Bald Faced Hornets Are Back. I thought I saw a Bald Faced Hornet yesterday, but by the time I got back out with a macro lens it was gone. I went out again today and found one on a cedar tree trunk. It looked to be collecting wood fiber for its nest. I walked the yard looking for the hornet nest/hive, but have not found it yet.
It was a year ago that I discovered a basket ball sized Bald Faced Hornet Nest/Hive. At that time I set up a telescope so I could take a movie of the nest from a safe distance.
The Carrier Clinic in nearby Belle Mead put this wishful thinking inflatable display up. They usually have it up in December and January. It has been in the upper 90’s and even over 100°F for the last several days. Anything to think cold is helpful.
A series of images of a black fly with red eyes, and several spiders — including hundreds of newly hatched baby spiders. I may not like spiders, but they are great subjects for practicing macro images.
The heat continues, the fireflies are mostly gone and the cicadas are making noise. I really want to find and photograph the cicadas. I hear them, but have yet to find one. While sitting out on the deck I did get a chance to photograph what I believe is a chipping sparrow. Thom Hogan (and birders) would call it a LBJ (little brown job) — but I need the practice focusing and getting a sharp image with a big telephoto lens as part of my quest to get to 10,000 hours.
10,000 Hours to Become an Expert. Over the last couple of days I have seen several blogs referencing that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a subject, activity, profession, etc. Thom Hogan and Mike Hagen have related this to becoming a photography expert. Thom Hogan pointed out that 10,000 hours is 40 hours/week for 5 years. (About as long as it took me to complete my PhD studies in Organic Chemistry). This could be doubled if visualization/acquisition of the image, and post processing are separate areas of expertise. Unless totally committed (and not having a day job to pay the bills) how many folks have 10,000 hours to commit to becoming an expert in 5, 10, or 20 years? I have always taken on new challenges every few years, both professional at work and outside of work. It was about 5 years ago that I decided to take on photography. From my point of view, the technical side was easy (but still requiring a lot of work and practice). For me the artistic side is the challenge. I have had several teachers/mentors (Winston Hall, Thom Hogan, Michael Marriant) over the past 5 years. One thing I learned from Winston was to share a new image every day (and thus my “Image of the Day” postings) and then learn from the feedback. Thom Hogan also pointed out today you also need to accept and learn from failures. If you don’t like one of my images, let me know.
Back to my “Images of the Day”. Another hot summer evening in New Jersey. Each of my tomato pots on the deck took 2 gallons of water. As I was sitting out on my deck I took some images of a young fawn, a grey cowbird, and Harvey the backyard rabbit. All were taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens. Because the D3x camera has a 24 MP sensor, I was able to do significant crops and still retain significant detail. I will break this into 3 posts (one for each animal) because of the number of images.