Araneus diadematus is commonly called the European garden spider, diadem spider, orangie, cross spider, and crowned orb weaver (Gartenkreuzspinne) with her prey.
it is a beneficial insect harmless to humans.
Last week, I found a couple of images taken right before Christmas on the memory card of my camera.
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Sometimes you have to think out of the box. Until recently, I won’t have gotten the idea of showing an insect in monochrome. But, I stumbled upon an image a friend of mine posted on FB: a dragonfly. I liked that image very much and tried it with one of my own images.
So, what do you think? I’m curious about getting your opinion. What do you think?
10 years ago, overnight we got a lot of snow. About half a meter in just a couple of hours. For years we didn’t get that much of snow. Since then, we got some snow, but not that much and not in that short amount of time. When I’m remembering correctly, there were even years without any snow. In a past post, I wrote a bit more about the environmental conditions for my region. You can find it here.
The landscape looks very nice when covered with (freshly fallen) snow, but on the streets, the snow is very dangerous. I makes the streets slippery, so you can fall down easily and the stopping distance of vehicles becomes much longer.
The above macro image shows a hover-fly on an Echinacea blossom. It’s taken by using a 105mm macro lens attached to a camera with an APS-C sized sensor in the early evening hours. Afterwards it’s developed from raw by using Luminar 2018.
Insects are very quickly moving animals. Additionally, their movements are nearly unpredictable. Even when sitting on blossoms for having a meal, they are constantly moving around. So, you have to use very short shutter-speeds when taking photographs beside a quick auto-focus. When using a macro lens for taking photos from small or tiny things like insects, you have to use a small aperture (= high number) to get images that are sharp for more than a tiny area. You know, the size of the field of depth depends on the focal length and the f-stop as well as the distance between your lens and the subject: the smaller the aperture, the bigger the field of depth and the longer the focal length the smaller the field of depth.
Both of these have an impact on the resulting image: a short shutter-speed only lets the light reach the sensor for a very short moment, while the small aperture limits the amount of light. So, what can we do to get properly exposed images? Right, we must increase the ISO, the sensitivity of the sensor. But, increasing the sensitivity also has a con: the digital noise in the image also increases and the fine structures might vanish. You might ask, why do I tell you all this technical stuff.
The reason is, nobody wants to look at noisy images with no structures. So, you have to use a software for developing your images, which is capable of eliminating the noise but preserves the structures.
In this image I still have all the structures: the fine hairs, the structures of the facet-eyes and the pollens. I also got rid of the noise from the background. So, Luminar did a great job again.
You can download a free demo (fully functional for 14 days) and test it on your own computer with you own images.
(this post contains affiliate links)
You know, I’m living in the northern hemisphere. And you also know, it’s currently winter here and it will last about 6-8 weeks until the first snowdrops or crocuses will pop up. So, why do I post an image with a blooming plant?
It’s a Christmas rose, also known as snow rose. It’s called that name, because its blooming time is around Christmas. This plant stands in our front garden and is blooming every year. A few years ago, my wife planted two small Christmas roses, side by side in our front garden. Although, both looked the same, one of them seemed to be weaker than the other and developed poorly over time. Unfortunately, it vanished some time ago. The other one, instead, developed fantastic. Each year it has more blossoms than in the year before. It’s always a pleasure to see the fresh blossoms either between the other, seemingly death, plants or among snow (when we have some).
I took the image on December 30th at noon. That’s usually a bad time for taking photographs because of the bad quality of light at (around) noon. But, in winter, when the sun is low above the horizon, she gives a beautiful, warm and soft light even around noon. Days are short now. Winter solstice or midwinter was last week. Despite the days become longer now agin, they are still short. Sunrise is late and sunset early. Thus, fresh green or fresh blossom are very welcomed.
This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.
I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.
Not, literally! But, you know, every now and then I told you, that in my area you can find the city with the third biggest number of Japanese inhabitants, outside of Japan. Only in London and Paris there are living more people from Japan.
On Thursdays we have had a public holiday and fantastic weather (one of the two days of summer 🙂 – the other one was Friday – grin ). All jokes aside. I still hope for more hot days this summer. Although a thunderstorm ended the current summerly period Friday night. For next week we are supposed to get only 15-20°C, just like last week, before the temperature jumped to 28-36°C on Thursday.
Nevertheless, I want to tell you about the Japanese garden I visited. It’s built about 100 years ago as a part of a huge private park. An industrial entrepreneur has had a mansion with these park. After a visit in Japan, he felt in love with the Japanese garden culture and decided to set up his own Japanese garden. He invited garden architects from Japan to create the garden for him.
Although his company grew enormously because of their success in the chemical sector , the park still exists. Currently the park’s size is about 22 hectare (= 220.000 m²) and 15.000 m² of this park are formed to be the Japanese garden. On weekends this park (and the garden) are visited by many people. There’s no entrance fee. The company still cares for the park. It’s located directly beside their headquarter. So, it’s a slight problem to get a free parking slot on weekdays, because the employees need the room for their cars. While the park is always open to the public, the Japanese garden has restricted opening hours and is always guarded.