Deadwood

Recently, I’ve been thinking about emphasizing form and texture in my photographs, as opposed to much of the landscape work I’ve done. This led me to consider photographing deadwood. No, I’m not referring to those non-performers in the working world. Deadwood is certainly readily

Ellison Park, Monroe County
Ellison Park, Monroe County

available. Just take a walk through the woods and you’ll see a vast array of the stuff. Most of the time we don’t pay much attention to the rotting logs and branches along our way, unless we’re looking for mushrooms, moss, fungi, or insects. But deadwood is a critical part of the ecological cycle. Although we think of deadwood as merely dead trees, deadwood provides nutrients for a range of plants and animals, as well as a new generation of trees. The last stage of organic decomposition produces new soil. The whole process is identical to what takes place in a compost pile or bin. The dead thus produce new life. As you view these photograph’s you might consider this upbeat deadwood perspective.

 Millions of tons of wood are produced every year in the forests of the world. Observation, however, tells us that the sum-total of wood upon he surface of the earth remains fairly constant from year to year and from century to century. We must, therefore, conclude that there are destructive agencies at work by which millions of tons of wood are destroyed annually.

A. H. R. Buller, preeminent mycologist, Economic Biology, 1906, 1, p. 101
Ellison Park, Monroe County
Ellison Park, Monroe County

Since light levels tends to be lower in the woods, due to foliage and shadows, supplemental flash is necessary for producing high quality photographs. I’m using a Canon Speedlight 430 EX II with a short off-camera cable so I have  control over the flash’s direction.

You can see more of my deadwood series at my online gallery. I’d appreciate receiving your comments or criticism.

For more information on wood decomposition, see Trees for Life.

Now available from the Bird House in Rochester, NY, and StephenFieldingImages.org
Available through PayPal
Available through PayPal

 

“Shrinking Bird Populations,” now available from my bookstore

Available through PayPal
Available through PayPal

This book is a collection of photographs of birds, started by my late wife and me, whose populations have been declining over the past 30 years. Taken in western New York, the Everglades, and Greater Sacramento areas; the book was peer reviewed by an ornithologist for factual accuracy and interpretation. You can find it at my bookstore.

Full Moon Over Casco Bay (Finally)

You’ll recall that last month we had a clear evening while I awaited the rise of the full moon. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until a half hour after sunrise, due to heavy haze over the distant waters. The forecast, again, was clear, setting the stage for another try. Would I see it? Here’s what I saw about twenty minutes before the published moon rise time of 6:22 PM.

Pre-moonrise
Pre-moon rise

Then, voilà! It appeared right on schedule over Jewell Island.

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6:22 PM
IMG_5940
6:24 PM
IMG_5941
6:24 PM
IMG_5942
6:24 PM
IMG_5945
6:25 PM

The photos are not enhanced. The moon looks so large because I was using my 400mm lens. All in all it was pretty spectacular. Several people on the ferry were asking each other if they saw the full moon rise.

I waited a few minutes as I saw some clouds gathering. Though the moon had lost its red glow, it looked rather cool amidst the clouds.  Here’s one photo from that clip.

6:37 PM
6:37 PM

-From Portland and the mid-coast