Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a few non-animal photos today: abstracts from nature. The first three are from reader Ken Phelps with this note:

Last day of frosty weather here, so went out and got a few shots of hoar frost, snow on twig, and an icicle with an odd face inside. Wood siding on cabin gave the brown background color.




A piece of tree bark in the Pennsylvania woods; photo by Nicole Reggia:



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I love this stuff!

    A tiny bit about photographic materials/methods for RWP in general would be interesting.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      These were done with basic Canon 100mm macro, tripod, composed in viewfinder, then to live screen for refining focus (I use a Hoodman loupe to check screen) and to minimize mirror shake. Either remote release or timer to avoid movement from finger on shutter release.

      All processed in Photoshop raw. Fair bit of messing with exposure (levels of blacks, shadows, highlights, etc) to avoid too many blown out areas and to improve contrast. The ice ones have a layer blend done in PS to sharpen and increase the shine.

      Any specific questions?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Thanks a lot – no I do not have specific questions right now.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Fitting photos today as we are in the second day of a rain/ice event throughout the midwest.

  3. rickflick
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I like to remind myself of snow and ice as objects of beauty. Especially when there’s too much of it.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    How interesting! I totally love this stuff, and would like to have a go at it but I worry about condensation forming in my gear.

    A bit of a mystery for me is why would bright reflections show rays of light, as seen on the dripping icicle. The similar thing where stars show those rays in telescope images is easy to understand. There, the rays are reflections off of the support vanes of the secondary mirror. But why have this effect in a camera?

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      The starburst effect is caused by diffraction as the light passes the blades that create the aperture. The smaller the opening, the more and cleaner the effect. Also the more blades (ie, the smoother the outline of the hole) the better the effect.

      I’ve never had any issues with condensation, although our house isn’t exactly overly warm or humid, so the gear doesn’t start out too moist. There is also usually some hiking time that allows the camera to cool slowly in the pack.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    These are beautiful.

  6. Bruce Lyon
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous photos. Thanks.

%d bloggers like this: