|"free-hand" mullein photo with telephoto lens|
Photo by J. Harrington
I don't remember how far back in time it was when I first learned to identify milkweed. The plant itself, without flowers, is locked into my memory bank, along with the shape of maple leafs, staghorn sumac, rhubarb and a variety of plants that it seems as if I was born knowing. With mullein, I hadn't really "seen" it until the flower spike developed. Probably time to get back to reading the National Phenology Network's Botany Primer.
|mullein photo with telephoto lens, camera on tripod|
Photo by J. Harrington
On a slightly related note, the mullein photo at the top of this posting is out of focus. You probably noticed and were too polite to say anything. I finally managed to type the right combination of keywords into Google to find the Canon forum page talking about the lens I used that I've been getting increasingly dissatisfied with. Many owners claim to have "soft focus" issues similar to what I've experienced. I was lucky enough, though. to come across some helpful advice on how to check if it's the lens or a filter that's the culprit. I thought gun nuts and fly-fishers were equipment freaks until I ran into photographers. So -- I'm back from checking the lens and the autofocus in "Live Mode." Not perfect, but an improvement on the tripod, although each loses sharpness compressed for the web. The problem, as with so many technical issues, appears in part to be operator limitations. Maybe time to add some curls and reverse curls to the exercise routine so I can hold the camera steadier. If I live long enough, I may yet get the hang of this picture-taking stuff.
Proof Sheets: 36 Prints
These photographs are the index of an hour,memory clocked along negative margins:one through twelve, one through twelve, onethrough twelve.Even in a sequence there is choice,as when I chose not to photograph silences between words—choice of the parted lips—or choose now a sequence out of time.Scissors: chopped time.Rearrangement is good:You are characters in a drama called then.You are figures for mythology.I shall make Phaedra blonde, Theseus dark, Hippolytusblonde—blue eyes: blue eyes; that will do—Antigone singing in the graveyard wind,a twelve-year old who is Jocasta alternate weeks.Neither imagination nor my willing flesh can move thishandone fraction of an inch;a shift of stance could have juxtaposed mouths.The fixed frameis the drama:Hippolytus at banquet;Phaedra in her chamber,behind her that painting blurredinto an omen,as if Theseus were Creon, Meleager, shepherd, faun;Oedipus barefoot, hairskin beast;Antigone maenad, Helen, Artemis.Only out-of-focus figures move.
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