Photo Of The Day: Pride of Mobile

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From Wilmington to Raleigh and beyond, Azaleas are at or near their prime across North Carolina right now.  Driving across the state, one gets the impression that every homestead has some sort of azalea blooming somewhere on their property.  Driving down east, I passed an old abandoned tenant house on its last legs and there in the front yard, pink azalea blooms were peeking through the weeds.

About the shot.  The azalea mavens tell me these scarlet red blooms are on an old variety called “Pride of Mobile” that dates from the late 60’s.  “It exudes southern charm”, they said and who am I to argue.  As I have said before, the main problem with this time of the year in North Carolina, aside from the seemingly constant rain, is the wind.  It never stops particularly here on the coast.  As soon as I arrived, I dialed in Shutter Priority on my trusty Nikon D7100.  Of course the camera is already obsolete – Nikon, as usual, is already  out with the D7200 which is a tad faster with a few other bells and whistles but with only just over 18 thousand snaps on the D7100’s  shutter which is rated at 150,000,  its hard to justify trading up.

As for the shot, I made four versions all with varying light. This one with soft, warm light, seemed to fit the azalea maven’s “Southern Charm” description.  Here are the particulars: 170 mm, shutter speed:1/250, enough to stall the wind, f/5.6 gave me the background blur I was looking for. ISO at 400,  Auto White Balance.  The 7100 excels at Auto White Balance I think.  Matrix metering. The camera rates at 24 mp so this shot yielded a nice large print for the azalea mavens who were very pleased.

The warmer weather has me juiced up for a day trip to the coast before the tourists clog up the beach road.  Either the Outer Banks or more likely, the Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle etc,  which is a bit closer.  I must have 10 thousand beach and coast shots but what can you do.  It’s an itch that has to be scratched. Watch this space!  Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.

Photo Of The Day: Frill Seeker

G.1028.editedA sure sign that were are into the warmer weather of later April: A Swallowtail Butterfly swoons at a bright red Azalea.

Nikon D7100/ 18-200mm DX lens


Thanks for the look and have a great evening.

Photo Of The Day: Spring Sparkle


Sunrise in a huge, bright red, formosa Azalea.  The days are tick tocking by very quickly and soon the Azaleas and the Dogwoods will be at their peak.  Thanks for the look and have a great evening.

Photo Of The Day: White Azaleas

275a.editedWhite azaleas are always a challenge for me.   The problem is getting the white balance right. I ttried all of the presets and none really measured up.  It was either too yellow or dingy or gray.   I decided to try getting a custom white balance right from the blooms.   I often resort to this when shooting indoors and not wanting to use a flash but this was a first outside.    I was so pleased I thought I would post it, sore neck not withstanding.  Thanks for the visit and have a great evening

Photo Of The Day: Azalea Sunrise 2

Azalea Sunrise 2

Another shot from my morning in the azalea beds here.  Not quite as dramatic as when the sun is caught shining through the blooms but quite a bit cleaner with the white blooms catching enough foreground light to show up rather nicely.   We passed the peak for azaleas this past weekend.  Now, the blooms are starting to drop as Spring rapidly gives way to much warmer temperatures.  Thanks for the look and have a great Sunday Evening!   Nikon D800/ 85mm lens at f/22

Photo Of The Day: Red Japanese Maple

302a.editedIt really is a Red Japanese Maple but this time of the year the leaves have a decided orange flavor.  The red glow behind the leaves is served up by a huge bright red formosa Azlaea.  Its large blooms blurred out with a 300mm lens wide open at f/5.6.  You really have to see this in large.  Thanks for the visit and have a great evening.