Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the color of springtime

It's one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Goldendale--that one seven-day stretch in April, usually between the 13th and the 20th, when the tulips are in bloom, the tiniest hints of green are showing up on tree branches, and the hummingbirds are back!

Springtime borne on the tips of their wings, the avian helicopters we call hummingbirds are some of my very favorite birds. The greens, reds, oranges, blues, and purples that zing off their feathers are the colors of spring. (I'm praying that April 20 is late enough to safely say "spring" without bringing in a snowstorm.)

I spent my "lens time" this morning experimenting with not only these tiny beasts but also our explosion of blooming tulips. I even tried something I rarely do: practiced using manual focus. Not an easy technique to use on hummingbirds!

(And I've decided to blame this blog for the enormous amount of pictures on my hard drive. In other years, April was one of my less-photographed months, but my April 2010 folder currently contains 4.29 GB of pictures. That's over 2,000 individual photos this month alone. . . . Yikes!!)

I'm terribly proud of the following picture. I have no idea how I did it, but somehow, I manually focused it correctly in the half-second I was given before the hummingbird ducked out of the frame.

This was also a manual focus from a greater distance. It's not quite needle-sharp. >>


I like the hummingbird above, but the blurred out twig in the foreground drives me crazy. If I was proficient at Photoshop clone-stamping, I'd get rid of it, but I'm not.

<< This yellow tulip is one of my favorites. I focused the camera on the partially-unfurled petal on the left side of the flower.

 << Another example of one that didn't turn out needle-sharp. I still like the picture though. :)

Isn't the picture on the right interesting? You can see the blur of pink tulips in the background, amid an entanglement of forsythia blossoms, and in the center of it all is one lonely, half-opened, cream-colored tulip.

Here are a few more pictures from the past week that I had fun with:

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