Tuesday, May 31

What's in a name?

Here it is, my third post, and I still haven't explained why this blog is dubbed Poole Creek. So let's fix that, shall we?

If you took a ride on Google Earth, you'd see that Poole Creek is a tributary of the Carp River, which is a tributary of the Ottawa River, which is a tributary of the St. Lawrence River, which is a tributary of the Atlantic Ocean. Closer to home, the creek plays host to a phenomenal range of animal species, including beaver, muskrat, mink, deer, bittern, heron, mallard, blackbird, trout, and snapping turtle. In fact, you can see all of these species and more along a short bend of the creek at the bottom of my street — often in the same evening.

For instance, in the space of 3 days, I saw this young white-tailed buck (note the remnants of his winter coat):

I also saw this female red-winged blackbird (that's right, female red-wings are streaky brown, not black):

And I came across this frog, which I very nearly stepped on:

Mind you, I don't visit Poole Creek just for the wildlife. Standing on the side of the creek, I also noticed these colorful reflections on the water's surface:

So there you have it. This is a blog dedicated to photography, and Poole Creek is my little piece of photographic heaven. And if the name fits...

Sunday, May 1

A honey(bee) of a shot

To take action shots of flying insects, you need three things: practice, patience, and perseverance. For every successful image you make, you'll probably shoot dozens, or even hundreds, of clunkers. But in the process, you'll get to enjoy fresh air, learn about insect behavior, and hone your photographic reflexes. You might even bag an image that you're proud of. Heck, you might even enjoy yourself. What could be bad?

I shot this honeybee a few days ago, just a few feet from my front door. I can hardly wait until later this summer, when I plan to shoot dragonflies in flight. Many dragonflies return to the same perch over and over again, so catching them in mid-flight isn't necessarily as hard as it sounds. You just need to set up your camera on a tripod, pre-focus, and start shooting when the dragonfly comes in for a landing.

Well, that's the theory, anyway! I'll let you know how it turns out. And who knows, I might even come back with some useful techniques.