Roseate Spoonbill Lift Off

If you can capture a photograph of a Roseate Spoonbill when it spreads its wings to take flight, you are in for a visual treat even better than a strawberry parfait. You need to steady your lens on the bird, focus, make sure your shutter speed will freeze motion and wait.

#roseatespoonbill, #florida, #bird, #feathers, #pink, #corkscrew, #profile, #flight
Roseate spoonbill spreads its rosy wings to lift off the fence railing just a few feet from me.

These large wading birds are quick, so you must anticipate their take off. The Spoonbill’s motion parallel to the focus plane helped this image work. My settings on the Sony a7rII are ISO 1250, f /5.6 (pretty wide open lens to let in more light), 244mm, and 1/2500 second shutter speed. A higher resolution image is available on my website in the Florida Gallery: www.cathykellyphotography.com.

Grandparenting

When your little girl grows up and gets married and has a baby, some magical things happen. You get to hold a new baby again, and remember just how special that feels.

#baby, #newborn, #grandparent, #tiny, #toes, #feet
My grandson’s tiny toes.

You can comfort them when they cry, and tell them they are safe and sound in your arms. While you hold them, you wonder what their future will be.

You will fall in love and hope you live a long time to watch them grow.

Tulips at the Frick

The Frick Collection in Pittsburgh is exhibiting Paul and Bunny’s Mellon’s art collection, which normally hangs in the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond. Most of the paintings are from the Impressionist period, including works of Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Sisley, Pissaro, Redon and Morissot, but there are also some equestrian paintings and some post Impressionists like Matisse and Picasso. It’s a fantastic exhibit!

At the same site, you can visit the historic Frick home called “Clayton,” see the late Whitney Snyder’s collection of antique cars and have lunch at the Cafe. Just outside the Cafe, I also enjoyed these tulips in the garden — living, breathing works of art.

#tulip, #spring, #may, #pittsburgh, #frick
The best way to photograph a flower is to keep it simple. Shallow depth of field isolates the subject in the frame. Yes, I was down on the ground, kneeling in the mulch.
#tulips, #redwhiteandblue, #pittsburgh, #frick, #flowers
I liked the contrast between the red and white petals and the bed of tiny blue flowers behind them.
#tulip, #redandwhite, #spring, #may, #pittsburgh, #frick, #macro, #flower
Even though this tulip was past its peak, the texture, colors and detail were inviting.

White Dogwood Welcome

On May 10, this white dogwood tree is in bloom and is welcoming visitors to the back porch of my home in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

#spring, #dogwood, #whitedogwood, #backdoor, #pennsylvania, #sewickley, #may, #home
Welcome to the Kelly’s house in Sewickley.

For the past week, I’ve felt a bit of “creative block.” Back home where my surroundings are familiar, I can’t seem to find a subject to photograph. Then, I noticed the sun hitting the white dogwood blossoms, and I thought I’d better go have a look through the lens before a hard rain or a sharp wind gust tossed them all to the ground. A wide angle lens made the flowers take center stage in the foreground.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Next week, I’ll be back in the Big Apple, and I’m looking forward to seeing New York’s iconic sights again. Looking back at the images I have made in past years, I came across this 2013 black and white photograph that celebrates the geometry of the Brooklyn Bridge.

#brooklynbridge, #newyorkcity, #thingstodo, #visitNYC, #newyork, #flag, #bridge, #NYC, #nikon, #blackandwhite, #bw
While walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, I looked up and noticed the patterns made by the cables.

This style is a departure from the vibrant sunsets and colorful birds I have been shooting in Florida, but this subject begs for black-and-white interpretation with its emphasis on pattern.

Next week, I’ll wander no farther than Central Park with my young grandchildren, newborn and not yet 2. But Central Park in the Spring is something special. Stay tuned!

 

Putting the Rosy in Roseate

I’m captivated by the light and dark pink wings of the Roseate Spoonbill. When I find one feeding, I track it with my camera for a several minutes and try to snap an image when the bird opens its wings to hop over a log or something. When the wings open, you can see so much more color.

#roseatespoonbill, #florida, #naples, #corkscrew, #corkscrewswampsanctuary,#birdseyeview, #birdphotography, #wadingbird, #whyitspink, #Pink
Roseate spoonbill sweeping its bill through the swamp to feed. I try to capture images of the bird with open wings when I can.

I was curious what makes the bird such a beautiful shade of pink, so I did a little research. Like the flamingo, the roseate spoonbill gets its pink coloration partly from the food it eats, such as the crustaceans that feed on algae. Typical food for the roseate spoonbill includes small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails and insects. (Source: Nature Works website.)

I’ve notice that the roseate spoonbills are social birds like their relations, the ibis. Both species feed in groups. When I observed this bird in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida, it was one of about eight birds feeding together. While the “Ding Darling” Nature Preserve in Sanibel Island is known for sightings of the spoonbills, I was not lucky enough to see them there this year (2018).

Only the Beginning

The promise of Spring may be its best attribute. It begins quietly with some daffodils, forsythia and cherry trees.

#daffodils, #flowers, #spring, #pennsylvania, #beginning, #promise, #nikon
The morning sun casts light and shadows on daffodil stems and blossoms, creating nice color and contrast.

As April yields to May, the dogwood, azalea and rhododendron will follow in bursts of color around the neighborhood. There is so much more to come, very soon. How can I go for a walk without taking my camera?