Spring into Winter

It's not often that we have 70-plus degree days in January.  In fact, a quick search of weather history records revealed that in the last 65 years, only four times has the temperature been 70 degrees or higher in January.  Well, five times if you count today.  It's not uncommon to hit into the 50s or 60s, but 70 is a bit more rare.  This in a winter that some were predicting was going to be quite fierce.  I suppose it's not over yet, and we could still get some pretty nasty weather over the next month or so.  For now, it seems that our friends in the Northeast are getting their share and ours...

On a beautiful day like we had today, the last thing anyone wants to do is sit inside at a desk working away at a computer.  Well, unless you just really hate going outside.  My camera was calling for me to go out for a walk.  Anywhere.  To shoot anything.  Just.  Get.  Out.  Side.  As soon as the clock struck 5:00 (OK, maybe a few minutes before, but who's counting?), I was out the door with camera in hand.  Weird thing was that although it felt like a Springtime day, the sun was still going to do it's wintertime thing and set at around 5:30.  That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to shoot.  

Another challenge this time of year is that all the trees and other vegetation are still brown.  There's just not much color.  That makes it especially challenging to find interesting things to shoot.  Luckily, we have had our fair share of beautiful sunsets lately.  Sunrises too, but I'm generally still a bit groggy by that time.  So the sky is where I started.  There weren't a lot of clouds this evening, but what there were sure did light up in an array of pinks, oranges, yellows, and magentas as the sun was setting.  

Well, the sun certainly did set fast, so I decided to switch gears a little and do some macro photography.  Shooting close-ups is fun and something that can be done anywhere and most any time.  I don't own a dedicated macro lens, but do have a set of extension tubes that I got for Christmas and hadn't used much yet.  This was the perfect time.  It seemed like it should be light for a couple more hours, but I was going to make the most of this day.  Both shots below were taken with the Canon 24-105mm lens at 105mm with a 31mm extension tube attached to the lens. Set up on a tripod, I stopped the lens down to f/22 to get maximum depth of field, and let the shutter speed go where the camera wanted.  I used white poster board to get a nice clean background for the images.  

Seeds of Change

Pac-Man

The last two photos are a reminder that it is still winter here and that we have a couple more months before things start greening up and the flowers pop up.  It would seem that our nice, spring-like weather will be coming to an end soon, as the temperature for tomorrow is forecast for the 40s and a chance of snow by this weekend.  Oh well, I'm happy to have a chance to get out today and it was sure nice while it lasted.