On closer inspection…


The Winged Loosestrife’s (Lythrum alatum) vibrant color stood out on the cliff’s wall across from our descending path to Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. Only later when I was home and reviewing these images did I realize the plant was a resting spot for this winged insect. Such is the joy of photography. My eyes often miss seeing all the subjects in my compositions. Sometimes what I capture is distracting to my desired focus (unwanted elements in the background). This added subject was a wonderful surprise.

My initial thought was that this insect was a dragonfly or damselfly. But those insects have two pairs of wings. I am guessing that this is some variety of Crane Fly (Tipula) instead. The other joy of nature photography is that I am always learning!

I zoomed in to get the original picture (bottom image) and found a new and more interesting composition when I zoomed in still closer (first image).

Posing nicely for my picture. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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Longer view of this Loosestrife and Crane Fly scene, to show more of the habitat. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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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

Meticulous particulars…


These Iris twins were potted alongside a storefront. Different focus points reveal nature’s in-depth consideration to details and design.

Twin Iris in bloom showing their same amazingly detailed patterning. The white wall makes for a unconfusing background, keeping the attention to the Iris. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Detail of the Iris’ stamen are in focus. The out-of-focus petals force attention to the flower’s center. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Close-up focus on the inner petal portions. The stamen is out-of-focus sufficiently to keep the viewer’s eyes on the petals. 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.