Normally these little guys are always on the move, but I think this one was looking around for food and didn’t really care too much about the weirdo pointing a lens in his face. This photo was almost a classic case of camera regret in that I walked past him while taking a box of stuff to my car, and for a few frustrating seconds wished I had brought my camera with me. It was back at my office and I thought there was no way this bird would stay put in the meantime. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try though, so a few minutes later I returned with my trusty D200 and 50mm lens, and much to my surprise this roadrunner was still hanging around by the west side of Murray Hall. The next part was tricky though, because I had to get quite close in order to take his photo. Since prime lenses have no zooming functionality this meant I had to creep closer on my hands and knees while doing my best to not disturb the little fella. He didn’t seem to mind too much, and let me pop off a couple of shots before rushing off to find some insects or small animals to munch on.
I saw these as I was biking home the other day, and was struck by a few things. I liked the primary colors and thought it was cool how these carts were just sitting around like this–each one from a different store.
On another level, I think this image says something about our modern consumer culture. I took this photo on December 18, but am putting it up the week after Christmas (I usually take my photos for this blog a few weeks in advance) because right about now is when things are returning to normal after the brisk shopping season that has just ended. Kids are back in school, parents are back at work, and all the presents and gifts that a few days back seemed so fresh, new, and exciting are beginning to gather bits of dust as their owners begin to move on to other things. Like these shopping carts, unused and neglected in the back of a parking lot, soon the gifts and presents which they once contained will also be relegated to toyboxes, closets, and possibly even garbage bins. And in eleven months we’ll do it all over again.
Where, then, can we find true meaning and fulfillment? Such things can never be found in tangible objects, but only the Creator of all objects. The Creator of the universe, the earth, and all that is in it. We are taught as such in Matthew 6:19-21:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Something to think about the next time we feel the need to load up our shopping carts with ever stuff to buy. Stuff that will ultimately matter quite little in the long run.
We don’t have much in the way of pine trees here in Oklahoma, so when Christmas rolls around we have to make do with what we’ve got. Merry Christmas everyone, and here’s to a happy new year!
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I took my camera to work on a chilly winter morning after a freezing drizzle had coated the earth during the night, determined to find a decent nature shot. There’s not a lot of scenery between the parking lot and my building, but I did come across this raindrop frozen on the tip of a magnolia leaf. The overcast sky made it easier to get a good exposure, which would have been tricky on an otherwise sunny day.
Another one from the Stillwater Wetlands. A limestone path was lined with railroad ties, and I’m not sure how long the path has been there but this nail must have managed to work its way up over time. Perhaps a maintenance worker will come pound it back into place, but hopefully not for a little while.
For a while now I have wanted to go out and shoot this bridge at night, and finally did it with my dad while he and my mom were here for a visit. We tried several vantage points from the west end of the bridge, and I took photos with both my 35mm and 50mm lens. The former was a better choice overall, but I like the light trails in this photo a little better.
We have a tree whose leaves turn bright yellow for about three days a year, and I wanted to try to capture that here. This shot is decent, but I see a lot of room for improvement mostly because the focus was not as sharp as I would have liked. At f/2.8 the depth of field was a bit too shallow to get everything in focus, but I didn’t realize that until much later.
This photo illustrates one of the shortcomings of shooting with a 50mm Prime lens (at least on an APS-C camera, anyway). This tree is the first one in the neighborhood to turn colors each autumn, and I wanted to get a shot that illustrated how the tree stands out from the rest. It’s difficult to show this without a wide-angle lens though, and even after putting at least 150 feet between myself and the tree there was simply no way to get much more in the frame than just the tree itself. What I did instead was focus on one cluster of leaves while using a neighboring tree to create a dark green background as a way of showing how this tree tends to stand out from the rest.