The camera’s getting rusty

early evening fog over pond
Yeah, that title’s a reference, not to the humidity as you might expect from the opening photo here, but to the general lack of use that my photo equipment has been seeing of late. However, I still managed to get a few pics recently, and a trip to the butterfly house is on the agenda this month.

So, jumping in the car the other evening, I looked out at the pond across the street and saw that it was entirely socked in with fog, due to the sudden change in temperatures. I trotted back in and grabbed my camera, and even in that brief delay some of the fog had dissipated, but there was still enough for a few hurried shots before I had to be someplace, and that’s one of them above.

mist and rain drops on cedar leaves against foggy pondThe next morning the fog came in again, so I did a little bit longer session then. The conditions were a little misty and there was even a brief and very light rain, nothing that would penetrate the camera bag much less force me back indoors, but it added some more humidity to the shots that I was taking, so, good! I won’t include a lot of exposition here, since I’m still busy with two big projects (both of which you’ll hear about when I finish them,) so I’ll throw them up here just to prove that I’m still alive, my version of holding a current newspaper I suppose. Ask you grandmother what a newspaper was…

heavy mist drops on unidentified leaves
dew and spiderwebs on unidentified berriesI was shooting handheld with no flash in some fairly low light, so doing the extreme macro stuff was going to be difficult, but I still managed to capture a little bit of the scene in one of the hanging drops, above. I had to be very careful when doing some of these, because going in close to the subject meant a high likelihood of bumping a branch, and even if it wasn’t a branch on the same plant as the subject, the two plants might still be in contact and could thus share the vibrations, which would likely dislodge any nice hanging drops. This happened more than once, despite my efforts, so you will just have to imagine the breathtaking images that I never captured due to my clumsiness.

Meanwhile, I find it interesting how quickly the spiders can rally from the bitter cold that we had recently and have new webs out as soon as it gets warmer. And it got quite warm, like no-jacket-at-all weather, before the temperature began dropping again (it’s hovering just above freezing as I type this mid-morning.)

I still have no idea what kind of berries these are, but it’s the same plant as the leaves above, so if you know what they are, feel free to laugh at me derisively. Or you can just tell me – that works too. Meanwhile, you did catch the splash of color that another branch added into the background, didn’t you? I framed it that way on purpose so I’m hoping it helped the composition.

a pair of mallards Anas platyrhynchos and a male hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus cruising through fog
This pair of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and a male hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus, in the rear) were on the opposite side of the pond from me, shot through the fog with the 100-300 L, so this was as good as it was getting in those conditions. Still, I was pleased to see a pair of mergansers – the female was trailing too far back for good framing – and here’s hoping they decide to nest there this spring.

The ice still hadn’t quite completely cleared, so I lowered the camera with the 10-24 lens set to 10mm just above the ice and shot a few frames blindly, finding that I have no feel whatsoever for holding a camera level while vertical and out at arm’s reach. Yeah, I have dared to call myself an experienced photographer…

remaining ice on foggy pond