A crazy time of year: Spring photography

White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys, male
A male White-crowned Sparrow belts it out during a break on his way to the arctic.
Nikon D300 & 600mm f/4, f/6.3 @ 1/320, ISO 500

May is way too short! Wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies, silk moths, frogs, toads, turtles, salamanders and snakes, songbird, shorebird and raptor migration……. Many species like some salamanders can only be found for a few brief days during reproduction activities. Spring ephemerals like bloodroot and trout lilies bloom quickly and wither away for another year. Spring bird migration moves much faster than in the fall. There’s no time to waste when competing for mates and the best nest locations. There’s so much going on that one cannot possibly see it all, let alone photograph it.

The huge leaves and bizarre flowers of skunk cabbage provide endless studies in form and texture.
Nikon D300 & Sigma 180mm f/3.5, f/14 @ 1/8, ISO 200

It’s a time of year when I suffer extreme ADHD and anxiety over my next move. Will a cold front at 4 AM cause a fallout of neotropical migrants? Is the wind too strong for flower photography? Are there still mergansers at Lexington harbor? Is the bloodroot done blooming at Murphy Lake?  I wish all of these events lasted a little bit longer.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea, male
An inquisitive male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Tawas Point.
Nikon D300 & 300mm f/2.8 + TC20eII, f/7.1 @ 1/500, ISO 800

Whatever angst these decisions and fleeting moments cause me, I know I won’t see any of it sitting inside the house. There’s always something interesting and beautiful outside. It’s just a matter of finding it.

Sharp-lobed Hepatica, Hepatica nobilis acuta
Among the earliest flowers, Round-lobed Hepaticas emerge next to a birch log.
Nikon D300 & 105mm f/4 +PB-4 bellows, f/16 @ 1/40, ISO 200

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Myrtle, Setophaga coronata, male
One of the first warblers of the spring, a male Yellow-rumped.
Nikon D300 & 600mm f/4 + TC14e, f/8 & 1/320, ISO 640

A crab spider waits for pollinators on a mycoplasma-infected trillium.
Nikon D300 & Sigma 180mm f/3.4 + 1.4x converter, f/14 @ 1/13, ISO 320

Get out there now and enjoy it before it’s over!

If you would like to learn more about making beautiful images that capture the seasons’ cycle, join me at my May 11th class at Procam or my Northern Lake Huron wildflower workshop.


~ by David Stimac on May 2, 2013.

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