Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas

The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

One of the sights I most enjoy seeing at Cape Agulhas is the old lighthouse that presides over the place. I don't know if it is still functioning, but I would assume it is based on how good the lamp appears.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cape Agulhas coastline

Cape Agulhas coastline, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another landscape from the southernmost point of South Africa and the African continent. I enjoy processing digital images in black and white when the scenery offers some dramatic lighting or elements.

I use Silver Efex Pro for my black and white conversions. In this image I chose an ISO 50 film equivalent, adjusted the filters, and did some dodge and burn.

One could almost imagine a mountain range if there weren't some size scale indicators in the image.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

I'm back to processing images from my South Africa trip (Sept-Oct 2010). This is from Oct 13, 2010 at the southern tip of Africa. I always enjoy visiting this place. The coastline is so rugged and chock full of interesting rocks and seascapes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Clipper Butterfly

Clipper Butterfly, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another butterfly from the Florida Museum of Natural History exhibit, "Butterfly Rainforest." I was using my Canon 24-105 f4.0/L lens on this particular day. It's good walkabout lens, but I would have rather had my 70-200 mm or 100 mm macro.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hecale Longwing Butterfly

Hecale Longwing Butterfly, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Here's another butterfly from my March trip to Florida.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tree Nymph

Tree Nymph, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

I was contacted this week by NSF (National Science Foundation) with a request to provide some photos for a press release on a program they have recently funded on collections digitization (not my grant, unfortunately). I sent a few "people in action" images, and then asked if they'd like some butterfly exhibit ones as well. They did want those, too, so I revisited my unprocessed photo files. It's back to butterflies for the next several days since I've just realized I processed only a few of those pictures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

This is one of the prettiest spots on the OSU campus - especially in mid-spring. I took this photo April 29, 2011. It seems as if this was the one day of spring we had this season. It's not been a particularly nice spring weather-wise. Oh well, we have a long hot and muggy summer to look forward to . . .

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Most of the time when one is doing bird photography, the whole bird is the object of the exercise. I took this photo at Greenlawn cemetery, and I was more intrigued by the combination of colors, which included the bright red of the cardinal.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Civil War cemetery

Civil War cemetery, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

This is a view of part of the Civil War cemetery at Greenlawn. There are three members of the Rain family buried side-by-side near the top of the rise (headstones are white-washed). Today is Monday, and it's raining (actually thunderstorming). The prediction is for another week of steady rain, and I'm really, really wishing it would let up so that we could have a bit of real spring before the hot, humid summer arrives. Sigh.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Dogwood, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

I always love to see the dogwoods in bloom in early May. This photo was taken at Greenlawn Cemetery the first weekend of May. I was using my 100-400 mm F4.0/5.6 L lens on my Canon 7D. I'm always amazed when a flower picture goes so brilliantly with that lens.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chestnut-sided warbler

Chestnut-sided warbler, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another bird seen at Magee Marsh on May 8, 2011. I love the song of this species. It's mnemonic is, "Pleased, pleased, pleased to meet you!" I've always thought that was very neighborly.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tesserae serai

Tesserae serai, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.
I finally have invested in some home studio gear (backdrop kit, extra strobe, umbrella and stand for my first purchases). I gave it a tryout last night to photograph my latest carved turning. I had one strobe up high and to the left, reflected off an umbrella. A second strobe was placed for fill slightly in front and to the left, at the same level as the object. Comments on my first studio attempt will be greatly appreciated. Comments on the sculpture are also welcomed. Thanks.

My inspiration for this carved turning comes from the microscopic landscape of seed coats. The outer cellular wall of some seeds collapse during drying, which forms a mosaic of three dimensional spaces. The name I selected loosely translates to 'mosaic palace.'

Material: spalted maple
Turned, carved, and bleached.

10.5 X 7.5 inches.

This will be on display at the North Carolina Arboretum June - September 2011. The exhibit is "The Fine Art of Wood: an international invitational exhibit of woodturning."

Progress pics of this piece being made are posted HERE (emerging patterns project).

Update:  I just did another photo shoot, this time to capture the cellular pattern of the shadows.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Contemplating a bokeh world

Contemplating a bokeh world, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.
We've had an extremely wet spring this year with low temps breaking the records. According to the weather service the high temps for this month have been the lowest on record.

Low temperatures combined with high humidity and frequent rainfall have resulted in spectacular dewdrops on the grass each morning. I took this photo of a brown thrasher at Greenlawn Cemetery.  It almost looks as if its contemplating on whether to walk through all that dew.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making a ladle

Lathe work, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.
This is another image from Michael Hosaluk's demonstration for the Central Ohio Woodturners on May 14, 2011. In this image he is finishing the handle of the ladle he is turning.

Here is the sequence of photos I processed for this project:

The ladle blank had about a 4X4 inch section for the bowl of the ladle and a 2X2 inch section for the handle (I didn't measure it, but that's close to what it was). It was mounted between centers (using a safety center).  the handle was trued and the bowl part of the lathe was shaped into a sphere.

A spindle roughing gouge was used to shape the handle.

 Michael turned wet elm for this ladle.  The orientation of the grain was parallel to the ways of the bed.

After shaping the handle, Michael turned a series of beads toward the end of the handle.

The knobs on each end are removed with a Japanese hand saw.  

This is the jam chuck that will be used to hold the ladle for turning the bowl.

The jam chuck has to be sized to fit the sphere of the ladle.

Checking for fit.

Michael used one of his hook tools to open up the interior of the jam chuck to fit the sphere.  The jam chuck is an end-grain turning, so the hook tool is perfect for this step.  The curve of the hook has a profile similar to a bowl gouge, and that's the edge that makes the cut.

Once the sphere fits the jam chuck it is seated securely with a strong whack from a heavy tool handle.  In this case, it is one of Michael's design.

Audience reaction.

 The handle is angled slightly toward the tool rest, which is positioned in such a way that there is plenty of clearance from the handle that is swinging around.  The speed is moderate.  I set my camera shutter speed to record some of the arc, which gives the illusion of more speed than is actually used here.

Hollowing the ladle is akin to turning a small bowl, except for the handle swinging around.

First the high spot of the sphere is taken down to an appropriate height to make a bowl that is proportional to the position of the handle.

Once the bowl height is established, it is hollowed using a bowl gouge.

I posted a larger version of this portrait a few days ago, but it's part of the sequence, so here it is again.

Michael is using a double ended bowl gouge.  One end has a basic fingernail grind.  The other end has a more oblique angle.  The fingernail grind is good for working the sides, and the oblique end is for turning the bottom of the bowl.

You can see the angle of the gouge used for cleaning up the bottom of the bowl.

Final cuts being made.  

Checking for depth.

To remove the ladle from the jam chuck, a bowl gouge is slid into the slot to leverage out the turning

The finished ladle.

Additional images from Michael Hosaluk's visit to the Central Ohio Woodturners can be found on my Facebook page: HERE

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another bird seen at Metzger Marsh on May 8, 2011.

As we were patiently waiting to see if the Tricolored heron was still in the area, we kept hearing the rustling in the grass and rees of this shy bird flitting about. After a very long wait for the heron, which we did eventually see, the swamp sparrow finally came out to see if we were still hanging around. I had been following the bird's movement in the underbrush, just hoping that it would continue into the small gap between the grass and the nearest shrub. This was my lucky capture of it on my camera sensor.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Leave my nest alone!

Leave my nest alone!, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another pic from our birding trip from a week ago. We were on our way to Magee Marsh, but saw some birders standing next to a field. They had spotted American Pipits and Horned Larks from atop a berm next to the field.

As we started up the berm, one of our friends nearly stepped on this killdeer's nest. She immediately went into her "I've a broken wing and will make an easy meal - follow me!" routine. After a few minutes of us just standing still watching her, she returned to the nest and scolded us for a bit. She finally did settle back down onto the eggs as we were leaving.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Michael Hosaluk

Michael Hosaluk, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.
Central Ohio Woodturners is hosting Michael Hosaluk for his second visit to our club. Yesterday I attended the all-day demonstration he did. Of course, I had to do photography whilst there. This is my favorite image from yesterday - a portrait of Mike at work. He was demonstrating how to turn a ladle.
First he puts a block of wood between centers that has the general shape of a huge hammer. He turns the sphere shape on one end and then the handle.

The next step is to put the sphere into a special jam chuck so that the bowl of the ladle can be turned. With the way the ladle is oriented, the handle swings around. 

This image shows the arc of the handle as it comes around. The streaks are the paths of the beads Mike turned on the end of the handle.

I'm posting more images in a Facebook album.  You can see the pics by clicking HERE.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Black-throated green warbler

Black-throated green, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Spotted from the boardwalk at Magee Marsh last weekend. I love warbler season!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tricolored heron

Tricolored heron, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

This is the Tricolored heron that has been spotted up at Metzger Marsh on the south shore of Lake Eerie.  It's a rare find for Ohio, which meant that it drew the birders in major flocks - complete with binoculars, huge camera lenses, and better beamer flash accessories.  I was lucky to see this after all the paparazzi gave up and left.  It was even nicer that it was Mother's Day. . .

Tricolored herons are small!

You can see how small this beautiful heron is when you compare it to a Canada goose.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Prothonotary warbler

Prothonotary warbler, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Another picture from last weekend at Magee Marsh. This is a male Prothonotary warbler. He was foraging for spiders and was active very close to the boardwalk. He was putting on quite a show and totally ignored all the camera flashes that were going off. Birders can sure get into a photo frenzy when a beautiful bird plops right in front of them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lily pads at Magee Marsh

Lily pads at Magee Marsh, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

The pond at Magee Marsh looks a bit scummy at first glance, but it has a lot of charm when you take the time to examine the aquatic plants and animals that are living there.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Basking in the sun

Basking in the sun, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

At the visitors center at Magee Marsh there is a colony of barn swallows nesting under the eaves and porches of the building. These birds are very used to having people walk in and out of the building and around the walkways. Thus, it's easy to photograph them as they are soaking up some rays.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Magee Marsh

Magee Marsh, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Mother's Day this year was spent sans kids and dogs, but with Steve at Magee Marsh. We went up with some friends, stayed at a nice B&B in Fremont, and had a great day of birding at Magee Marsh and Metzger Marsh. The highlight of the day was a look at a tricolored heron at Metzger Marsh.

This is a view of the boardwalk from the parking lot side of the pond. Most of the boardwalk was wall-to-wall people, but this stretch was sparse. I think it's because it was a bit warm in the sun there.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Dogwood in bloom

Dogwood in bloom, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Yesterday Steve and I went to Greenlawn cemetery to do a bit of birding. We saw a few warblers: American Redstart, Chestnut-sided warbler, Black and White Warbler and a Blackburnian warbler along with a lot of the resident birds who hang out around the pit and the ravine. We had a great look at some thrushes and a veery, as well.

I can't help but take photos of the plants in bloom whilst birding, so here's one of a dogwood that was blooming along the ravine.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mertensia virginica

Mertensia virginica, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

Yes, I can't get enough of these beautiful spring flowers that are all over my front garden.

Friday, May 06, 2011


Lilacs, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

I have several old lilac bushes lining the driveway at my house. I really need to cut them back this year after flowering has finished. I love the scent that flows off these blooms. I usually get a good whiff as I walk from the garage to the back gate when I get home from work. These offer a natural pick-me-up - especially after a particularly challenging day in the lab or classroom.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A bit of birding excitement for the noon hour

A rare Kirtland's warbler was spotted on west campus this morning by a student walking along Kinnear Road on his way to main campus.  A good ear alerted him that there was a Kirtland's warbler flitting about on the 900 block of Kinnear road.  He put the word out and it didn't take long for birders to flock to the area to get a good look at this very rare bird.

Kirtland's warblers are amongst the rarest species in North America, and one can usually only see it in a very small area of northern Michigan.  It was quite nice for this singing male to pay our campus a visit.  This is a life bird for my list, and very welcome, indeed.