Here’s my rose garden now. The best garden is the one I can admire but don’t have to tend. No weeding. No deadheading. No watering. Just admire and smile. I did container gardening for more than twenty years. I’ll pull out some slides and show you someday. Plant, wait for the flowers to grow, deadhead, water, and fuss. It was a pretty damn good garden. It was like therapy. I’d water for an hour and be pretty mellow. Then it became a chore. And no one appreciated the effort. Oh well. Everything changes. These days, this is my garden. It is a landscape of coral that look like gray stalks underwater. Shine a daylight color balanced strobe on them and they are spectacular. You don’t have to agree. Fine by me. But I get to admire them and they always make me smile. They are down below 70 feet. Not too many divers venture here. No one seems intent on destroying beauty. There was a gorgeous fan coral someone destroyed not too far from here. Fortunately, the beauty of this coral is hidden until you make them shine. I get to see a lot of neat things. I get to see them over and over. This sort of makes all the downside better. Like roses with thorns, coral has the nasty habit of giving you skin irritation. So remember. Don’t touch nothin,’ nothin’ ever! I can assure you my advice is sound. (I’m itching the back of my hand as we speak.)
Nothing new here. I take pictures of everything. Fish when they are there. Food when it’s in front of me. It’s a learning process. I look. Then I wonder how it is different. We see things. But do I look at them. Too much. Too many things. Details. I would never move on. I just look and sometimes things strike me. So here is the latest. A plant from the nursery that I just planted. Actually, I think it was Lowe’s. I just randomly pick things that will be colorful and grow with not too much fuss over the summer. I’m pretty much with a camera all the time. Or an iPhone. I prefer a camera. If it’s worth shooting I should be serious. The exception is in the hospital. I have my smartphone always. And the image is good enough for Powerpoint. I shoot images of the x-rays I see. Interesting cases. And then use them for teaching.
But here, the macro capability of the camera shines. Stamens. Focused. Detail. I daresay it’s better than the other images of the whole flower. Do I really need to show you the whole thing. Sure, if it’s a catalog. No, if it’s to draw your eye to a detail you might otherwise not appreciate. I’m good. Not great. Got a shot you might not have taken. But I didn’t get out a true macro lens and set this shot up with pinpoint detail. Nope, sorry. That would be work. And this is all fun for me. I watch my kids roll their eyes and stop listening. Then I know I have gone from fun to work. I’m not working right now.
However, I do take play seriously. The funny thing is that I pull out my phone to show pictures and the same rolled eyes start.
Photo opportunity. I’m a moderate. Funny to say in the world of extreme politics these days. Amateurs start off shooting the whole field of blooms. And the real purists shoot a tiny microscopic detail. I’m in between. Mostly lazy. I get in close enough to get a detail but not too close to considered a nutty professional. I have a day job and this is for me. No post processing. More and more the image is straight out of the camera minimal cropping and hardly a sign of manipulation.
Oh heavens! Some people cringe! Not raw! Heresy! HDR? I thought he was a former president. Yeah, yeah, kidding. It’s mostly because photography is fun for me. It’s technical, sure. But mostly it is what I like. Every once in a while you wake up and smell the flowers. You knew I would say that. Right?
There is nothing picturesque about an artichoke in the market. You can barely make one out behind this flower. So you can imagine (maybe not) my amazement to see this flower and find out it was an artichoke blossom. Ok, if you’ve never seen an artichoke, just smile. I find that most people are unfamiliar with the vegetable and how to eat much less prepare it. There really isn’t too much to do. It’s what you season with that counts. Garlic or garlic and lots of bread crumbs, either way it’s gonna taste good. And no, I will not tell you exactly how to eat it. Look on the ‘net. Meanwhile this is an artichoke flower. Neat! I learned something too.
Graphic. I like graphic images now. The plain old tulip is. You need something to catch your interest. Graphic detail always gets my attention. Dead on straight, a snap shot is angled. But a good graphic is eye catching. Focus!
By the time I reached Washington the cherry blossoms were long gone. I have wanted to see them forever. It will just have to be another trip. Meanwhile pink dogwoods are rather nice. If you don’t look closely they are pink and rather colorful. And there were certainly many trees in bloom to make the walk colorful.
A non sequitur, as we entered Washington DC, I discovered that I was in need of a comb. CVS was out of them. I don’t mean one store. I mean to say that I dropped by multiple stores in many neighborhoods. The display signs were there; all the combs were sold out. Come on! Really! It was so weird. No comb picture. Sold out!
I did not realize that hydrangeas were the big fall flower. I’d lived several years in Maine and don’t recall autumn full of hydrangeas. But it seemed that everywhere I turned there they were. Pretty nice! Oh, and it seems they were all the same color. Yes, they all seemed to be this dusty pink shade. A nice stone wall to go and I am all set.
This, too, was an evening shot. The blue cast and the soft focus is a contrast to my usual preference for bright sunshine and rich color. Yes a little fog goes a long way. It’s the same time frame as the foggy lighthouses.
I did a lot of container gardening for a while. This is a small sample in mid summer bloom. There were many plants and a riot of color. Different flowers and crowd them together, I was told. The metallic figure front and center was a gift from Lila to our garden. When we moved a few months ago it was left behind as a gift to the new owners. It was a few years since I have gardened and the most recent planting was drab. But once upon a time there were lots of plants and color. And it was as though a private backyard was there in Manhattan.
Color, pattern, and detail – all are important to making this image. it is not commonly grown in NYC. I found it in a nursery and grew it in a container garden on the deck. Then I moved in for a graphic macro shot. Since I first saw this flower in the nursery, I see it quite commonly. They were in abundance in California when I visited last year. It seems I am not the only one who likes different.