Depending on punctuation this can be a command or interrogative. To those who follow this blog, it doesn’t matter. You are already included in being notified about my posts. If someone does a basic search on WordPress, I am not immediately noticeable. ?? I don’t list myself in category or tag under “photography.” I did a casual search today and realized the omission. Now, begins the experiment to find out if this blog is noticed more. The rest – tags and category – may not have much relevance beyond letting me search for older posts. Let us see.?!
I could hardly be accused of being cramped. I keep saying there are too many images and not enough time. The cameras give me technically sound shots. I used to shoot 36 images (film) per day. Now, it can easily be 700 images (digital) in a single outing. Philosophically, less is more?! One image? Sure. But, it’s so much more illustrative (fun!) to share the backstory (ha!) on what’s doing.
Look to home when you need inspiration? My cat Feather has replaced Peas in the basket in order to occupy space and ambush Peas (in her former favorite spot). After Barb cut down my passion fruit vine, the new one and its flower is a surprise brilliant red. Sometimes things happen for a reason (photo op). Meanwhile, you will see Chestertown illustrated. It was a charming town, an over the top excellent find by Colleen, who loves history, shopping, eating, art, and above all, all things “charming.” We could not have had a better day with our clothes on. (Shhh, she wasn’t sure about the dress length; she wore shorts beneath.)
I did a composite of three images, it is obvious if you know what to look for. Or, it is obvious if you notice something is not quite right. I will explain. Look closely and you will see three distinct levels of focus: front, middle, and rear. And in between each zone, the flower is out of focus: soft. It’s subtle but distinct. It gives the full view of the flower. If you didn’t notice then my manipulation was successful in illustrating the flower. Me? I noticed it was unnatural right away. Then it took a moment to realize the explanation. The macro lens I used has no depth of field whatsoever. It is the nature of the lens. And, in this case, it illustrates the concept of depth of field nicely. Confused? No worries. You can appreciate the image without understanding the technical details.
I need(ed) a kick in the pants. Boredom? Stagnation? Progression? Rut? I started taking flower pictures in earnest last summer. Sure, I have tons of flower pictures from the past. Yawn! But, last summer I started paying attention to the little details. I discovered I had been missing a lot. This spring I convinced myself to get a macro lens. I had a macro lens. It was an old clunky mechanical macro lens, now decades old. There were a myriad of reasons to justify the purchase of a new toy. I am acquisitive and have been all my life. Why not indulge? I did. I got a spiffy full frame mirrorless camera body to go with it. Don’t ask. Boys and toys. It has been a game changer. I am, for the moment, shooting exclusively, extensively, with the new camera and macro lens. Better images? Sure. You can also do the job with about any other equipment. But, like cars, some are better suited to the task. Ease of use and consistent results help. It is similar to the improvement of my dive photos after I started using a dedicated underwater housing and a flash strobe. Unless you are a gearhead, you will not likely understand. Maybe you will nod indulgently like Colleen. Part of what I love is that she (Colleen) understands too well my exuberant enthusiasm. Her spinning wheels are much larger (size) examples how much fun it is to have different tools for the same task. Why use different spinning wheels? Each (wheel) brings something different and, so, brings joy to the task at hand. I like different cameras (not too many) for what they can do to get the image I have visualized. I firmly believe that iPhone is not the best tool for most situations.
These are random observations today. 3% is the amount of lemon juice in this container of frozen treat. Two servings at 130 cal for a total of 290 cal in the container. Yeah, do the math. And, two plus two…. Oh, 3% juice? It’s sugar water! Lemons are not naturally sweet. It’s the flower of a dill plant. Who cares? And, look at that fat ass. Sorry, not PC. The pic is to illustrate two – count ‘em – phones. Matching cheeks? Ooops! Phones? Was the daughter embarrassed? This was a random capture. So, the image left me wondering too. Sometimes things just don’t make a whole lot of sense. Tillie? Eyes torqued and tongue out? I don’t know either.
What catches my eye? Something I have not seen. There’s plenty. … I have not seen. Key: Bees? They look like bees – humping. Bumble bee – flying into the foxglove. All the way in! Orange flower – it’s in my garden. The label (wazzit it called?) is long gone. Willow – yawning in the reflection. Hey! It was all in the same day. Lucky? Not really. I just have a camera at hand all the time. Some days you make your own luck.
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.