I got this shot last week in northern Iowa along I-35, and was originally a little bummed that I couldn’t find a way to shoot the storm cloud without getting the chicken houses and windmills in the frame. But the more I thought about the photo afterwards, the more I realized these elements capture a bit more about what midwestern life really is all about.
While we were driving home the other day my son kept pointing to the rear window of the car and saying “Beetle.” I couldn’t see what he was pointing at, but when we arrived and got out of the car we went around and found this giant yellow Cottonwood Borer who had apparently hitched a ride with us. He flew into a nearby pine tree and I ran inside to get my camera so I could take a few pics while holding my son with my other arm. Together we watched the beetle, which we later discovered was a Cottonwood Borer, wind his way around a few branches before taking off for other destinations.
Originally I was just going to do one of those stairwell shots that people take all the time, and shot from the bottom up. Then I realized it might be interesting to try the concept from the top down, and noticed that the resulting image looked kind of like a big ol’ paperclip. Like most stairwells this one was rather dimly lit, so I had to do quite a bit of tweaking afterwards (including upping the exposure by more than +2). I figured this might happen when I took the picture, which is why I used such a low ISO in order to limit the post-processing artifacts that can show up when tweaking pictures in the computer. It was also a bit difficult to get everything in the shot because I had to stand on my tiptoes and try to hold the camera steady, and even with all that the left-hand side still got cropped a bit. Overall I am very pleased with how this turned out though.
Another photo opportunity that popped up while I was out walking in our neighborhood with my son. This was outside a house that is for sale, and has been for quite some time. The framing of this sign was a bit tricky because I had to step around some inconveniently-placed bushes, and also keep an eye on my son who was playing behind me. One of the neat things about being constrained to a 50mm lens is that it forces me to find different vantage points from which to shoot, and I don’t think I would have ended up with quite this same perspective if I were using a zooming lens.
It’s sort of a ritual on the Oklahoma State University campus that anyone with a camera will inevitably take a picture of this architectural anchor (which, I am told, is modeled after a structure on the campus of the College of William and Mary, though that could be an urban myth). Getting this shot with my 50mm lens required me to stand way, way back and I had to wait until all the foot traffic had passed.
My wife and I were in the living room the other night when she pointed to this green insect crawling up the side of our barbecue grill cover. Neither of us could identify it–was it a spider? A stick insect? I grabbed my camera, went out to investigate, and saw that it was (or at least appeared to be) a very young grasshopper. As I snapped his picture he was probably looking back at me and wondering what this giant monster with a black clicking box was doing :)