Photo Of The Day: Pride of Mobile

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From Wilmington to Raleigh and beyond, Azaleas are at or near their prime across North Carolina right now.  Driving across the state, one gets the impression that every homestead has some sort of azalea blooming somewhere on their property.  Driving down east, I passed an old abandoned tenant house on its last legs and there in the front yard, pink azalea blooms were peeking through the weeds.

About the shot.  The azalea mavens tell me these scarlet red blooms are on an old variety called “Pride of Mobile” that dates from the late 60’s.  “It exudes southern charm”, they said and who am I to argue.  As I have said before, the main problem with this time of the year in North Carolina, aside from the seemingly constant rain, is the wind.  It never stops particularly here on the coast.  As soon as I arrived, I dialed in Shutter Priority on my trusty Nikon D7100.  Of course the camera is already obsolete – Nikon, as usual, is already  out with the D7200 which is a tad faster with a few other bells and whistles but with only just over 18 thousand snaps on the D7100’s  shutter which is rated at 150,000,  its hard to justify trading up.

As for the shot, I made four versions all with varying light. This one with soft, warm light, seemed to fit the azalea maven’s “Southern Charm” description.  Here are the particulars: 170 mm, shutter speed:1/250, enough to stall the wind, f/5.6 gave me the background blur I was looking for. ISO at 400,  Auto White Balance.  The 7100 excels at Auto White Balance I think.  Matrix metering. The camera rates at 24 mp so this shot yielded a nice large print for the azalea mavens who were very pleased.

The warmer weather has me juiced up for a day trip to the coast before the tourists clog up the beach road.  Either the Outer Banks or more likely, the Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle etc,  which is a bit closer.  I must have 10 thousand beach and coast shots but what can you do.  It’s an itch that has to be scratched. Watch this space!  Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.

Photo Of The Day: Dogwoods In The Wild

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I spent the better part of a day in a section of the farm I call Dogwood Dell.  About a dozen wild Dogwoods thrive there under towering Lob Lolly Pines feeding on the acid earth which is also home to ancient Azaleas and Camellias.  The late afternoon sun finds its way into the Dell and I’ve found that late afternoon is the best time for shooting.  This view was taken into the sun using a Nikon D800E camera with a 24-120 mm f/4 lens which pretty much lives on the camera.  I think it a good marriage.  I usually take several shots of scenes like this running through different ranges of ISO.   On this one, I settled on an ISO of 400. I found the soft light on the fragile blooms and the warmer light in the bokeh rather pleasing.  I put this shot on my Fine Art America site (click on John Harding Art Prints in the upper right)  and immediately got several dozen hits and one sale of a rather large print so it was a day well spent.  Have a great Sunday everybody and thanks for the look.

 

Photo Of The Day: Cherry Blossoms

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Cherry Blossoms here on the farm on a very windy day.  Given the conditions, I had little choice but to use Shutter Priority Mode for this shot.  I dialed up the shutter speed to either 1/400 or 1/500 for this shot which was enough to grab these blowing blooms with a reasonable degree of sharpness. Waiting another day was not an option. We’re expecting a very hard freeze tonight.  The weather people are evening forecasting a good chance of snow flurries overnight. April first is our average last day for a hard freeze here on the coast so I suspect, I hope, this will be winter’s last stand.  It’s not leaving without a fight.  Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.

Photo Of The Day: First Quarter

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These low hanging clouds rolled in off the ocean just in time this morning to catch the sun’s rays from below the horizon. Blazing, brilliant red and cross my throat and hope to choke I have not messed with the saturation in post.  Quite a show with the first quarter moon hanging up in the clear blue above.  Every morning for the past few days has been an extravaganza of color.  It’s worth getting up for.   Shot this with a D800E and a 24 mm lens.  No filters.   Have a great week ahead everybody and thanks for the look.

Photo Of The Day: Pink Clouds

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It’s the time of year when we really get the best pre-dawn skies.  Probably something to do with the clouds, the warmer air and the cold ground or vice versa.  This one has the look of an artist who has dabbed pink highlights on the gray clouds that had moved in from the ocean to the east. Of course the sky is the star of the show.  There’s nothing but the stubble of last year’s cotton crop on the ground.  When it looks like this though, the sky is enough I think.  Have a great weekend everybody and thanks for the look.

Nikon D600/ 35mm lens.