This week was about up close and personal. Oddly enough all these photographs were taken with my long lens. It really does some great macro photographs. The only problem is I have to be far enough away to be within the 55-300mm focal range. But my first exposure to SLR cameras was with just a 50mm lens which was standard equipment at the time. I frankly do not know if I still have one. Fixed lenses will give you a clearer image than a zoom I am told but It also means changing lenses more often.
Or narrowing your subjects. I am more a photographer on the go even if go does not mean a foreign country. I want to be able to pivot from focusing on the Bristle Cone needles to the elk herd passing behind me across the meadow. But I do like picking up the details on a drive through the Valle Vidal.
And I like zooming in on wildlife from a distance which does not spook them. Yes, I could have lured (and did) the chipmunks to within a few feet of my feet. Too close for the focal range of the long zoom lens. But they look far more natural in their choice of habitat which is not the picnic table.
I confess I snapped on a lot of ground squirrels to get the two photographs below but we are no longer paying per frame like the film days.
And so back to the Bristle Cone Pine. I love these slow growing trees which were once believed extinct because they grow high up and largely on the edges of alpine meadows. They do not like company. I have one in my yard which must have been planted there. For the longest time I thought it was going to die. It really did not grow. It is now almost four feet high with an offshoot just 18 inches like it was when I first met it.
The Shuree Lakes in the Valle Vidal has a nice grouping of them. And for the first time I got to see a pine cone open. And identify as to why they are called Bristle Cones.There are thorns on the end of each cone pedal.
And the long lens is great for butterflies. They are spookier than chipmunks and not to be wooed by a peanut or Bing Cherry. In a mountain meadow where the air is seldom still I often use the sports setting on my camera to capture flowers which wave in the breeze. It is also helpful with butterflies and bees on flowers. I am again grateful for not having to pay by the frame exposed.
Mostly it is the 55-300mm on my camera because you never know when driving through a national forest or even into the neighboring town from my house when a photo opportunity will appear. I am considering writing a blog on using truck windows as tripods. And just recently heard about "sandbags" you can make to cushion your camera on windows or fenders or hoods. At least one with rice, lighter, would be nice to put in the camera bag.