Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 43mm, Zeikos Macro Attachment, ISO 100, f/8, 1/50 sec.
  Continuing with my macro madness in the yard on Tuesday, today's post is slightly different from yesterday's.  The focal length is a little further away at 43mm and it allows for a little more blurred background to play with.
  I don't know the name of this flower and neither did my wife.  They are within a bush-like plant that hugs close to the ground but spreads out and completely covers the ground.  When these flowers bloom they completely cover the plant.  This particular cropping hasn't reached full bloom yet and even though there are several there, they don't cover the plant completely yet.
  Took some pics of these flowers last year but none were as crisp as this one and I don't remember the orange stem reaching out of the center of last year's shots.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, Zeikos Macro attachment, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/160 sec.
  Spring is definitely in full gear in East Tennessee. Rained for 5 days straight and then today the sun poked it's head out.
  With my wife working today, I couldn't run off and go take photos with the kids at home but the with the sun out and a 90% chance of rain in the forecast for tomorrow, I had to photograph something.
  So I dug out the old Zeikos Macro attachment for my Tamron lens, mounted the flash on the camera and took off into the yard to catch some of the new spring color.
  I figured out something on this quest. When using my macro attachment, laying on my belly is the best way to get a steady hand while hand holding the camera. This attachment is so touchy that you have to move in and out from the subject until you are in perfect range before the auto-focus will latch onto it.  While standing up it is hard to do and hold your distance.  Laying on my belly with my elbows firmly on the ground in front of me worked great.
  Laying on the ground also got me very close to some neat little subjects hanging out in the grass.  Normally, I despise Dandelions.  When we moved in our house 3 1/2 years ago, we had plush grass in our yard.  In the span of one year it was full of several species of weeds that are trying to take over.  Dandelions are one of these species that are trying to take over.  They are very pretty though and made for some macro fun.
  I have a couple of other shots of different flowers I will post as well, but I will save them for other posts.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Quantaray 19-35 Wide Angle Lens @ 19mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/100 sec.
  Last weekend I had the honor of being the official photographer at my niece Kelsi's wedding in Chattanooga, TN.
  When my brother, Larry, asked me to take her wedding photos a bit of anxiety fell over me.  I have shot 4 previous weddings in my past and 3 of them were successful endeavors.  It's that 4th one that keeps wearing on my mind.  It was the only time someone paid me money to take their daughter's photos and it was an absolute disaster.
  Mind you I did not charge them anything but while I was shooting group photos the mother put a $100 bill in my pocket. I rewarded them by only having one good roll of film out of six. Ouch! So you can see why the anxiety took over.
  Unlike nature and landscape photography where you can take your time and set up a shot then shoot, adjust, shoot, adjust, weddings don't offer that opportunity.  If you miss the bride walking down the aisle, or the exchange of rings, or the groom kissing the bride, YOU MISS IT.  No second chances.
  Fortunately, Kelsi's wedding shoot was a successful one. I got to the church in just enough time to take some test shots and scope out where I needed to position myself during the ceremony. 
  I prodominately used my XS with the fast 50mm lens for most of the shots but I commandeered my sister-in-law Lee Ann's Canon XT and Quantaray 19-35 Wide Angle lens as a second rig.  I am glad I did. It allowed me to get a more wide angle look and capture a feel for the entire ceremony instead of just the bride and groom.
  Fell in love with her Quantaray lens, too.  It is inexpensive and really wide.  Would love it for shooting nature and landscapes. I will have an equivalent one I guarentee it.
  Not only did Lee let me use her gear, she posed all of the post ceremony shots of the wedding party which I am horrible at.  One of which is the shot in today's post above.  Can't thank her enough for helping me with that.
  Just put 311 jpegs on a disc and shipped them to brother Larry this morning.  I was extremely happy with the outcome.  This is a relief because Kelsi is my niece and I wanted to give her the best I could in addition to the same for my brother and sister-in-law. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, f/11, 8 sec.
  For the first time in a few weeks I had a weekend where I had nowhere I had to be. No ball games to officiate, nothing.  I had made a promise to myself that I would go to Baby Falls on Saturday morning and take some photos.  In the year I have had my DSLR, I had only been to Baby Falls once and that was very early last spring so I felt I needed to re-visit there.
  The weather earlier in the week was sunny and 80°F so I felt is was going to be a nice weekend.  Boy was I wrong.  By Friday night it was in the 50's and rainy.  I told myself I would go no matter what.  Sure enough, it was continuing to rain and in the 40's this morning but I drove down River Road to Baby Falls.
  With all of the rain, the water level was high and the falls were incredible.  The roar of the water pouring over the rocks was defining. There was no way I was going to be able to wade into the river to get close due to the powerful current.
  One thing I can say about the Tellico River along River Road, the rocks are massive.  Most of them are slick and the rain just made them even harder to move on. Boy they sure do add to the scenery though. Take a look at the one just to left of the falls in the picture above. Most aren't that big, but they are the size of small trucks.

Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/8 sec.
  As I made my back to Tellico Plains from the falls, I stopped at a small spot that I had never looked at before where there were a couple of smaller cascades.  Really liked this spot. The water wound around the rocks in several different spots making for several options for composing shots.  The picture above was my favorite from this group.  I really like bumping up the ISO to 400 and catching both the action of the water splashing against the rocks and still being able to get a silky effect of the water as well.
  The rocks still make the photo for me.  Each one is unique with it's markings, shapes and colors and the water breaks over each one a little differently.  I've said it before, I think I could stop every 100 yards along River Road and achieve a unique photo experience with every stop.  That's why I keep coming back even when its raining.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/800 sec.
  Tuesday at lunchtime I grabbed the camera and the 50mm lens and spent about 45 minutes shooting pics of a Cherry Tree that sits right outside of the front entrance of the building.  The pink and white petals on the tree are absolutely beautiful.  Wish I could've been out there around 9:00am when the early morning sun strikes this tree the red tint on the petals is an incredible sight.  Maybe later in the week I'll be able to accomplish taking those shots.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/1250 sec.
  With all of the branches hanging down where I could reach them and get at several different angles.  The 50mm lens allowed me to shoot a real shallow depth of field.  The wind did provide a challenge though. It was blowing the branches around a bunch so I had to be very patient.  Looked like it was snowing with the wind blowing petals off of the Cherry and Bradford Pear Trees. It was very cool.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/2000 sec.
  The highlight of the Cherry Tree photo shoot was capturing a couple of bees that landed on one of the outcropping of blossoms.  The bee on the left side is very small and I overlooked it when I first examined the shot. Followed several bees around the tree but they were aware of me and stayed away whenever I got close.  Got lucky with these two.

Monday, March 21, 2011


  I have the pleasure of hosting this the sixth run of our Grunge Collaboration.  There are normally six participant photogs that take part in this project, Jim Denham, Rob Hanson, Chris Nitz, Jesse Pafundi, James Brandon, and myself. Round V was hosted by Jim Denham and you can see those results HERE. Unfortunately, Jesse and James could not participate this go around.
  If you aren't familiar with these types of HDR collaborations, one of us supplies a set of bracketed shots for all of the participants to take and process as they see fit. When all are finished the supplier of the brackets posts the results on his blog for everyone to see and compare.
  This time around it was my turn to supply the shots.  These particular set of brackets I shot at lunchtime at work. They are of a robot conveyor motor and that has been in place for 10 years or so and are showing the signs of wear and tear.  Let's get to the fun, shall we.

The main body of this image seemed to have enough grunge on its own, so rather than push it over the top, I chose to bring it out just a bit with definition and sharpening in Aperture. Brought the saturation up a bit to highlight the blue in the image, and burned the shadows to further define the space. It's quite a bit more subdued than a typical grunge image, but I like the results.


  I wound up altering this image more than I expected to when I first saw it. Being that it's already pretty grungy, I first thought I'd do some straightforward things to it, but new ideas kept popping up.
After basic processing and Shadowmapping, there still seemed to be a strong color cast from the originals, so I adjusted white balance and then neutralized the whites across the image. Using Nik Silver Efex, I did a subtle desaturation on the edge areas. To bring back some of the color, I used a soft gold reflector effect in spots, and used a rusty texture as an overlayer. Tonal Contrast always brings out the grit, Darken/Lighten Center focuses the eye where we want it. I was pretty happy with it and had even uploaded the final when I decided to straighten the lines using Photshop's Skew and Rotate functions, being careful not to overly distort some key elements, and that also served to highlight the subject even more.
Thanks, Jerry! It was a fun and educational experience to work on this set.


  What really caught my eye on this image was the blue metal. The overall image was already full of great grungy textures, but the blue metal just emphasized this dirty scene that much more. I ultimately decided to use this as a starting point for my processing.
  I started off adding a lens blur to help draw the eye into the upper left side of this image. I then followed my normal style and added on a few texture layers. Finally I added a 1970's color overlay to help bring an antique feel that was compounded by a grungy overlay.
  I really liked how, for me, this image revolved around the color and not a specific object. This is why I love the grunge collaboration!


 Nothing says grunge more than old, worn machinery. The first thing I did was convert the HDR to black and white. This really intensifies the gritty dirt and shadows in the shot. I then turned up the shadows a little more to enchance them even more. I then tried to draw attention to the conveyor motor so I used some soft focus in the foreground to take some attention away from it.

  I really appreciate being able to collaborate with these great photographers. I have had a great time with all six of these projects and am very humbled to be included. Thanks guys.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT, Canon 19-35 lens @ 19mm, ISO 100, 3 Exposure HDR @ f/8
  While photographing my niece Kelsi's wedding on Sunday, I took the opportunity to fire off some brackets of the homey little church they held the wedding at.  I took advantage of my sister-in-law Lee Ann letting me use her Canon Rebel XT for a second camera and for her wide angle lens that was mounted on it.
  The 2:00pm time of the wedding made light really bright but the church was so small and had so much character with the rock walls and blooming trees out front, I had to take some shots.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 49mm, ISO 100, f/22/1/6 sec.
  Spring has definitely sprung in East Tennessee. Highs of 80°F today with nary a cloud in the sky.  For the first time I was able to set a shoot a sunrise and my hands not freeze. 
  There was one lone cloud in the sky for the sunrise this morning. It was hovering over the trees across Tellico Lake. Didn't go anywhere for a while because there was very little wind at all.
  Normally, a cloudless sky doesn't do well for my sunrise taste but the way the one single cloud held reflecting on the still water combined with the sun peeking through trees just caught my eye. Very simple but very elegant just the same.  Sometimes the simple things mean a lot.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 49mm, ISO 100, f/16/1/30 sec.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/500 sec.
  Sunday is the first day of Spring, but today sure did feel like it was here. Even though the morning was a cool one, the temperatures rose all day long and this evening the high was around 75°F and nary a cloud in the sky.  The weekend looks to have temperature reaching close to 80°. AWRIGHT!
  It seems like the first thing that blooms as Spring inches near are the Bradford Pear Trees.  These are very early blooming trees with beautiful white petals.  Not only do they bloom early, but they lose their petals very early as well.  When these blooms fall you find out that they stink very badly.
  Our parking lot at work is lined with Bradford Pears and after they shed their petals they are everywhere and never seem to go away. Neither does the smell.
  They are beautiful to photograph though so this evening after work I loaded the fast 50 on the camera and did some up close and personal shooting of these gorgeous trees as you can see in the first and second photos I've posted.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec.
  This evening, after taking my son to the courts to shoot hoops, on my way back home I stopped at this roadside spot that had Buttercups blooming both in yellow and white. I have been eying them for a few days now and couldn't wait any longer.
  The photo below is a shot of a couple of the yellow buttercups.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/800 sec.
  Spring is definitely in the air and hopefully sticking around.


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 51mm, ISO 100, Single Exposure HDR, f/4.5, 1/1000 sec.
  With temperatures in the 30's last night, fog was in order this morning with the sun rising and the temps going up fairly quick. The fog was so thick that it allowed the sun to rise and be viewed as a round disc behind it.
  I was actually at work when I grabbed my camera and went outside to catch this wonderful light.  There is a Cherry Tree right outside the main entrance that just bloomed a couple of days ago and it provided a bracket around the foggy scene.
  Processed this as a single image HDR in order to try and pull some detail out of the dark foggy area. Ended up getting some great color above the fog.  Took several shots that achieved a reflection of the sun on the water but they were overblown and way too bright above.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, Single Image HDR, f/2.5, 1/50 sec.
  While I was with the kids at the park Monday, Jocy's basketball provided a subject against the gritty red asphalt of the basketball court.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/200 sec.
  Lately I have been cutting back on my photography in order to spend more time with my family. My wife works 24 hour shifts for the Monroe County Emergency Medical Services and up until recently I was using the nights that she was working as the time that I would edit photos, post to my blog, and view all of my twitter friends' photos.  What I realized last week was, I was more or less ignoring the opportunity to spend this time with my kids.  I would be on the computer all night and my daughter, Jocy,  would be watching TV by herself while my son, Casey, was upstairs playing video games.
  Tonight was one of those opportunities.  When I picked up Jocy after work she asked if we could go to the park.  When we got home we asked Casey if he wanted to go and he gladly said yes.
  When we got there some of my son's friends were there on the basketball court so he spent his time schooling the playground. It was fun watching him play ball and having fun doing it. When he plays high school ball he terribly serious but on the playground he was laughing and cutting up with his buddies and it was a treat to see.
  Jocy's intentions at the park were to shoot some basketball herself.  All of the goals were taken up though so she had to entertain herself by rolling her basketball down a hill and chasing after it.  I brought my camera along and noticed that the steps going up this hill she was playing on had a wooden railing that extended the entire length of the hill and was wide enough to sit on. Jocy being the budding model that she is was more than happy to pose for several photos up and down the railing.  She was outstanding and was having as much fun posing as I was shooting.
  After a while I decided to rest my eyes and watch Casey ball it up and I let Jocy take the camera and shoot some of her own photos.  She really has a great eye for a 10 year old.  I think if I worked with her on composing shots she could really become a great photographer.
  What a great time. We got to spend some great time together and after they went to bed, I worked on the images from the evening.  It may cause for a late night, but man was it worth it.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/4, 1/500 sec.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 41mm, ISO 800, 3 Exposure HDR @ f/8
  Using some tips Dave Wilson posted on his web site, HDR Tip #2 – Shooting Handheld for HDR, I tried to catch the lighthouse at Hunting Island, SC as I was leaving and the sun was going down.  I framed up the shot, held my elbows in tight, and fired off a set of 3 brackets.
  I processed these brackets using the Mantiuk method in QTPFSGUI and unfortunately this gets a little grainy. It did give me the color I was looking for that any of the other methods in QTPFSGUI didn't. I also used the alignment tools in the software to align the shots and it did a realatively good job.
  For my first hand held multi-shot bracketing I was very happy with the results.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 200, 3 Exposure HDR @ f/22
  Until I get a chance to get out and take some new photos I am reaching back into the archives for some blog posts.  Can't believe I've waited until now to post this one.
  When school lets out for summer vacation I get some free time in the mornings to shoot sunrises because I am not getting my kids to school. I don't know how many times I have been dropping my daughter off at school and looked up to see an incredible sunrise go by without me taking pictures of it.
  Back in June I was able to find this one from almost the identical spot that I took OVERTIME. Had some neat cloud formations and nice reflection with the sun just peaking over the hilltops.
  Enlisted the help of brother Jim with some HDR processing on viola.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 70mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/5 sec.
  Back in August I made a trip up to the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville, TN and mozied around shooting the plants and flowers for a couple of hours.  This little Water Lilly caught my eye when I walked through the gate.  Just kinda sticking up out of the water waiting for the sun to shine showing some wonderful potential for color when it opens up.
  As a matter of fact, about an hour later when I came back around the sun was up and the Lilly was opening up. It definitely reached that potential.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 80mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/50 sec.


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 100-400 f/4.0L IS lens @ 400mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec.
  Last Tuesday my friend Bob Whitehair lent me his Canon L Series 100-400 IS lens for my trip to Parris Island, SC.  On my lunch  hour I went outside to play around with this unbelievable lens.
  I was following a couple of Canada Geese around the break area when I heard a few honks coming from my right out over the lake. I quickly pushed the zoom out to 400mm and tracked 2 geese flying across the lake.
  The noon-day sun was extremely harsh on the scene but the lens tracked those flying geese fantastically despite being hand held. What an incredible lens.  It is very heavy which I learned the hard way at the Marine graduation, but the Image Stabilization is wonderful.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, 3 Exposure HDR @ f/14
  On our trip to Parris Island I did get to take some shots down at Hunting Beach State Park. This park is absolutely beautiful. White sandy beach with lots of palm trees, Palmetto Bushes, and Spanish Moss hanging from trees.
  The lighthouse at Hunting Beach was definitely my favorite target. Not as tall as the lighthouses in the Outer Banks of North Carolina that I visited a few years back, but the wonderful natural landscape surrounding it made it a must to photograph.
  Today's post was taken on Wednesday evening from the beach looking back through the fencing and palm trees at the lighthouse.  Thursday evening we went back and I set up at the same spot but could hardly take a shot due to the extremely strong winds blowing in off the ocean.  The winds tried to blow my camera and tri-pod over several times and made getting good shots impossible.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, 3 Exposure HDR @ f/16


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 200, f/8, 1/160 sec
  Graduation Day is the happiest day in the life of a Marine recruit.  The day each one of them says, "I made it!"
  December 10th my son Shea and 440+ other young men arrived at Parris Island, SC knowing that the next 13 weeks would be the toughest of their lives. The minute they arrived there was someone yelling at them and putting them through physical and mental strain that only someone who went through Marine basic training could even come close to understanding.
  In addition to the yelling, they are taught rifle marksmanship, team building, hand-to-hand combat techniques, Marine history, and core values.  All of this culminating a week before graduation with The Crucible.
  If you have never heard of The Crucible, which I had not, it is a true test of the Marine recruits' metal. At roughly 2:00am Thursday morning they jump out of bed and get into full gear that includes a 50lb pack and their back and set out on a series of tests that will last 54 hours until Saturday morning with very little sleep or food.  There are 6 tests that they go through that everything they have learned and dealt with over the previous 12 weeks will apply to. The final test being the 10 mile hike back to the parade deck on Saturday morning.  By this time, each of them is running on fumes and pure motivation is all that is pushing them through.  Shea told me the last 2 miles of which was the first time they sang cadences on a hike (this was very surprising to me after watching the Motivational Run on Family Day when the entire company was singing in unison).

Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 100-400 f/4 L IS lens @ 350mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/200 sec.
  When they arrive from the hike at the parade deck they form up in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial and receive their Eagle Globe and Anchor and are referred to as Marines for the very first time. Shea said every new Marine cried when they received this honor. I would expect so.
  A week after the Crucible, with their families watching, the Graduation Ceremony takes place on that very same parade deck.  Honors are handed out. The Marine Maritime Band Plays the National Anthem and the Marine Hymn. Tributes to past Marines are held.  And then all of the Senior Drill Instructors give the last and most anticipated command to their new Marines, "Dismissed". 
  Graduation day for the family and friends is a great spectacle with all of the company dressed to the nines and marching through the parade deck with the band playing.
  For the new Marine, however, the real Graduation Day was the previous Saturday morning.

Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 100-400 f/4L IS lens @ 400mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/160 sec.

Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 100-400 f/4L IS lens @ 400mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125 sec.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/3200 sec.
  Different things motivate different people.
  As most of you know by now, my son Shea has been going through basic training at Parris Island, SC for what is now 13 weeks. Friday morning he graduates from basic training and moves on as a Marine. Talk about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
  If finishing basic isn't enough, today was Family Day at Parris Island and from 10:00-2:30 they were released on Liberty and spent the day with their families. After 3 months of being in an absolutely beautiful spot of the country being treated as ugly as you can be, seeing ones family had to be a huge lift to their spirits.
  The morning started with the Motivational Run.  This was tremendous! All of the new Marines gathered at the base's Parade Deck. They then all set out on a 4 mile run through the campus yelling cadences to the cheers of their families and friends. When you get 400-500 Marines yelling and moving in unison, it is an awesome sight.
  The run left the Parade Deck and continued in and around the campus, finishing with a lap right down the main road were we could get right down next to them.  That is were today's image was taken. Shea is the sun drenched young man right next to the Staff Sargent in yellow.  I caught them in mid-cadence as they were running.
  I don't think there could be any more prouder a moment for a parent even though I will probably change my mind after graduation tomorrow morning.
  Thanks to my friend, Bob Whitehair, I had a 100-400mm Canon L Series lens that allowed me to zoom up on Shea in every formation on the Parade Deck. It was incredible to be able to use this lens and capture those moments.  I will have some further posts that I took witht he L lens later on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec.
  Greetings from South Caronlina.
  The drive from East Tennessee to Port Royal, SC went very well. Arrived around 3:00pm and got checked in and then went over to Hunting Beach State Park and beach.  Got some great shots of the Lighthouse but want to do some HDR processing on those.
  This shot is of my lovely daughter Jocelyn who was kind enough to pose for me as the sun went down.  She doesn't mind being a model at all and it shows.
  May go into Hilton Head tomorrow for some exploring after Family Day at the Parris Island facility where we can get to see my son Shea for the first time after 13 grueling weeks of Basic Training.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/320 sec.
  Back on an unusually warm afternoon in November I was milling around the house when I noticed a Monarch Butterfly floating around some of my wife's late blooming flowers. I ran back into the house and grabbed the fast 50 and ran out to the flower bed by the driveway.  I laid down on my belly and took pic after pic of this beautiful animal. It seemed like it was posing for me.
  Really love these burnt orange flowers of my wife's as well and they seem to work perfectly as background for the butterfly.