Where do the dragons go when they don’t want to be seen?
Beats me, or else I would have seen some recently…
West Michigan’s unusual dry spell finally broke this last week. I visited the Allegan Forest on Sunday and again on Tuesday, both days after heavy local rains. It’s amazing how quickly the plants in the sandy soil of the pine barrens quickly turn from brown to green. The marsh I’ve been visiting off 48th street has progressed from dried, cracked mud, to muddy mud, to gooey muddy mud. Good sign for all the moisture loving creatures there.
But on both days, no dragonflies were to be found. A few spicebush and red spotted purple butterflies flitted about. So far this year, I’ve seen no Karner Blues, and it’s it’s likely I won’t see any this summer at all.
So I set my sights on landscape photography. In particular, I did some more digital infrared work using the *ist-d and Hoya RM90 filter. It seems that some of the best results are to be had on high overcast days. The few cool and dry, crystal clear days when I shot digital IR seemed to result in an undue amount of sensor flare and other problems.
The first image shown here was shot laast week, using the Pentax *ist-D and an IR filter. It is from the old farmstead off 48th street.
The second image was shot last August from a similar vantage point as this shot, which was taken using Maco 120 format IR film in the trusty Pentax 6x7. Perosnally, I like the digital IR effect better – and while the digital shot required a fairly long exposure, it was not much longer than that required by the rather slow B&W film.
I also experimented with more ‘time and motion studies.’ These are 25 – 100 multiple exposure shots, building up a composite of light on the negative that bears no resemblance to the actual subjects shot. I realized that the Pentax Mz-S, with its capacity for unlimited multiple exposures, was the perfect tool for this technique. No results to show, but the studies continue.
My next opportunity to visit the forest is three weeks out. That’s disappointing, since a lot can happen in three weeks. But I’ve managed to carve out a few hours this Friday to visit the McLInden Trails, so with luck, a dragon or two might appear here in the near future.