Japanese iris

20 06 2018

Playing around with very dreamy and shallow depth-of-field in this shot of a Japanese iris (Iris ensata ‘Variegata’); Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm micro lens set at f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/100 sec

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Purple iris

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Eastern Amberwing dragonfly

26 06 2017

Going through my dragonfly photo archives and came across this “high key” photo of an Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (Perithemis tenera) perched on a waterlily bud. Amberwings are one of the smaller dragonflies. The depth of field is shallow on its wings, but I like this shot because the body and head is still sharp. The high key/bright sunlight works in this photo, too. Normally I try to shoot on overcast days or use a diffuser—but you can’t really use a diffuser on moving subjects! This was shot at Green Spring Gardens a couple of years ago.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Amberwing 1





Slaty Skimmer dragonfly

12 07 2016

It’s obvious I spent quite a bit of time stalking Slaty Skimmers at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens yesterday afternoon! Several of these beauties kept coming back to this same bare branch and I stayed close by to capture various angles. It was a great opportunity to experiment with varying depth-of-field, exposures and compositions.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Slaty Skimmer Radiate





Green Bottle fly

24 06 2013

Green Bottle fly (Lucilia sericata), photographed in my garden this morning. I focused on its eyes and since it is so small, the depth of field isn’t as great as I’d like it to be. He stayed so still that I should have done some stack focusing and merged the images to get a more overall in-focus shot. I would love to have had the wings more in focus, but I still like the shot. Colorful little insects, aren’t they?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Green Bottle Fly lorez





Tiny mating moths

12 05 2013

My neighbor, dear friend and frequent photography companion, Michael Powell, challenged me to get a shot of these tiny moths in my garden yesterday afternoon. They were on the edge of a leaf of one of my many Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) plants (they self-seed all over the garden). Combined (and yes, they were combined), the moths barely measured an inch in width! If you’re familiar with depth-of-field in photography and how it works, you’ll know that the closer you get to the subject (and the tinier it is), the areas in focus become extremely shallow. I was directly overhead shooting these two moths and they were visually on the same plane, but it was difficult to get a shot where almost everything was in focus. This was my best shot and I’m happy with it overall.

I still haven’t identified what kind of insects they are. Michael and I are fairly certain they are moths, but we could be swayed otherwise with a more official identifications. Takers, anyone?

UPDATE: Thanks to Jane Auty Kirkland (author/photographer of the Take a Walk Books series), for identifying these little moths. She has identified them as Orange Mint moths (Pyrausta orphisalis). Check out this link here for clarification.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mating Moths lorez





Skippers on ‘Zowie’ Zinnia

3 09 2010

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens, 9.3.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus Carota)

10 07 2010

Some of you may have noticed that my photographic style is very graphic and sometimes minimalist—clean lines, stark composition, judicious use of light, pops of color, selective depth of field, and employing varying degrees of bokeh. Well, capturing a “plant portrait” of Queen Anne’s Lace (which I have avoided until now, believe it or not), isn’t easy—and it’s a hard flower to fit into my more graphic style. It’s a very delicate flower with hundreds of little flowering brachts spread over a wide, curving surface—making it hard to control the depth of field across the entire flower. I hung in there yesterday and experimented with it—resulting in a shot that I rather like—and that still suits my photographic bent!

Queen Anne’s Lace is sometimes called Wild Carrot—in fact, the carrots we eat were once cultivated from this plant. Lacy, flat-topped clusters bloom from May through October. It is a biennial plant, meaning it lives for just two years. Although many people consider it an invasive weed, many insects benefit from this wildflower—caterpillars of the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly (right) eat the leaves, bees and other insects are drawn to the nectar, and other insects feed on the aphids that inhabit the flowers.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.