Just because, part 16

dew on redbud leavesA couple of pics from early yesterday morning, while it was cool and humid – I was going to put these up last evening but the internet went down. I haven’t been posting much, and this is likely to continue for a while, but I had the chance to chase a few images in the morning. I made an attempt to spot some of the juvenile mantids, since they’re photogenic when bespeckled with dew, but I suspect it got a little too cold for them – the only insects I found were a few elaborate leafhoppers on the dog fennel.

Due to the number of trees in the area, few parts of the yard get any real light from early sunrise – it’s mostly narrow beams peeking briefly through the branches. The redbud tree would only have a handful of leaves backlit by the sun for just a minute or so at a time, forcing me to select a composition quickly. Doing this handheld meant a large aperture and thus short depth; a smaller aperture to increase depth would have required a tripod, and by the time everything was framed up the light would have moved on. I could only have one-half of the leaf in focus at a time, because of the faint V-fold shape, but found one catching the sun through the burden of dew. I confess that this is actually a composite image – the one frame I got with ideal focus had clipped the edge off the background leaf, due to my slight change in position, so I dubbed in a wider perspective from another frame.

Below, a dramatic shot catching the sun shining brightly on a dandelion tuft – the exposure meter compensated for the sunlight coming directly into the lens and rendered the bloom moodily dark, when in reality it was the brightest spot in the yard. I liked the peculiar effect around the light – while the impression is that this is the sun itself, it’s actually the glare from multiple narrow beams peeking through the distant foliage, rendered way out of focus, thus the edge effects. The little solar flare visible at top, however, is either a smear on the lens that I hadn’t spotted, or the vapor of the dew itself evaporating. We’ll go with the latter, because it’s more interesting and doesn’t indicate that I’ve been neglecting my lens cleaning…