Photos of the Week – June 12, 2020

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful responses to my last post (as well as some helpful caterpillar identifications!) I hope you’re all doing well. Hang in there and please be kind to each other.

I headed out early yesterday morning to do some data collection in the Platte River Prairies. Before I could get started, I got distracted by some nice light and clouds and ended up spending an hour wandering around with my camera before jumping into my vegetation surveys. (Nobody worry – I still managed to get all my data collected.) I’m sharing a few of the resulting photos today.

A temporary wetland after recent rains at the Platte River Prairies. Tokina 12-28mm at 12mm. ISO 500, 1/125 sec, f/18

A few of you joined an online photography class I presented last week. If you missed it but want to watch the recording, it is available now at this link. The class is targeted at people who want a better basic understanding of how cameras work (including phone cameras) and how to use that information to make better photos. I also talked about how to identify and use various kinds of light and covered some basic exposure information.

On that topic, a number of you have asked me to provide information on camera lenses and settings for the photos I share. I’m not promising to do that every time, but I did provide that info for today’s photos and I’ll try to do that more often when I have the time (and when I remember).

Shell leaf penstemon (Penstemon grandiflorus). I missed the peak flowering season for this species this year, which is disappointing, but I found a few still blooming yesterday. 105mm macro lens, ISO 500, 1/500 sec, f/11
Crab spider on yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This is a species, or at least a coloration, I don’t see very often around here. Most crab spiders on our flowers tend to be yellow, white, or green. The red markings really caught my eye. Nikon 105mm macro lens, ISO 500, 1/800 sec, f/11
June grass and sand prairie. Tokina 12-28mm lens at 12mm. ISO 500, 1/200 sec, f/22
Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) in bloom. Nikon 105mm macro. ISO500, 1/800 sec f/11
Shell leaf penstemon. Nikon 105mm lens. ISO 500, 1/320 sec f/22
Jumping spider with captured flower fly with spiderwort flower in the background. I noticed this flower fly sitting in an odd way and looked closer. That’s when I saw the little jumping spider on the other side of the leaf that was holding the fly in its jaws. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO500, 1/400 sec, f/11.
Prairie spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis). I’m really liking my new fish eye lens but I don’t feel like I’ve fully taken advantage of it yet. The experimentation process is sure fun, though. Nikon 10.5mm lens. ISO 500, 1/320 sec, f/22
Common checkered-skipper butterfly (Pergus communis) on larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum). This photo was taken a little later in the morning while I was in the middle of data collection. Some thin clouds passed overhead and I noticed this butterfly as I was walking between sampling locations. I didn’t have my tripod with me but was glad I was carrying my camera. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 500, 1/500 sec, f/11
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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

5 thoughts on “Photos of the Week – June 12, 2020

  1. I finally watched the video, and enjoyed it very much. I learned some things, of course, and also learned a thing or two from the camera settings you posted here. Thanks for both, and thanks, too, for the lovely images.

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