The Blues

The Blues
by Kristel Schneider

‘Blues’, the butterfly is not blue all over and some are not even blue at all.
They are from the Lycaenidae family and there are many different varieties.
I thought that to identifying mushrooms was a challenge but that was before I had tried  to find the right variety of the  Blues on my images. My best guess was the Chalkhill – Blue Butterfly (Lysandra-coridon) and  Brown Argus – Blue Butterfly (Aricia agestis).

As a photographer you have to know the species you capture and for every image you try to identify the insect. Sometimes it is a real struggle to find the exact name because not all the insects books are expansive and sometimes even the internet does not provide you with the right identification.

The images I took for this post come from an area with a lot of chalk. Knowing  this kind of information about the  location you are shooting is handy for your identification afterwards.

The four images were taken on two different locations and on different days.
With the first two images I had a slightly overcast sky (so not bat for some nice light in the late afternoon). For the last two the weather was bright and sunny so I had to wait till sunset to get some nice warm light.

Color Transformation

Color Transformation
by Kristel Schneider

This weekend I met, for the first time the members of  Massifs Centraux (a collective from four local Photographers). Together we explored an area nearby the Mont-Dore (Auvergne -France), Col de Guéry. Although the calender tells us we are in Spring, the weather is reacting differently with colder temperatures.  Between rain showers and thunderstorms I  was able  to take some images.

The Col de Guéry , is located in a regional nature park, Volcans d’Auvergne.
Due to the altitude (1268) and the colder Spring temperatures you can see that the tree tops in the Col de Guéry show a different color pallet then in lower parts of the Auvergne, where you already can see the different tints of green.
The leaf buds in the valley are still closed and the colors are gradually transforming from a  nice red pastel color glow to different tints of green. But before we can see the green leafs we still  have to wait a couple more weeks.

Images are taken with Canon 5DMII, 24-105 MM  and Canon 300 L mm.

Autumn Photography

Autumn Photography
by Kristel Schneider

Autumn, one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. A season full with colors and atmosphere .

Every year the Autumn season makes a photographer’s heart go faster and every year is different. This year the season was late, the climate was too warm to bring out the nice autumn colors on the trees. But when the trees finally are at their best, photographers have to act quick because the top season does not last long. Rain and wind can destroy the scenery overnight.  The sun is not always required for Autumn photography an overcast day and mist are great weather conditions to get these colors popup.

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TIPS for successful Autumn Photography:
– go out even if the weather is cloudy and grey
– get up early to get the first light even in combination with mist.
– use a polarization filter, the colors  get more intense and the filter is also very useful for
wet leaves reflection .
– look at your white balance settings, try out different modes.
– when taking photos of mushrooms look at your background to create a nice color

Even the late Autumn colors (red/brown tints) are nice to capture in landscape photography. So although this year may not have been the top Autumn season, even now,  in November, it is still nice to go out and enjoy some mushrooms and  the late season colors.

New autumn workshop/tour dates available for 2012.

Cascade Besse-en -Chandesse

Waterfall nearby Besse-en -Chandesse
by Kristel Schneider

Because of the overcast day the light was perfect to capture some nice forest landscapes and with the cascade in the scene  the day was not a total disappointment for me – Kristel Schneider 

This year the autumn season is slow in the sense of the coloring of the leaves and the lack of mushrooms. The temperature is too warm and there is not enough rain. Many of you who are not in the (nature) photography field would say, we have a great after summer season. But normally autumn is  THE TIME of the year when you can find me outside in the woods and getting up early to capture  the first sunlight over the misty mountains.

This week, together with a friend, I  had planned a trip to the Massif du Sancy.  Meteo France had predicted a nice morning.

The alarm clock had been set early and before sunrise we arrived at our spot and waited for the nice sunlight to arrive. Luckily we had some nice hot coffee to warm us up and …..later on to swallow our disappointment away, because the sun decided to stay behind the clouds that day. This kind of weather situation is something a nature photographer often has to deal with. For that day no nice sun rise mountain images.

We changed our plans and headed to a local cascade, nearby Besse en Chandesse. Because of the overcast day the light was perfect to capture some nice forest landscapes and with the cascade in the scene for me the day was not a total disappointment for me.

Images were taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II | EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM + Lee ND filter + natural light+ tripod.

The ‘old box’

In the past everybody had these old shoe boxes with loads of paper images or even  original negatives in them. Always fun to sit on the old attic floor and look through the entire stack of old photos. Nowadays you have a hard- disk (s) full of RAW images, less romantic but also fun to look at. Sometimes you find an image that, back then, you were not totally sure about. And now, after not seeing it for years, you think ‘hey this is not a bad image !’.

As for the image I published below, I remember the day when I took it. Then I had loved the different textures and the nice colour pallet. But back home I had been disappointed with the result and it never landed in my ‘to publish box’ till a couple of days ago.

Sometimes it is good to take some distance from your work and let time pass before you actually work on them and decide if this is a keeper or is ready for the trash bin.

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