Category Archives: Nature

Winners (and runners up) in the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards.

From top: a camouflaged owl by Shari McCollough; two Great Blue Herons by Melissa Rowell; Kevin Ebi’s shot of a Bald eagle and a fox battling for possession of a rabbit (see how it all turned out here) and the Grand Prize Winner – a red-winged blackbird ‘blowing smoke rings’ by Katherine Swoboda, who explains:

I visit this park near my home to photograph blackbirds on cold mornings, often aiming to capture the “smoke rings” that form from their breath as they sing out. On this occasion, I arrived early on a frigid day and heard the cry of the blackbirds all around the boardwalk. This particular bird was very vociferous, singing long and hard. I looked to set it against the dark background of the forest, shooting to the east as the sun rose over the trees, backlighting the vapour.

In fairness…

kottke

The symbiotic relationship between nectar-harvesting insects and blooming flowers, explored in sumptuous high definition by filmmaker and colour artist Thomas Blanchard.

The insects were shot in 8K resolution and the blooming flowers are made up of over 5,000 high-definition photographs so full screen for best effect.

laughingsquid

Stitched Panorama

Alien flora? Well that depends on where you’re from. To wit:

Found on the Canary Island of Tenerife in the Teide National Park, red tajinastes are flowering plants that grow to a height of up to 3 metres. Among the rocks of the volcanic terrain, tajinastes bloom in spring and early summer and then die after a week or so as their seeds mature. A species known as Echium wildpretii, the terrestrial life forms were individually lit by flashlight during the wide-angle exposures.

(Image: Daniel Lopez (El Cielo de Canarias)

apod

(…all the way)

Not quite.

Actually, an ice halo photographed over Dublin, Ohio, in 2009. To wit:

The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc lies parallel to the horizon. For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontal arcs are quite unusual to see.

(Image:Todd Sladoje)

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