Trying to pay attention…


My macro lens is one of my favorites because with its use I have permission to stare at others. I can spend time intimately observing the tiny, abundant insect communities that most often are ignored. Sometimes I am surprised when my camera captures details and subjects that were unnoticed by me. This image is a prime example of such recorded evidence. I was focused on the Comma butterfly. I saw the one fly above the butterfly. I did not see the one below. And I absolutely did not realize the “spots” on the adjacent leaf were alive!

So much goes on around us all the time that is oblivious to us. Such findings make me keenly aware that my ability to see the world and make sense of it continually needs practice. This is true with people as well as nature.

Comma butterfly with others of the community. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Patches of blue…


Chicory and Bee. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The blue blooms of Chicory easily draw attention against the neutral grays of concrete. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.

Concrete barrier along Lake Michigan serves as a flood wall and walking path in Lincoln Park. Chicory blooms appear frequently along side this pathway. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Wandering attention…


Driftwood resting temporarily on the shore. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Sunrise is blocked by thick clouds while father and son share quality time. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Rules can be broken. Artists, including photographers, know that light objects draw the most attention in a scene. Careful composition makes sure that subjects are either the lightest item in a scene or they are placed inside the lightest area to insure the viewer clearly knows who/what is most important. These two images break that rule; both images have the subject very dark with lighter areas away from the subject.

The effect of placing the subject outside the brightest area forces the viewer to look at the entire image. Eyes will wander through the image and finally rest on the dark subject. These both are complicated scenes, with multiple interest areas to be viewed and enjoyed. Despite these complicated scenes, the primary subject in each image is clearly evident.

Subtle reminders…


The fuzzy seed heads are Goldenrod, whose flowers were a short while ago bright golden yellow. The background is the golden flowers of Jerusalem Artichoke, unintentionally reminding us of the recent blaze that was Goldenrod.

Goldenrod in seed, Lincoln Park, Chicago. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The long lens allowed for a short depth of field making the Goldenrod in focus and the background Jerusalem Artichoke to fade in detail. Despite the strong yellow color in a large portion of the image, the contrast in focus makes it clear to the viewer that the attention belongs to the seed heads in this image.

Attention please…


Photographing the same scene but choosing a different composition guides one to select a different focal point; the main subject matter is changed by the composition choice. The image with the bridge centered leads the eye to the skyscrapers. The image with less skyline reveals that there is a person on the bridge. They are in the first image; but the composition didn’t “lead you” to notice them before.

View of downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park's South Pond. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

View of downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park’s South Pond. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Lincoln Park’s South Pond in Chicago with reflection of skyscrapers in water. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Multiple purposes…


I enjoy the Japanese Anemone for their late fall, tall, delicate white blooms. This spider takes advantage of the sturdy stems for a different reason. Side lighting from morning sun helped to make the web visible for these images.

Spider at work on Japanese Anemone. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Spider at work on Japanese Anemone. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Spiderweb between two Japanese Anemone. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Spiderweb between two Japanese Anemone. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Change of subject…


At first my eye was drawn to the opening Purple Coneflower. Newly emerged petals are pale green, which gradually, over several days, turn to pinky-purple when they have grown to their full length. Purple Coneflower are a favorite subject. More images of this returning favorite will follow soon.

Bringing the flower into focus showed me this new bloom had already collected some debris. Upon closer inspection, it became clear the stringy litter was actually the legs of a Daddy Long Legs {Pholcus phalangioides} spider. As a child they were part of summer’s entertainment; watching them climb brick walls was fun and for some reason they were a favorite critter to hold. I am friendly only from a distance with other spiders. Somehow, these Daddys seemed harmless to me. Perhaps my experiences with them as a child served to buffer fears of introducing “Rosey”, the Rosy Haired Tarantula, as a classroom pet.

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom  accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg