‘Friends’ – a butterfly and a leaf

Not an extraordinary butterfly. Just a simple green leaf. However, the combination of the colors, lines, and shapes of the ‘team effort’ makes it an attractive image. This counterpart to add the magic touch to our life can be your significant other, your friend, your family or simply an occasional acquaintance.

Emerald Toucanet

One of Costa Rica’s iconic birds is Toucans.  They have striking and colorful appearance plus a distinctive calling sound. They usually fly high or hide in higher branches. Otherwise, the calls are loud and clear, its’ hard to miss.

Their curved beak with seesaw-like edges is quick to approach and consume their prey. Do you think your scissors are sharper or their beaks?

Basketball – candid shots

Action and motion. Speed, spirit, and sportsmanship.  These are the elements drew me into sports photography at the beginning.

Not a sports fan of any kind. I know basic rules of each game, but my mind is mostly set on capturing the moments of action and excitement. The facial expression of the athletes is what interests me. Under pressure, determined to win, never give up till the last minute. When there is time to shoot a basket, there is a chance. The players have no time to fake a smile or sneer, and all we see are honest and natural expressions. When the background is often crowded with people, black and white seem to illustrate the content better.

Quetzal

Just came back from a two weeks birding trip in Costa Rica. It was one of my dreams come true and an eye-opening experience.  This is Guatemala’s national bird, Quetzal.

Hundreds of people were lining up on the road bright early in the morning to observe the bird. Male has a waving long tail while female’s tail is much shorter. In either case, their stunning colors and dramatic appearance are a major attraction. Unfortunately, they were usually too distant or too sensitive to people’s existence. I was not able to capture a clear shot until this guy suddenly showed up right above us. His beautiful tail was hidden, but I am content to snap this shot.

 

 

First Bloom

It has been a long wait to see some colors in the yard. Lantern Roses flowered in February, but they were distressed in the rainy and chilly weather. Happy to see Sun even for just a few days.

Hellebore grows with her face downwards. It’s a bit challenging to photograph right out of the plant. I cut the flowers from the stem and she became droopy not long after.

Ever since I began to use Lensbaby, I don’t see beauty in perfect sharpness anymore. These two images were taken with Macro lens and I intentionally toned them down with a bit of texture and filter.

Killdeer

It was at least four years ago when I first saw Killdeer on a farm field. Its calling song and the swift move on the ground is unique. It is hard to miss them when they are around. I was thrilled to see at least half dozen of them at Ridge Field Wildlife Refuge soon after.

I presume it’s the mother (male and female look alike) who is always very protective of their babies (or eggs). They would try to mislead you to a different location away from where their eggs really are.  If the secret hide-out is unfortunately broken, they would fluff their full display of wings on alert position and ready to fight you off.

Great Gray Heron

I have lots of Great Heron pictures in my library. Most of the time Heron is going after fish. This is the first time I saw a mouse in his mouth.  

It is supposed to be a better image capturing a wildlife in action, but I would rather see them in still position and have their natural beauty displayed.

 

Before and After

I took this picture five years ago at Butchart Garden, Victoria. It was the beginning of my photography adventure. I did not know much of anything. It is a sharp picture from a quick walk-by snap. Below is the original, completely unedited. I like the colors and contrast, but it is not my style, and it does not illustrate the cold and gloomy winter day.

And yet Winter does not need to be downcast and lifeless either. When all the bright colors are released, to me, the image does not lose its luster either. I can ‘smell’ the fresh ‘snow ‘, and the ‘wash-down’ exquisite details seem to be contrarily rejuvenating.

Art is created to play your mind, and so mine is played by myself, too.