This was my fake flower phase. I collected bunches and stuck them in our spare vases. And then I went and got vases to…. I’m collecting old cameras – about $10 tops – because they are curious connections to a past I never knew. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 100 and the first I ever used was an Argus C3. Colleen collects old bobbins. We like stuff and things. They gather dust… and cat hair. No matter. Would it be ok to say we collect dust too?
Black flowers are deep dark purple… well, it’s black to me. There are no such black flowers. Okay! It sure looks black to me. But then again, they don’t exist. I have to wonder how the owner came by these unusual annuals? We were on a house tour of historic New Castle. I like finding things they tell me don’t exist. And, I have never seen a magnolia tree seed pod (rock, under, me). – That’s the pod upper right.
The conditions need to be just so in order to photograph a spider web. The camera does not want to focus on the tiny strands. I did it… yay… but it’s not particularly inspiring. I will wait another day. Meanwhile, it’s not easy posing your cats. And for that matter it’s hard to photograph a strawberry… without eating it first. That happened to the blackberry (no pic available).
Different? Same? You get in a rut. I am (in a rut). Cat? Flower? All the posts run together. Good pictures. Boring? When I was in Jeddah, I was (gently, Carol) reminded, enough fish. Ha ha! It’s easy to be caught in the moment. I am/was (lately) shooting the cats and flowers. So, what else? We’ve been on self-imposed lockdown. It’s nice that the one (my dear wife) I love has insisted we be safe. That leaves me hanging between flowers and cats. Clematis. We got a second round of blooming. It’s a bit unusual, this specimen. I haven’t seen it in the nursery. If I look, I will find it among my African pictures. Instead, here’s a recent shot. It was a lot easier than diving into the archives. My own memory bank is still better than my database.
Ha ha, when you run out of cats and flowers…
I’m too far ahead. We are in July as I write and it’s November as I publish. Too many good images, too little time. I should have made a cat blog. Have I said that before? They (the cats) like to look out through the rail. What? I don’t know. Longing? The photo below is not a selfie. It’s my attempt to shoot a view of the flower that is on a plant 6ft tall overlooking the rail. It’s a reverse view (like a dive with a full twist in pike position…). Forget it. I got a bee! That was a bonus. I did not intend to see myself. That was an unforced error. My cats? They are still wondering what’s outside the rails. …not me.
I’m still trying to catch a bee in flight. Someday… Meanwhile, I get my share of bees. Pollen collects on their legs. It’s fun to get a detailed shot. I have lots of good shots. Some stand out a bit more. I’m happy to share.
Since I post about once a day but I have way too many more thoughts and pictures… I tend to get ahead in composing posts. I remain about two months ahead. It’s May and this will publish in July. Pictures? I cheat by posting multiples in my daily. Too many pictures, too many thoughts…
I wonder how things will have changed and when next I read this I will know my muddled thoughts on this day about two months ago. Yeah, it’s convoluted.
Last year I shot about 88 thousand images. To date I have about 8,800. We’re not having a banner year for subjects. I shoot empty grocery shelves, baskets, food, and of course the cats. There are icky shots. My cat Feather has allergies that persist from kitten age. I treat it. But it remains a constant problem. Food doesn’t look too appetizing next to a cat with allergies. It’s a fine juxtaposition on such a fine day.
The news dominates our thoughts and dictates our movement. And there’s plenty misleading in the headlines. For instance, the restaurant did not open in defiance of the shutdown order. It had just “opened” as in newly launched. It’s a whole ‘nother side to the pandemic and a testament to “bad (extremely) bad timing.
David once asked, when he was about 3 years old, “When is tomorrow?” Think about it, and, it’s always today…. It’s a simple abstract that stopped me in my tracks and I continue to laugh at how simply he befuddled me.
Try to get a bumble bee in flight. Try? I’m generally unsuccessful. I can’t get the shot. Camera or photographer or both conspire to prevent me from capturing what I see. The limits of equipment keep the camera manufacturers happy. I buy another to see if it will perform better than the last. No! There are some things I shall keep trying. But another camera? I’d have to sneak that by the “Boss.” She may not know about cameras but she knows a new one when she sees it.
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!
I shoot a lot (of images). Most are duds. Some images strike me when I edit. The good news is that there are many more good images. So, my edits have been more gestalt. I look through the images about 28 at a time. There are standouts that get another look. And then, another pass; maybe something will still catch me and I’ll pull the image. It’s nice to have a lot of choices. Who shoots grapefruit? Hey! It’s a Longaberger pie plate! …and stand. They go for big money these days. My artificial flowers are a mixed bag. You don’t put orchids with geranium. Fiber ready to be woven, the finished product is in Colleen’s imagination and skill.
It’s leap year! Leap day!
How do you get out of a rut? Huh? I’ve been in the camera doldrums. Eh? I’ve been just doing the same old… We’re planning to travel again. Ah! Photo ops! But… Shake things up. I’m fortunate to be able to shop cameras. Anything new? Any new ideas? Ah! Well, I’m looking to lighten the load I carry. The big old DSLR is weighty – mighty! I’m ditching my big 80-400mm zoom on the next trip. …too much weight. Mirrorless – ILC (interchangeable lens camera) – lose weight. I’m not yet ready to give up a camera for the ubiquitous iPhone shot. That tiny iPhone lens can’t compete with a dedicated lens/real glass. So, I got one. It was $$ but not $$$ or $$$$.
And, I got a series of shots I would not have bothered to shoot a few days earlier. Yeah, fun again. It’s good to have fun.
I read (still). Ha! Photography! Still. And sometimes you learn something. After all these years… Simple. Pose. Those selfies….? Nah! Try turning your heads together. Wow! What rock have I been under? Yeah, yeah, someone needs a haircut.
Just for fun. It was a rare time when Colleen was driving. I was sleepy. That darned vintage car followed us right to our destination! … and parked in the driveway two houses down. It followed us home!
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.
I took a bunch of pictures. It increased the odds that I would obtain a “keeper.” And there was a single seed blowin’ in the wind. The seeds were a bit stuck and didn’t go with the first effort. Shhh. We didn’t put dandelions in the neighbor’s yard. I have a long ago shot of Jules doing this. Easy. Recreate what worked once upon a time…
How do you plan for this? Serendipity, fortuitous, right place right time. You bet!!! I was taking pictures of the snap dragons when this bumble bee flew into my picture. Yes! He flew in. I shot and shot. This is what I got. Rhymes? Can you believe this? It was completely by luck. I would tell you not. I have lots of bees on flowers. But, no bees in mid-flight. That’s hard to do. Trust me. I got all excited…still am.
Chinese trumpet lily – perennial, I got some last year. They bloom in early June. They last about three weeks. Then they are gone. Spectacular but short lived, they don’t look like much after the bloom. I like color all summer. Rabbits like to eat them (lilies). I have mixed feelings about having/keeping them. But during the time they are in bloom it’s worth it.
Too many images, not enough space. But, hey, this was my bucket list. I had sort of assumed that a quintessential image would jump out. Instead, I’ve seen blossoms – lots. And I saw more. There was a slight disappointment. I was uninspired. Oh well, I’ve been there and done that. No need to repeat. I tried all the tricks of composition and angle. I got images. It was a clear cool day. There were plenty of tourists and plenty of serious photographers. I’m not sure I saw anything new that hasn’t been seen/done before.
The first blossoms poked their way up pushing winter away. Painterly. I take/get a lot of flower photos. This pair were great. Who knows? They just jumped up and got into my camera. Actually, this is a “do over.” I took the initial shots and they were out of focus. I was able to backtrack and get it right. Lucky me. What struck me? In camera, I realized that the lighting and the focus were special. Even soft lighting of a cloudy day combined with the pastel of the petals. The pistil was contrasting orange and in relative focus. Ethereal. Instant post.
Serendipity. My life goes along without a plan. Lucky me? I’m spontaneously making changes. It’s ok to change directions in an instant. It can be disconcerting to my love. She’s pretty flexible though. Suddenly we’re off at 90 degrees. It works. I’m just glad I have my camera when we do. But! I’ve been out with a full memory card, or none at all: dead battery and – dead spare; and forgotten to bring a camera at all. The phone will certainly do in a pinch. It’s just that I like the extra customization (I like playing with the buttons) that a camera affords. Still, that damn iPhone focused on the face preferentially over the food at dinner last night. Smart phone, smart algorithm – one must please the mate not the food. There are special days. Today’s one. Let’s see what happens.
Change the lighting. High contrast. Focus. Whoa! It’s brilliant. What is the process of making an image? Lately, I have largely stopped doing much Photoshop. And, after much editing, I realize that “crop” is important. I do it in the camera before I get to Lightroom. I’m lazy. Sorry. A few tweaks. Not much more. Not bad. So many flowers, so little space to post. I hate to post more than one image. Sometimes, I just give up and post multiples.
This is the orchid that came with the Valentine’s cacti. In my home it’s a desert. I forget to water. So, cacti and orchids should be very happy. We’ll see if it survives. Years ago I had an orchid that lived long. The bloom lasted long. Then the petals fell off and the plant died.
Currently my poinsettia and pines (mini/small trees) are surviving the Christmas season. Soon it will be spring. We got one horrible snowstorm this year. Otherwise there has been no inconvenience. Okay!
Simple. Sometimes simple is good. Backlight, detail, close-up, it just comes together. It was but a moment. I’ve taken numerous nice shots like this before. Someone no longer dear to me once said, “You’ve hundreds of flowers and sunset pictures, what is the point of stopping to take one more.” I never listened. At the end of the day I regret that I ever did. Call me stubborn. At least I feel enlightened now.
It’s a weed. It grows all over the side of the road and in the fields in the fall. I was told it gives you hay fever. My mother swore it did. My father suffered from it every year. We moved to WV because he convinced her there was no hay fever there. Wrong! He got it the worst. Wrong! It’s not golden rod. It is rag weed that is the culprit. Nonetheless, it’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Meanwhile as we drove in peak season golden rod bloom, I was keeping an eye out for a ‘shot.’ I waited long. I passed up other shots. And then… sometimes good things come to those who wait.