Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Nature Shoot and a Gunsmiths

On Saturday I met with two friends from my camera club at the woods near Front Royal to go hiking and take some nature photos. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright yet with no humidity, a perfect day. I decided to take mainly short depth of field images, those where the background is blurred, and at the back of my mind, I also tried to keep the idea of texture shots too, since we had a show and tell on that subject at our next club meeting.
Wild geraniums and daisies looking pretty.
We all lamented at the trilliums having died. I was so glad that I'd got some photos three weeks ago, and was determined on this hike to find one more to photograph. There were many dying flowers with limp brown petals hanging sadly but then I spotted one lone survivor. It must have been a late bloomer but it stood proud among its fallen siblings and almost seemed to be spotlighted in its prime. I was so glad I'd spotted this last defiant flower determined to outlast the others., I will definitely be back next year to see these beautiful flowers again and capture more of them. There were so many different kinds and colors blooming here but I was just too sick to do a good job on my last visit.
I concentrated on some light photos noticing that they'd also pass as texture examples.
Some wood textures.
I followed a trail down, down, down, knowing full well that on the way back it would be up, up, up. But it was great to be out in the wilds exercising again and I didn't mind the ache in my legs at all. I found a very narrow trail and decided to follow that. It curved and wound past trees, each bend drawing me further and further in. Where did it go? But I couldn't go too far, not today, as I was with friends and didn't want to wander too far. Plus I had brought my heavy 50D, the strap rubbing against my neck, and I resolved to come back again for a lengthier hike and with a smaller camera.
The beautiful fresh green canopy above stretching out from the tops of ramrod straight trunks.
The amazing symmetry of nature. Not exact but still an eye catching wonder.
By a little brook that tumbled down the hill alongside the trail I spotted two little frogs enjoying the warm sun on their backs. A new swallowtail butterfly also flitted back and forth, its vibrant colors glinting in the bright light. And then smack bang in the middle of the path, highlighted by a ray of sun through the leaves was a poor little dead shrew with its stiff tail pointing upward. I suspected some poor bird had dropped his lunch and was cursing his clumsiness. I left quickly in case it came back looking for it!
I met Janice and Chet by the cars where we decided that going into Front Royal for lunch would be a good idea. Then Janice almost apologetically mentioned that she needed to drop into a gun store on the way there. Brilliant! Awesome! She was stoked that I loved the idea, and I love the fact that I have a female friend who's into guns.
The gun store is Virginia Pistols in Linden, and at the back of the store is a gun repair shop, which is where we headed first. Dan, the owner, was very friendly and helpful, not minding in the slightest when I made a beeline for his AK-47 and then wanted to hold his gun which he had on his belt.
I really wasn't into plastic guns, preferring the old fashioned metal style, but Dan soon had me convinced that plastic was good. Solid and feeling sturdy, he really won me over when he showed me the red tracer beam and the lovely chunky bullets.
I had to have my photo taken with the AK-47, it's been 10 years since I last held and fired one of these. From Christmas 2004 below in an Arizona desert.
I'm not sure if I'll ever buy a gun, and all the time I have doubts the answer is no, but I'd have a hell of a time deciding between a pistol or shotgun. I may take some courses to see if I lean one way or the other afterwards.. But for now, I'll stick with my bow and arrows!

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