Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rainy Phillies Game

Ryan and I took in a Phillies game last Friday night, against the St. Louis Cardinals. They lost the game, but we still had fun. There was a rain delay to make things a little interesting. Here are a few shots from my Canon point-and-shoot.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daylily Stamens Up Close

In our neck of the woods daylilies are just about everywhere. They are so common that I usually avoid them - that's just me. But with my new macro lens I can bring out patterns that are normally overlooked. I was able to keep these images of the stamens quite soft which makes them border on the abstract. A nice pair, I think.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I recently purchased a quality macro lens, a 90mm Tamron for my Nikon D80. I already have a 70-200mm f2.8 made by Sigma that is branded as a "macro" lens, because it has the capability of a 1:3.5 magnification ratio. I haven't really attempted much macro photography, so I didn't really "get" why this lens doesn't do a good job as a macro lens.

First of all the magnification ratio is not all that much. "True" macro lenses can go to a 1:1 ratio - maybe more, although I'm not a lens guru so I don't know for sure. In addition the 70-200 creates a lot of chromatic aberrations when used wide open at close focusing distances. What this means is that funny colors start to appear around edges, more-so at high-contrast edges. This either ruins an image, or forces me to perform some surgery using software (something I prefer not to do).

So I bit the bullet and bought the 90mm Tamron lens, based on many good reviews I've read, including those on, and I've been giving it quite a workout. I now find that my opportunities for creating compelling flower photography have multiplied greatly. The image quality is fantastic.

And now that I'm able to work at much closer distances than before I'm now seeing more of a different sort of wildlife than I'm used to, as the photo below shows.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I found a trio of fawns in a field near Council Rock High School South. They were slowly working from one side of the road across to the other. I was able to get relatively close without them getting too skittish. After a little while they became uncomfortable and ran for the safety of the trees, where I grabbed this image of one of them.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Going For a Drink

This was one of two elk we found working through some brush along a stream. This was near the Hidden Valley area of Rocky Mountain National Park. These animals do not react much to humans, even ones that get rather close. I guess that after the thousands of tourists they see each year they realize we're not really a threat.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Feeding Time

I am not seeing much variety in bird species lately at the bird feeder. But the activity is incredible right now. We always have had nests in our trees and bushes and I think there are just as many if not more this year.

The other day I saw these younger birds take their spots on the old branch I have set-up near the feeder, and sat there waiting with their little wings fluttering. A few seconds later the mommy or daddy bird came from the feeder and fed the babies. This went on for a while. Very fun to watch.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pikes Peak

14,110 feet. That's the altitude of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. The drive to the top is slow but exciting. The drive down is also slow. You absolutely must keep your car is Low gear to avoid using your breaks. There is a break-temperature check station halfway down. I felt I was going too slow, based on the speed of other drivers, but my brakes were only 119 degrees - quite low.

We had a lot of partly-cloudy days, and that often yields beautiful sunsets.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Arches National Park

First impression: Utah is a desolate place. We drove for hours and besides two or three small towns we did not come across much sign of civilization. You have to be careful to keep plenty of gas in your tank because it may be 100 miles or more before you see another gas station. (Disclaimer: We stayed in the eastern part of the state. Areas near Salt Lake City may be different).

Second impression: Utah can be very, very impressive. The drive north towards Arches National Park from the "Four Corners" area provides stunning scenery. The red rock formations were spectacular.

Arches National Park itself is pretty incredible as well. Although the arches are the main draw I was impressed more with other formations. The hikes are generally manageable, even for my family. I'll have to return some day for the 3-mile round-trip hike to Delicate Arch, preferably in cooler weather (it was near 100 degrees last week).

Below is a shot of the North Window arch. This was near sunset, but on the "dark" side of the arch. I like how the glow from the sunlight bouncing off the surrounding rocks illuminated the shadowy areas of the arch. I included the moon - hopefully it is discernible.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Moose Trio

On our drive out of Rocky Mountain National Park we were treated to a rare display - a mother moose and her two babies were grabbing a snack and getting a drink only a few yards from the road. They were easy to locate - the gathering crowd by the roadside was a clear giveaway. While swatting the mosquitoes I was able to snap a few good shots before they meandered away from the crowd.

Website: Photography by Matt Schrier