On Vernal Pond

Posted: July 15, 2015 in Uncategorized
I call it a swamp, but it’s really a vernal pond. A vernal pond is a body of water in a low area of the woods where the spring snow melts and the spring rains collect from higher ground. The ground is a hard compacted clay base, so the water doesn’t seep into the earth, it has to evaporate for the pond to dry up. It will take months to dry up, and if we have a rainy summer it will stay wet all year.
I use knee high boots to navigate the perimeter of the pond.
I will use my Tamron 16-300 to give me a little reach for floating leaves and frogs.
There are tons of leaves blown to the water from windy days.


Here I’m set up to shoot my first floating leaf.


This morning there is a lot of tiny debris on the water which adds some nice textures around the leaves. Because the pond in right in the middle of the woods, and full of trees, I will get some nice reflections from the leaves overhead. The yellow color is the reflections from the leaves at the tops of the trees, that are being lit by the sun, turning them from green to a yellow.
Here is my first shot. f/stop set at f/32 for lots of depth field, as I want the whole leaf and all that nice texture in focus
The “Detail Extractor” in Nik Software is the perfect filter to pull out all the textures in the water and the leaf.


Here is the same leaf with a second leaf included in the frame. As I change angles the colors in the water also changes.


I occasionally run across a leaf floating that has turned into a fall color, so many times I shoot these and people think they were shot in the fall. I decided to use this leaf in a set-up. When I walk through the pond it produces bubble where I walk. I created some bubbles and placed this leaf in the bubbles. Moved back and set-up the shot.


This leaf has a nice artistic design, and top it off with the textures and bright color in the water.


Lots of ferns border the edge of the pond so I thought it might be a unique shot if I place a fern on the colorful water.


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  1. Elizabeth P. Lawlor says:

    thanks, Mike..keep your work common’….love what you do Liz

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