Plate photos and stock images

About a hundred years ago, iStock accepted me as a contributor, which was a huge honor because iStock is the BEST. (I know, because I am a graphic artist and often go to their site for images.) But the letdown was, they accepted very, very few of my images.

Today I thought I’d give it another shot, and set out to photograph some of my jewelry-making stuff to submit to them. That went OK, but… I soon got distracted with photographing the plates I’d set my jewelry on.

Now, this is what generally happens when I’m making pictures, especially still lifes – as I get more and more absorbed in what I’m photographing, I start to see my subject(s) in a different way. I started out photographing plates, but eventually I was photographing the patterns on them.

I haven’t submitted these to iStock yet, but I feel hopeful that some may be accepted because they have a lot of negative space, so they would be appropriate for ads, and because they are different than just photographs of china.

Here are a few of the images I made today, that I’m super pleased with:

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Praying Mantis Patrol

I went to Nasketucket, possibly for the last time this year, in search of praying mantises. The end of the summer/start of fall is their season; at least it’s when they are big enough to spot. The first half of my walk, I spotted only one, and was getting concerned that my 45-year-old, never-particularly-good eyes were starting to fail me.

Praying mantis

On the walk back, however, I fared much better, partly because of the direction of the sun.

Praying mantis

I should also give myself a break, because praying mantises are never easy to spot. They’re well-camouflaged, and they stay stock-still, waiting for their prey to come within snatching distance. But once you learn their body shape and where they are likely to be (and the light is right), you have an easier time picking them out from their surroundings.

But… I had an unexpected high when I spotted a female laying eggs on a branch, which I’d never witnessed before. I saw what I thought looked like a praying mantis’s eggsack, although the shape seemed a bit off. When I zoomed in, I realized why: the female was still in the process of laying her eggs!

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

As I’ve found with most of nature, it was cool but oogy. Or oogy but cool. (Twice this year I got to see a monarch caterpillar transform into a chrysalis, and it’s science-fiction oogy, but still a cool thing to see.)

Day of the damselflies

So, I haven’t posted anything in a bit because I’ve had a week off and barely went online. I was also spoiled with a week of decent weather – save for the tornado scare, of course – so I was OUTSIDE with my camera most every day. (And when I wasn’t out chasing insects around, I was in bed, catching up on SLEEP.)

Here are some photos from my week off:

Water pumping station

Turtle

Nasketucket

Bullfrog

Gidley Woods

DamselflyDamselflyChipmunkSpicebush swallowtail

Lake Street

FlowerDragonfly

Buttonwood Park

Spotted turtleSquirrel

(I’ve started using my camera’s manual focus more, and have to say, I think my images are much improved for it.)

Respite

I haven’t had anything worthwhile to post in some time now because the weather has been stubbornly uncooperative. We went from cold and rainy, to sunny and humid, straight back to cold and rainy again. During that little window, of course, I got out for some much-needed time in nature. (It was a welcome respite from slaving away on a photography book for a contest, which has been sucking up most of my time.)

My mom’s bleeding hearts seem particularly colorful this year:

Bleeding heartsBleeding heartsBleeding heartsBleeding hearts

I love the way the bleeding hearts cross the diagonal lines in the background.

Bleeding hearts

Then we went to Nasketucket and broiled in the sun for an hour or so… Only one of the three vernal pools was accessible, because of all the rain we’ve had lately, and it was lousy with frogs.

Green frogGreen frog

You can see me and Ulysse reflected in his/her eye, which I think is cool.

Green frog

Have you ever SEEN a frog this size???

Green frogGreen frogGreen frog

Now, this is a little oogy, for which I apologize, but I spotted a crab spider in a buttercup with a little bee, and when I looked at the image on my computer at home, I saw that what I thought were stripes on the spider’s body were actually legs. I could be wrong, but it looks like the spider’s young is hanging on to her/his body, which is spider behavior I wasn’t aware of. If there are any spider experts out there, I would love to know whether my theory holds water.

Crab spiderCrab spider

And, just to help you shake off the willies, here are some pretty flowers:

PoppiesPoppiesRiver

Spring Pt 2

There is a spot in the woods where, back in the ’40s, rows and rows of daffodils were planted for people to enjoy. This “secret” got out last year in the local newspaper, and today troops of people were swarming (but hopefully not trampling) on the daffodils on the hill, which is not my scene. Instead I pulled the car over at a place I know, where at host of dazzling daffodils grow along a stretch of stone wall, and had a field day all by myself. ;)

DaffodilsDaffodilsDaffodils

DaffodilsDaffodilsDaffodils

DaffodilsDaffodils

Later, I was in the area for a different purpose and noticed more daffodils randomly planted in trailing lines in someone’s yard and of course had to pull over for more pics…

DaffodilsDaffodils