Wednesday, March 28, 2012

May Apples in March

I cannot remember another year in which spring has come so early.  You probably can't either.  The unfolding of events that usually takes six or eight weeks has been compressed into a couple of weeks.  Take mowing.  The grass is at least a month ahead of normal.  We can usually get away with not mowing in these parts until the end of April, but not this year.

The May apples are among the many plants that have appeared early.  There is nothing like a forest floor covered in these little umbrellas.  We are fortunate to be able to see them anytime since our house borders the woods.  You wouldn't know this unless you were lying on the floor of the woods, but the sun gets under the leaves and lights them up like lanterns at sunrise.

As with other subjects, getting down to their level is important in capturing a sense of this subject.  To get the lantern effect, the plant has to be between the camera and the sun so that the leaves appear translucent.

I used a Singh-Ray blue and gold polarizer, but it didn't have much of an effect at this angle.  Polarizers work best if they are used at ninety degrees from the sun which, in these pictures, would have been either to the right or left.  At that angle, though, the leaves lose their translucency, so it is a compromise as to what you would like to capture.

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