Word and Image

Flowers

Reflection

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We were out biking. Yes, it’s an activity you can do while in captivity. Corona. I passed this picture. There are advantages to riding with a camera around your neck. I had to stop. Other times I shoot on the fly. This time I actually stopped and turned around. Colleen rode onward. It was worth the stop.


Social distance

The first warm sunny day? Yes, we did what everyone else did. We were out and about in the time of corona! Don’t! Nah! It was simply too beautiful to resist temptation. At least we weren’t at the beach or park. We dropped by to check in with the cousins. Andy got a haircut. Kathy did it. He claims he still has one ear. He succumbed to danger. He didn’t like wings. There’s a reason to take doubles. One always has eyes closed. And I don’t ask people to pose often. I should. It’s a better photo. But then again there’d be nothing if I didn’t ride with a camera around my neck. Ummmm? Do they distance inside too?


Lavender

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A lot of the pics I post are spontaneous. That is to say, they are just grab shots. Unplanned. Unstaged. I don’t do elaborate set up. I’m too lazy. What comes out of the camera… editing, I just let the image call out. Lavender, it’s in our garden. I just know certain framing is good. After that the picture is good or it’s not.


It’s not the camera

A while back I had a post of the cameras I’m currently using. Musing, I was looking retrospectively and reflecting on how my taste and interest has changed and evolved. Succinctly put, it’s not the camera – it’s the photographer. You can make anything work. As a weekend carpenter I know that when you don’t have a hammer, a screwdriver will do. Reflecting on the Sony RX100 VI vs the Canon M6 Mark II: both are excellent cameras. The Sony has a greater electronic zoom. So, I can get close from far away. Telephoto! The Canon lets me zoom quickly. It’s manual adjustment. How quaint! Knowing the advantages and drawbacks, that’s my job. And so I try to reach for the right camera for the right job. Had the world not gone corona, we would have been looking at Scotland pics right about now. So many (trip) plans got changed. Hopefully, health remained unchanged.


Turn

Turn! Turn! Turn!The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep….

Count your blessing. In this time of corona, I am humbled by the beauty of nature. I am blessed to be in it and away from the utter chaos, horror, and sorrow in the world right now. Someone, somewhere decided, I have done my part. I am apart from this fray. I never walked away from danger in the past. … count my blessings. Turn…


there but for the grace go I

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see…..

Look it up… our fearless leader is golfing.


Isolation

Me? I photograph. Even if I am sheltering in place, I’m still photographing. There was an article on not sharing your camera – germs. Ha! The cats? No one else would use my stuff. It’s like toothbrushes. Not really, but, it’s akin to my sitting down to loom (weave) on Colleen’s devices. Once upon a time I said that about spinning…. Rainy days bring out color saturation. Out of the box the image of forsythia can easily be enhanced. I chose to show you what the camera gave me. There are lots of cat portraits. I shoot the cats because they are available, though not necessarily willing. And, when you get it (a good shot) you know it. There are just so many good ones and so few posts.

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Run

A run: as in trip; errand; mission. We were on a typical run – over the strenuous objection of Colleen. We needed things. Don’t we all? Plants and planters…. and so forth. Groceries! Man’s gotta eat. Colleen is very fond of eating. (Shhh! I didn’t say that.) So, masks. I never miss a photo op. Flowers. Color combos. It’s challenging to take a pic in the blowing wind. You contend with motion blur. Not enough blur to be interesting, it’s more like a bad photo blur. We were out and about during corona and hopefully it was a successful run.

The good news? You have a 90%+ survival rate if you get corona. And the death rate is less than 10%. That’s very good! Good math! Go out an’ hug someone. Somehow, I think I will pass on hugging, for now.


Forsythia

Beautiful! You need full sun and a full bush. Other than that, there’s nothing particularly spectacular about the picture. Once a year, bright brilliant blossoms bloom briefly. The rest of the year it’s a non-descript bush of little note. One note, once a year.


Remember when…

…we could travel freely? Right about now we are more than half through our second trip to Scotland. Not! Bad timing! Ode to corona: who thought a trip to our mailbox would be a threat to our health. Confused? No. Alas, we are not in Scotland. We were told the sheep were dipped – yellow – for purposes of health. We never saw another flock like it. Reasons on the ‘net include: ID, ownership, ewes, theft discouragement and who knows? We frequently staged some gag photos for the kids. Yeah, shameless Photoshop. Why not? Poor Colleen. Why hug a post box? Hey! You would have to look in my brain. Me? Some days I’m locked out. Thistle: the national flower of Scotland. And right now I wish we were posting: “Wish you were here.”


Clean

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The beauty of inviting anyone to dinner is that you have to straighten and clean. Our tables were covered – with projects and stuff. Of course! The aftermath of cleaning: It’s still cluttered. And there is a screen of drying wool locks – we took it away later. I daresay we have a way to go in order to be minimalist. (I don’t think that is ever happening.) Shhh… it’s all hiding – the stuff. Tomorrow we shall begin again – to take out what we work with. And upstairs, behind me, is the office I use. There’s no path thru the room. I have things on the floor while I sort and search. Yes, the great room is full of weaving implements – too numerous to name… and ah! bundles of artificial flowers! What to say: “Home!”


Spring

There’s a problem posting a vertical pic alone. It’s just disproportionate to the page. So, I don’t too often (post verticals). Pairing! Yup, I tend to pair a horizontal pic and it’s more pleasing in the layout. It’s spring! Time for crocuses. It’s stark bright spring light. It makes me feel “spring.” Elle? She’s our shy cat. She’s wary and generally hiding in a safe strategic spot ready to bolt to safety. She trusts me to let me shoot a pic. Otherwise,  I never get too close. She doesn’t trust me that much.IMG_3923


Spare glass

I suppose anything will do. There’s no water added. Some vases now have their own fake water. But, fake flowers – I suppose silk flowers – don’t wilt, shed, or require water. It’s quite an assortment of vases we had or we have acquired. We recently bought a real one – vase – real glass. Some of the containers are quite interesting. It’s easy to forget them in the face of the colorful bouquets.IMG_3902

With my usual exuberance, we have collected a few – too many. So, I winnowed the selection down to my fav 10. Yeah, yeah, ten is too many too. Hey, I got to use too twice! Colleen is not an enabler but more like a reluctant (very) bystander.


Bradford pear

They populate the roadside from DE to WV. They were all over NY. Bradford pear trees exuberantly bloom and blossom at this time of the year. It’s a short period of spring joy. Okay, by the time this post is published, their time will have passed. In DE, there are not so many specimens. But, my neighbor across the street makes me smile. She planted them and I am the visual recipient of her effort. Thanks so much!


No water

I’m still on with artificial flowers. Hmm, it’s better than calling them fake or plastic. It’s too fancy to call them silk. I’m trying for the exotic “Japanese” look – wabi sabi. It’s random because most of what I do is “come as you are.” I abhor working “with a plan.” Don’t overthink.

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I am frankly amazed that some arrangements come with fake water. What next?!


Black & White

I like Black & White but I’m not going over to it anytime soon. I’m going along too fast to pause and make the adjustments on my camera. Mine is not a slow walk. I have photo shooting opportunities… maybe I should stop and smell the roses. I’m retired. What’s the rush? It’s hard. I’m too much go and not enough slow. Ok, bad rhyme.

And with all the time in the world to get it right, I still am able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I should be checking and rechecking. There would be fewer mistakes.

I make mistakes and learn from them. And when it really counts, I am ready set. Even then I can and do make multiple shots to ensure I have gotten what I envisioned. Meanwhile, I’m always learning. It’s always nice to have options.


Overboard

No one ever accused me of being too conservative. Exuberant! I tend to jump in with both feet… without looking. I got started on artificial flowers. I probably shouldn’t. They are not cheap. Then again, we have a bunch of vases that are empty. Ah! And there are tons of cheap vases in the thrift store or antique store. There are expensive vases too. No need for (expensive glass). Don’t laugh. We (now) have enough (arrangements) to compete with a florist. Nice stuff. I only need to learn restraint… and pretty quickly.

Tips: Vases can be found everywhere. Most are cheap enough because they are so plentiful and discarded because mostly everyone has empty unused ones. Yes, even the antique store has bargains. And yes, we cleaned out the thrift store. Others are more elaborate as with the custom pottery pitcher from the museum store. Okay, that was an indulgence. Flowers (artificial) are expensive. Darn! But there are bargains where people have discarded them (flowers) for other treasure. I found a (cheap) trove in an antique store. Really! And then there was Michael’s (30% sale/member discount). That was still pricey! But there is a lot of bang for buck. Remember, fresh flowers are way more $$ and last only ephemerally. So far… so good.


White balance

It’s a term. Light has color. Tungsten and daylight, remember the lesson from a few days back? Here’s another example. Color corrected for ambient lamp light the flowers look decidedly different. And, it is especially so because these are silk flowers. Maybe not silk, but realistic enough looking, I am recently impressed to feel they are no longer to be ignored. Oh, light? The light is the same. The camera corrected for the color difference between room lights and daylight, Photoshop in the camera if you will.


Early

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The flowers are out early. Not. I was in the home store and they were selling artificial flower arrangements for $40. Really?! I looked closer and suddenly it dawned on me. Ha ha. I’ve been under a rock. The old fake plastic stuff has grown up. Though fake, the flowers definitely look real, on first glance, a whole lot more deceiving. So, I tried some. They are not cheap! But, then I’m not buying any more and the color will last for as long as I can stand it till the dust settles. I like learning new tricks.


Orchid

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I’m not sure I posted about this. I’m too lazy to research it. So, you get it now or maybe again? No matter, I bought an orchid about two years ago. I read/was told they bloom about once a year. It doesn’t require much care. I almost ignored the plant and remembered to water it occasionally, as in less than once every few weeks. The plant lived. It did not bloom… until about 2++ years later. Really! Suddenly one day… one bloom… and another about a week later. Now, for the past few weeks… really! I suppose I will await the next blooming in a few years. They really tolerated near complete neglect. Ok!

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Out of the box

I have lots of great flower pictures… too numerous to count. And, I like to post images straight from the camera… no manipulation (Photoshop). That is not to say that I don’t. I have added or moved people around in group shots. I have added open eyes – someone always has their eyes closed in a group shot. Part of the reason is that I’m lazy. I don’t want to spend time in Photoshop. So, I visualize my shots and try to get things right in the camera before I press the shutter. It works… often. Sometimes, I touch up. There are purists among us who disapprove. Back in the day – Ansel Adams – the negative was just the starting point for the print process. Photoshop makes it easier to massage the pixels. There are masters; I am strictly amateur.


Sunflower

I know we probably were on someone’s property to get these shots. Thank you. Gorgeous! They don’t plant every year. I got shots a couple years back and then not again till now. It was fun! I’m glad the flowers were out for us to see.


Asian lily

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Short lived. Just a couple weeks in June. Darn! Then I have a green plant for the rest of the summer. Spectacular when it blooms, the green plant is hardly much to see when all the company arrives in July. I can’t bring myself to retire the plant. Rabbits would love it. They ate them in a few seconds in the yard. But no, this spectacular bloom is mine. So I enjoyed it to the fullest extent possible.


Weed

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It’s clover. Clover’s good. It adds nitrogen. I don’t pay much attention and consider it a weed. Then it flowered in my pot unbidden. It was pretty until the bloom faded. When I went to pull it the root system was extensive and everything else in the container faded soon after. I had to do a new planting and fertilize like crazy. Go figure. I’m still an amateur with plants.