Tag Archives: wildflowers

July 2015 Wallpaper

July 2015 Wallpaper

Happy 4th of July!  Here’s one of nature’s fireworks, the Bee Balm flower, captured this morning after a heavy overnight dew in our wildflower garden.   Literally 30 seconds after I took this image, while setting up a composition on a nearby flower, a hummingbird visited for a few seconds..  Bad karma today I guess… Sigh!  Still, fun to see two feet in front of me!

Sorry for missing the June wallpaper.  Lots of personal stuff going on around that time and by the time I realized I had forgotten about it, half the month was already gone…

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Fuji X-T1, 55-200mm, 1/60 @ f/10, ISO 400.  Processed with Lightroom CC 2015: slight tweaks to whites/shadows, bumped up the greens slightly (because the red was extremely powerful), moderately aggressive sharpening.

October 2014 Wallpaper

October 2014 Wallpaper

One of the late-blooming wildflowers in our backyard.   We had a burst of yellow this year: goldenrod, black-eyed susans, and whatever the heck these are… 🙂   The deep shade of my neighbor Liz’s pine trees combined with a soft overcast created an interesting opportunity for this composition.

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Fuji X-T1, 55-200mm f/4.8 R OIS on a tripod, 1/320 at f/8, ISO 320.   Processed in Lightroom 5 (small exposure tweaks, sharpening).

July 2013 Wallpaper

July 2013 Wallpaper

For the July image I was looking for something evocative of fireworks and, a couple of days late, this is my attempt with one of our day lilies that have popped in the past few days.   We’ve been dealing with a bit of a low-scale heat wave here the past few days and the local flora has been withering under the heat and sun – so finding a dew-kissed blossom was not going to happen.   This is also a bit of a departure for me in terms of style – but I really couldn’t realistically create this image any other way (read the technical stuff if interested).  Let’s just say I continue to have a deep respect for those who do great macro photography and hope to someday get closer to those images.   I hope you enjoy the floral fireworks.

If you like the above image you can download it to your computer and use it as your desktop or tablet wallpaper. A few of the common screen sizes are available:

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Perfect for your iPad)

Download the 1280×1024 version here.

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Technical details:  It was somewhere between impractical and impossible to capture this image in situ.   I may yet figure out a rig to make that possible, but for now this was a backyard flower moved to my living room and lit with some LED panels.  Because of all of the movement, some of the pollen fell off the pistil, which was really disappointing as it looked much cooler than what we have here.  I may try this again when it’s not an oven outside — perhaps a bit of moisture in the air might keep the pollen more attached.

So, this is also a composite photograph (generally known as a “focus stack”).   If it is technically possible to produce this image with a single exposure, it is beyond my equipment and ability.  Instead we take advantage of the image processing geniuses out there and use it to create something approximating what the human eye would perceive.  So here’s the rundown:  Canon 5D Mark II, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/40 at f/4, ISO 320 on a tripod and focus controlled by a CamRanger.  The 35 “slices” were first processed with Lightroom 5: highlights -10, shadows +5, whites -10 to compress the tonal range a bit.   The slices were then processed with Zerene Stacker using the pMax algorithm.  The resulting composite image was touched up to remove stacking artifacts where pistil crosses into the flower.   The merged image was brought back into Lightroom 5 where we tweaked the exposure a bit more (-30 highlights, +0.3EV), added a bit of clarity and vibrance and sharpened it a bit (+58).

This was the “runner up” image for this month.   Is is a 40-slice composite of Spiraea (also blooming the the backyard) and not a bad second fireworks burst of color for the 4th…