Before the temperatures rose to the mid-60's, yesterday's rain was still lingering. It occurred to me that nature has its own way of decorating for the holidays, with or without snow. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas Eve.
Nikon D610, 1/45 second at f/6, ISO 100, 350mm (140-600mm) - 4619
Finding light is all about timing. Many photographers will scope out a location and wait for the light. I like to do that from time to time, but more often than not, I just don't have the time. I tend to be more of an opportunist always looking for the light in my travels. I frequently get rewarded as I was here. It was early morning, but long after sunrise and this scene caught my attention instantly.
Nikon D610, 1/4000 second at f/6.3, ISO 1600, 550mm (150-600mm) - 4535
I have often seen wild turkeys and have even seen small groups, but I have never seen a flock. There are a little over forty turkeys here and there were another thirty or so on the other side of the road. Blue they were, but they were all unique. The feather pattern, the head coloring, the snood hanging from the throat, all different and almost all were watching me two hundred yards away.
Nikon D610, 1/60 second at f/6, ISO 1600, 400mm (150-600mm) - 4491
This lovely couple (which I have never seen before) may have found a perfect home for breeding, if this weren't Massachusetts. However, with temperatures extremely mild, Mr. and Mrs. Hooded Mergansers are finding the waters quite nice and have decided to stay a while. Their presence would indicate that we have some fish in these waters. I will stop back from time to time to see if they make a home or are merely transients. I suspect the latter.
Nikon D610, 1/20 second at f/6.3, ISO 100, 600mm (150-600mm) - 4453
Not sure where the word comes from, Scotland or Scandinavia maybe, but I can't think of another that is more appropriate. Cozy means snug, comfortable, warm, not offering a challenge, relaxed. It certainly fits today. There is a chill in the air and snow showers in the forecast. Not a nor'easter, but considering our dry-spell, it might be refreshing to see a few flakes in the air. Just relaxing in front of the fire on this Sunday before Christmas.
Nikon D610, 1/45 second at f/5.0, ISO 6400, 150mm (150-600mm) - 4446
Tower Hill Botanical Gardens does a wonderful job at decorating for the holidays and it certainly grabs the attention of the locals. Inside and out, trees and shrubs are lit in all the colors of the rainbow. Lasers project against the backdrop of the forest. The attention to detail is notable. But I am afraid mere mortals are no match against the power of God. God's canvas, the sky after sunset, reaches deep within you and leaves you speechless and grateful.
Nikon D610, 1 second at f/4.8, ISO 100, 65 mm (28-300mm) - 4280
I wonder what birds are saying when they are all talking at the same time. It seems obvious to me that they could not be conversing with each other. I am guessing that they are announcing to friends and relatives passing nearby that they have stopped here in this tree, just for a moment to rest a while before they depart en-masse. I suspect there were 50 or more birds hidden in the branches of this tree. As I approached, they all fell silent unsure of my intentions. Fear me not I said in my mind. The silence was short-lived.
Nikon D610,1/60 second at f/6.3, ISO 100, 600mm (150-600mm) - 4237
Just some evidence (in my mind) that there is a photograph to be taken everywhere you look. Some nice bokeh thanks to the drops of rain, sure. But who expected that Fiat would place the 500 logo inside the headlight assembly. I appreciate attention to detail whenever and wherever I see it. Bravo Fiat! Just one more thing I like about this car.
Nikon D610, 1/15 second at f/6.3, ISO 100, 600mm (150-600mm) - 4234
We are told that we will witness the first full moon on Christmas day since 1977. I am looking to get an exception photograph possibly with Santa in the foreground. I have met Santa although I have never seen him in the sky. I must prepare. Pictures such as these are so rare. Wish me luck!
Nikon D610, 1/250 Second at f/6.7, ISO 100, 600mm (Tamron 150-600mm) - 4222
I was taking photographs of the awesome sky this afternoon and discovered creatures in this photograph that did not exist less than a second prior. They look like sticks with oscillating wings like a jelly fish only the were flying. If someone knows what these might have been, I surely would like to know. Bizarre. Click on the picture for a larger image posted on Flickr.
Nikon D610, 1/8 second at f/11, ISO 200, 17mm (17-35mm) - 3959
On a dark and rainy night, the color of light can be nourishing for the eyes, and maybe more. Just a wee bit of camera movement can result in a mardi gras explosion of beads. These abstracts are pleasing to only few but I just happen to be one of them.
Nikon D610, 8 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 200, 32 mm (28-300mm) - 3956
A stones throw away from our back door in the middle of the woods is this ancient mariner. I know of three generations that have climbed this great white shark, I suspect there are more. Clear cutting would have made this an open field less than a century ago and this monolith would have attracted attention on the hillside. When I walk in the woods, I often think back to simpler times. It is good to go there, even in our mind.
Nikon D610, 1/125 second at f/3.5, ISO 200, 28mm (28-300mm) - 3860
Well the tree is up (little thanks to me). But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. And this is probably my favorite ornament of all. Remember the Magic, something Walt Disney seemed to do so well. The picture today was inspired by news of the fully restored office suite of Walt Disney in California's Disneyland dedicated by two of his granddaughters. Now only open to employees and cast members only, it will be added to the 2016 back lot tour.
Fuji X100T, .6 seconds at f/2.0, ISO 200, 23mm - 2270
Why are the colors of sunset so fleeting. One moment, you are overwhelmed by the breathtaking beauty of the sky and in literally the next instant it is gone. I get it I think. A day of spectacular beauty would be taken for granted, unappreciated, and offers nothing to look forward to at the end of the day. That makes sense. How clever was the architect that dreamed this cycle up for us.
Fuji X100T, 1/1000 second at f/2.0, ISO 200, 23mm - 2192
When the haze and fog hangs heavy like it did this morning, the difference between black & white and color is negligible. It becomes almost surrealistic yet calming somehow. This is a great spot to catch sunrise. And sometimes, not so much.
Nikon D610, 1/180 second at f/13, ISO 100, 55mm (28-300mm) - 3821
The pictures that end up in my camera surprise me more often than I would like to admit. I was shooting the swans as they nibbled on hors d'oeuvres and groomed themselves, no doubt preparing for a date later in the evening. When I reviewed my pictures, the sky jumped out at me and the swans melted into the background. Bob Ross might call this a happy accident. I am not so sure if it is an accident at all. I think the universe shares with your soul more than your eyes can see.
Nikon D610, 1/90 second at f/6.7, ISO 1600, 28mm (28-300mm) - 3771
I look at this picture and I think of World War II and the blitzkrieg raids on London between 1940 and 1942. It is hard to imagine what it must have been like. Beginning on September 7, 1940, London was bombed every night for 57 consecutive nights. I imagine you can still find structures like this in England. Coincidentally, this building was used as a color lab a dozen years ago for a photography printing business that no longer exists.
Nikon D610, 1/1000 at f/3.5, ISO 400, 28mm (28-300mm) - 3691
I hope you can see how peaceful it was for me to sit on a rock along the shore for a few minutes hypnotized by the thick wind-made waves rolling towards me. Brisk, but amazing for a December morning. If it looks like springtime, and it smells like springtime... Is it springtime?
Nikon D610, 1/15 second at F22, ISO 100, 28mm (28-300mm) - 3668
I was shooting outside for more than an hour this morning. Such a spectacular day. So many choices. I'll leave you with this one. It isn't often you can catch the reflection of a church steeple rippling on the surface of the water especially on a December morning in New England. There are those that would rather spend time inside this wonderful white shrine. That's cool. I would prefer to find my Sunday blessings in nature, under the sun and along the shores.
1/350 second at f/9.5, ISO 100, 300mm (28-300mm) - 3585
Few things here... First, Christmas lights are awesome. Second, focus isn't always as important as the lack of focus to makes things stand out. Lastly, when you combine red, green and blue light together, you create white light and the junction of just a couple colors can create magenta, cyan and yellow. Example below. There is a reason people put up Christmas lights. We miss color. So enjoy the color this holiday season. Stare into the lights until your vision blurs. It is food for the soul.
Nikon D610, 1/20 second at f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm (28-300mm) - 3514
Even the drabness of underbrush and prickers at the edge of the river are brought to life by the rising sun beginning to sparkle above the treeline. A very crisp and beautiful morning. I wonder how many people drive by but never see. Sadly, I imagine most. I was wounded by these prickers leaving small wounds -- as if to help remind me of the experience. Little did they know I have pictures to help with that and didn't need their reminders.
Nikon D610, 1/180 second at f/11, ISO 100, 28mm (28-300mm) - 3497
Have you ever been out of doors in complete silence and then heard the screech of a lone hawk? Eery... like going back in time, before the roar of civilization. Here, at center stage is a red-tailed hawk at the pinnacle of a lifeless tree. It has a 3,000 meter field of view in all directions. His call was no doubt staking claim to its territory. It was difficult to see with the naked eye yet unmistakeable. I left the house this morning seeking the rising sun and instead found the call of the wild. It is moments like this when I very much appreciate the gift of photography.
Nikon D610, 1/30 second at f/8.0, ISO 100, 56mm (28-300mm) - 3446
I am not a good golfer by any stretch of the imagination, but I am always a happy golfer. Sure, it's great to hit a nice shot or sink a long putt, but I don't take the game too seriously and always enjoy going for a walk on the fairways. No clubs are necessary really, especially on this rainy and foggy day in December. I still appreciate the view.
Nikon D610, 1/90 second at f/19, ISO 800, 92mm (28-300mm) - 3350
Even on a cloudy and all-around gray day, a walk in the woods soothes the soul. I headed out along the edge of a river for a while. It was quiet and the water was rushing by as if it had somewhere to go. As I have said so many times before, color is hard to find on these monochromatic days. But not impossible!
Nikon D610, 1/250 second at f/19, ISO 800, 150mm (28-300mm) - 3275
Not quite the winter wonderland, but it is kind of a cool sight to see them make snow at Wachusett Mountain, especially on a clear day. As you can see, they aren't hitting all the trails yet, just the lower ones right now. Since we haven't had any snow at all this season, it must be hard laying the foundation. For me, this is exactly where I like to see the snow blow (rather than on the roads).
Nikon D610, 1/180 second at f/19, ISO 800, 170mm (28-300mm) - 3250
I am Robert McKay Jones, a photographer from Sterling, Massachusetts. I take photographs almost every day. I will post my favorites here.