Zooming – September 2019

The images I selected for this month reflected the season and many of the places visited during the month. Season reminders…

  • The flowers of autumn like sunflowers and autumn crocus,

  • Hummingbirds eating to fatten up for migration,

  • Seed pods of the golden rain, maple, buckeye, and dogwood trees

Reflections of the places I visited:

  • Patuxent Research Refuge (north tract) – sunflower and hummingbird,

  • Longwood Gardens – waterlily, sunflower, tower,

  • Brookside Gardens – insects and flowers and tree seeds,

  • Mount Vernon – the greenhouse and beautyberry

Overall it was a good month for getting outdoors to capture the beauty of summer and early fall. I am anticipating a lot of leaf photography for October.

Enjoy the September 2019 slide show – hurray for cameras with good zoom lenses!

Zooming – August 2019

There are 10 images in this month’s ‘zooming’ post – a selection from places I’ve been over the month: Brookside Gardens, Patuxent Research Refuge, and Mt. Pleasant Farm. I used the zoom a lot on my camera, so I always have a lot to choose from…and the collection almost always is dominated by plants. This month is no exception although there are a few insects (butterflies and a cicada) and a frog.

There is one type of plant that is featured twice. Can you find it in the slideshow?  The answer is below the slideshow.

The hibiscus is the plant featured twice: the red flower and the three green buds!

Zooming – July 2019

I probably use the zoom on my camera for most of my pictures. It allows me to frame the picture the way I want and to ‘see’ the environment better than I can with just my eyes. Sometimes I am at the limit of what my camera can do. For example – the tiger swallowtails are particularly numerous in my back yard this summer and I kept seeing then flying under the maple tree where my compost pile is located. I used my camera like binoculars to see that the swallowtails were ‘puddling’ in the compost pile after a rain. They must have been enjoying the nutrient rich water!

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There was a smallish robin that fluttered down from the maple and sat in the grass – just looking around for a few minutes before returned to the tree. It didn’t look or find a worm! Probably a fledging.

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On the hottest day of the summer (so far), a wasp got a drink from our bird bath. Sometimes I find wasps that have drowned in the bird bath but so far it hasn’t happened this year. Maybe they are getting better as just getting the drink that they need.

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Now enjoy the slide show of other zoomed pictures from this month:

  • Plane tree

  • Fireworks

  • Pocket prairie plants

  • Yellow crowned night heron

  • Great egret

  • Female cardinal

  • Fawn

  • Goldfinch

Zooming – June 2019

So many aspects of nature to photograph in June: flowers and butterflies, frogs and birds…bunnies.

There were photos around home or close to home…and then in Missouri and Ohio. I’ll be learning the route between home and Missouri with two more trips in July…I’ll see how different the places look a month later.

There’s beauty to be found all over if we take the time to look for it!

Zooming – May 2019

It’s the end of the month – and time to select some images that I utilized the zoom on my camera to capture. I took over 2,000 images in May and at least half of them used that feature – so I had a lot to choose from.

There are quite a few birds in the slideshow this month. Can you find: red-winged blackbird displaying its colors, oystercatcher on the beach, laughing gull, least tern on a barrel, osprey on their nest, peregrine falcon with chicks, and several crowds of shorebirds. The bird feet are those of a mockingbird.

There is a painted turtle, ghost crab and horseshoe crab in the mix as well.

Enjoy the May slideshow!

Zooming – April 2019

The accelerating change of the seasons in Maryland and Texas…so much to see and do. I’ve picked a few of my favorite images captured with the zoom on my camera. There are insects in at least two of the flower images (maybe a third)….the little critters enjoying the spring bounty. Enjoy the April slideshow!

Zooming – February 2019

So many pictures captured with the zoom feature of the camera:

  • The framing of a sunrise so that no post processing is required

  • Birds photographed only because my presence was not detected

  • Documenting an oddity like a unique squirrel tail

  • Plants filling the frame…but the bit of background a blur

I estimate that most of the pictures I take use the zoom on my camera. The advantage of positioning myself at the right angle but not needing to be overly close is not to be underestimated. Before modern lenses, sensors, and autofocus photography was much more challenging. Now it is much more about composition and that is the part I enjoy more than anything else anyway. Being at the right place – and fast enough to use the technology – is the remaining challenge.

Zooming – January 2019

I have a bigger than usual group of images for the zooming post this month – primarily from a trip from Florida last week. They’ll be more details in posts coming out over the next few weeks. So sit back and enjoy the slide show. It only includes one snow picture!

Zooming – December 2018

It’s been somewhat cold this month – but no snow yet. I’ve enjoyed photographing our transition to winter using the zoom on my camera to set the frame of the scene and/or to enable me to stay out of the mud (we’ve had lots of rain) or indoors and warm. There is still a little green left…and the sky sometimes seems brighter when its clear and cold. Enjoy the December 2018 Zoom slideshow!

Zooming – November 2018

The last day of November. The month has been a busy one and I enjoyed selecting 13 images from when I enjoyed the zoom feature of my camera the most. The picks include fall leaves, a sunset, cranes grooming/snoozing/waking up, screwbean mesquite seeds, agave, a pruned prickly pear stem, barrel cactus thorns, cranes in the early morning, cranes in golden light with snow geese, northern mergansers in action, the moon, a snow goose feather, and some milkweed seeds.

And now we forge ahead into December and another month with a lot of the calendar.

Zooming – October 2018

The fall foliage had not been as colorful as usual this fall…but there has still been a lot to see outdoors – aided my the zoom on my camera: Canadian geese, a common buckeye butterfly, webs of funnel spiders on a root ball of an overturned tree, colorful ferns, milkweed seeds spilling out, tiny mushrooms in mulch, a spider web highlighted by water droplets, and a female cardinal with fluffed feathers. Enjoy the slide show!

Zooming – September 2018

The zoom on my new camera (60 vs 40 optical zoom…and then comes the digital zoom too) makes it even easier to stand well out of the flowerbed, get a good angle, not scare the butterfly or bee. It’s easier to hold myself steady using the viewfinder rather than the screen like I had to previously. Sometimes I use the monopod…but other times I find that I can simple hold myself steady enough that the camera image stabilization does the rest.

The images I selected this month are from several places: Longwood Gardens, home, Brookside Gardens, and Howard Count Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant Farm. Some of my favorite places to be.

Enjoy my picks of zoomed images for September 2018!

Zooming – August 2018

Bugs and flowers and butterflies and spider webs and seed pods and bird feet– oh my! I really do enjoy the extra zoom capability of my new camera. I am using the monopod if I can anticipate going to 65x…since it’s too difficult to compost the picture otherwise. I might eventually give in and use a tripod although not when I am going to be moving about. Lugging a tripod is never going to be something I want to do!

Enjoy the show!

Zooming – July 2018

This month the zoomed photographs are dominated by flowers and insects…no birds (which is a little unusual for me but just reflects what I’ve been doing and the large number of rainy days that I haven’t gotten out at all). I’ve chosen 14 photos from over 1,000 that I’ve taken this month. I like to have a lot to choose from. I would guess that over 50% use at least some amount of ‘zoom’ on the camera. Enjoy the slideshow for July 2018!

Zooming – June 2018

I am late getting out the posts that I normally write toward the end of the month….this is a catch up week after being in Texas for almost 3 weeks! As usual – it was easy to find favorite pictures taken in June that used the zooming capabilities of my camera. There are all the usual suspects – birds, butterflies, and vegetation. Can you pick out which ones were in Texas and which were in Maryland?

Enjoy the June slideshow!

Zooming – April 2018

Zooming make the photograph in so many cases. I could never get the pictures of birds that I do without it…the birds would be long gone. This month the zoomed birds include: a great blue heron being very still, a bluebird showing his colors, a finch high in a tree at a Texas rest stop, a blow legged grackle, and ducklings.

I use the zoom for flowers to avoid stepping in flower beds – or mud – or simply because what I want to photograph is too high in the tree.

On road trips, the zoom helps with photography through the windshield (buildings and bridge abutment murals, for example)…and quickly framing a picture when I am hurrying to get back to the car and out of the weather.

The modern digital cameras with good optical zoom lenses…and image stabilization…a boon to photographers everywhere.

Zooming – March 2018


I use the zoom on my camera for some many reasons – to frame the picture I want (taking out some items in the foreground),

To get a shot that looks close up without having to get close to the object either because what I want to photograph is too high, there is a barrier, or I don’t want to go traipsing through ice and snow.

Sometimes I use the zoom to get a better view than I can get with my eyes – particularly with wildlife that would not sit still if I moved any closer to them.

Zooming – February 2018

I use the zoom on my camera a lot to get the picture I want. What’s not to like about a photograph of the moon that is better than I can see with my eyes!

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These water droplets were on the top of a tall pine…and I took the picture from the comfort of my office!

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I’ve posted a lot of the bird pictures but not this one. I like it because it shows more detail of the flicker’s feathers…..where the down fluffs to keep the bird warm on a cold day. Without the zoom, the feathers have a sleeker look.

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I appreciated using the zoom for the skunk cabbage since there was standing water or mud around them…and it was too cold to risk getting my feet wet if my boots leaked.

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The ice crystals were so delicate I did not want to get close and risk breaking them before I could get the photo I wanted. The zoom also makes it easier to avoid working about casting a shadow.

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Of course – the squirrel would have run away very quickly if I had been closer. As it was, the pose seems like something Beatrix Potter would have used for one of her characters!

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Zooming – January 2018

I’ve been at home observing birds a lot during January and my camera works as well as binoculars for me…so why not go ahead and take the picture too! My favorite is probably of the flicker – savoring the drink of water from our birdbath.

There were some other reasons to use the camera’s zoom – the full moon in early January (there will be another one the last day of the month),

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Ice crystals in a stream (better to use the zoom than making a mistake – taking a very cold step),

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A stump that was on a slope of boulders (to hard to get close), and

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In camera cropping of the morning light on the trees behind our house.

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It was a good month with my Canon Powershot SX730 HS with 40x Optical Zoom!