Bug on a leaf

Bug on a leaf
Nikon F3, 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor
Fujifilm Superia 100
2017

My yard provides endless photographic opportunity. The property is about a third of an acre, and all sorts of plant life covers it. I forget what plant this leaf is from, but I was fast enough to catch this little bug as it scurried across.

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Photography

single frame: Bug on a leaf

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Leaves

Leaves
Kodak Retina Reflex IV, 50mm f/2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar
Kodak Tri-X
2013

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Backyard leaves

Terribly tender leaves in my back yard
Nikon F2AS, 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor
Kodak Ektar 100
2015

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Photography

The dying and the dead

It happens that I follow some photobloggers in the UK. They’ve been sharing rainy autumn photos lately, while here in the great Midwest it’s been mostly sunny, as usual. So consider this post a counterpoint: autumn in brilliant sunshine.

I like to give my Nikon F2AS regular exercise, so a few weeks ago I filled it with Kodak Ektar 100 and mounted my 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens. That film is great for bold color, and that lens would let me get super close if I wanted to. It turns out I didn’t want to get super close, but no matter: that lens is a fine prime.

I drove down to Crown Hill Cemetery, the largest non-government cemetery in the United States. It’s just a few miles from my home, right on the old Michigan Road.

Autumn at Crown Hill

Fall colors were becoming established, but plenty of trees had not yet begun to turn. I would have liked to wait for that brief sweet spot when all trees were showing their colors, but few of them had yet gone bare. That day doesn’t come every autumn, and when it does, I can’t count on being able to get out that day. Maybe I have to work; maybe it rains. Yes, it does rain. It’s not all sunny days. But it’s not all rain, which the English bloggers I read suggest is the norm where they live. At any rate, it was a sunny day off and I had to capitalize on it.

Autumn at Crown Hill

An extensive, overlapping road network snakes through Crown Hill, making it easy to see by car. For several of these photos, I drove until I saw an interesting scene, and exited the car just long enough to frame, focus, set exposure, and press the shutter button.

Autumn at Crown Hill

For other photos, I shut off the car and walked a little. I love how the gravestones in this photo look like they come from a black-and-white photograph, in sharp juxtaposition to the trees’ colors and the blue sky.

Autumn at Crown Hill

I’m not sure why I enjoy cemeteries so much. I don’t want to be buried in one. What a waste of land! Cremate my body after I’m gone. Let the ashes fertilize a garden. I no longer inhabit those molecules; might as well put them to productive use.

Autumn at Crown Hill

Maybe it’s because I once lived on cemetery grounds. While I waited for my divorce to be final, I lived in the parsonage at my church. The church building was just up the hill, and it was surrounded by a cemetery in which members had been buried since 1837. My sons and I used to run and play among the gravestones.

Autumn at Crown Hill

It’s sure handy having Crown Hill so close by. I’ve taken my old film cameras there for years.

Autumn at Crown Hill

I ended up taking almost nothing but wide shots. This is as close as I got, and I could have easily made this shot with my 50mm f/2 prime. But no matter; this 55mm f/2.8 macro lens is plenty capable.

Autumn at Crown Hill

There you go: an Indiana autumn afternoon.

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Little flag among the fallen leaves

It’s called Mount Jackson Cemetery, but it’s on some of the flattest land in Indianapolis. Mount Jackson was the surrounding neighborhood’s original name, going back to the 1820s, but it’s been called Hawthorne for longer than anybody can remember. Poverty, drugs, petty crime — nobody lives in Hawthorne because they want to.

The cemetery persists, quiet, safe. Here lie Hawthorne’s earliest residents and the neighborhood’s original name. This plot gets little love, but someone came to remember a veteran buried here.

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Captured: Flag at Mount Jackson

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Green, yellow, and orange

The trees changed color slowly this autumn, often first frosting their tips in red, yellow, and orange while the underlying leaves remained green. This created arresting views all over town.

Along the section of Kessler Boulevard that I filmed last autumn stands a big Presbyterian church with a grand maple beside its parking lot. I bollixed the focusing on my photo of the whole tree, but the close-up shots sure turned out, crisp and colorful.

Orange green red

In transition

Red orange

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