Recent Photo Shoots – Frustration and Unintended Subject Matter

© jmillerphoto.com - American Bullfrog

The last week or so of shooting has been frustrating.  First off, it has been blazing hot in this neck of the woods.  I carry a 1.5 liter insulated container with me for my summer beverage of choice (iced tea) and more than once on recent trips I have run that thing dry and tapped into my reserve of bottled waters to stay hydrated.

And second, what I’ve gone out looking for has been rarely what I have come back with.

This summer has been the summer of the dragonfly.  I’m really pleased with the images that I am making and I’m enjoying the variety that the greater Dayton/Miami Valley is presenting me.

However, the last two trips looking for dragonflies have been, by and large, busts.

Trip 1 was out to Spring Valley Wildlife Area.  It had been about a month since I had been out there and I had hoped to get out onto the boardwalk to make some images.  Unfortunately, when I got out there the boardwalk was closed.  I’ve been meaning to call the park folks out there to find out why it was closed, but other priorities have kept me from doing so.  Maybe I need to do that tomorrow… I did walk around the lake at Spring Valley and made a few images, but nothing special.

Trip 2 was to Germantown Metropark.  It is (I think) the furthest west of the Five Rivers Metropark system parks.  I went again in search of dragonflies.  I went to the Nature Center side of the park to start with.  I was there relatively early and it was reasonably cool so I hiked a couple of the trails in search of Odonata.  It was a great hike, but very little dragon action.  Most of it was time of day.  I eventually did find a pond that had a few dragons, but the numbers were pretty low and the angles were not good.  I did find a few photogenic amphibians (one of which is pictured above), and a bunch of fungi on the hike.  But it was not the best shooting I’ve had recently.

I eventually made my way to the other side of the river where I found a really good dragonfly pond.  For amount of surface area it was by far the best dragonfly pond I’ve found.  7 different species, to include a couple of Life Listers (Black Saddlebags and Calico Pennant).  Awesome spot, right?  Cue the thunder and lightning, followed by the stream of expletives as the rain started to fall.

It was not all doom, gloom, and wet gear.  I made three images in particular I was really happy with.  First was of the American Bullfrog posted above.  This was at the pond on the Nature Center side of Germantown Metropark.  Another was a Life List add of a Clouded Sulphur butterfly.  That was an outstanding shot that I will be printing at some point this week in hopes of adding it to my gallery.  And the third was an overhead shot of an Eastern Amberwing that, in spite of the small size of the insect, came out crystal clear.

So it hasn’t been bad shooting and my list of images to work as the temperatures cool and the weather becomes less hospitable continues to grow.  I’m hoping to get proofs of a couple of these images printed this week and maybe a new image or two will appear online.

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~ by Jim Miller on Wednesday, 18 August 2010.

5 Responses to “Recent Photo Shoots – Frustration and Unintended Subject Matter”

  1. So goes the life of a photographer. I get it! Great opening shot, though.

    • Thanks. Indeed, it is the life of the photographer. But as I said to the guy fishing on that second pond as we were both scurrying back to our vehicles in hopes of not becoming human lightning rods, fishing and photography are a lot of like. A bad day doing either of those is often better than a good day doing just about anything else.

  2. Your pictures are gorgeous – so clear, and from perfect angles! The stories really add a great element to the posts, I understand the frustration when the weather doesn’t cooperate…

  3. Nice shot of the bull frog, Jim.

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