images of these flowers.
These images were all made with an SLR and high quality lenses. That does not preclude anyone who sees something of interest photographing it. Snap shots may not always make high or purposeful art but they do record memories and impressions. Often it is those snap shots that are most treasured by us humans. Images are important to all of us and that is a universal characteristic of people. Now that most of us cary cell phones and most of those cell phones can take pictures we have no excuse for not recored any impression we care to hold close or share.
The purists will ague those image are of poor quality and so on. Cell phone cameras are getting better. The lenses are not the quality of Dennis’ Cannon but they are capable of doing the job they were designed for. That job is less about making art and more about recording and sharing impressions. One is not required to travel great distances or to remote places to find images. They are all around us every moment of every day. We just need to open our eyes to the possibilities. Dennis almost never leaves his office/home without a camera in his pocket. Some of his best work has resulted from doing just that.
Lastly here is a hint for taking close ups of wild flowers or other things. Just take a pice of cardboard that you can hold in your hand and easily cary. Cover it with the dull side out of some heavy duty alluvium foil. Most tape will secure it. This little reflector can soften shadows and even eliminate them without overpowering the image. No batteries and the price is right too. I once used my mirror sunglasses for the same purpose. Works if the flower or insect is small enough.