Word and Image

Posts tagged “Flowers

Azalea woods

Winterthur. Springtime. Spectacular! We should do this more and again. We never do. There is always so much else to do and so much to see. I live near the beach and don’t go to walk there nearly as often as we should.

The azaleas are in full bloom. Peonies, rhododendron, and the hydrangea all contribute to the colorful display. Mr. DuPont would be happy to know his garden legacy is so appreciated. We certainly felt privileged to be there among his blooms planted so long ago that others would benefit so many years later.


Cruisin’

I cruise the garden for photo ops. I sit and photo the dawn and dusk out my window. I get a gallery’s worth of pics. My cats are not exactly cooperative. The key is to focus on their eyes. They won’t look at me. Boring. Me?! Ha ha! Bugs come and go. They fly in and I shoot. Water? It rains and I water. It’s another opportunity. Life is pretty peaceful right now. I hope it stays that way.


Rain

It rained. This means there are lots of photo ops with raindrops. I am not one for subtlety. The effect has to be fairly obvious. Is it? Maybe it’s not so obvious until the image is enlarged a bit more.  

How do you photo flowers? Individually, in a bunch, arrangement, garden, etc. I have tried most things. What works? Different. Different? It all depends on what strikes me. Different is hard. I tend to get into a habit of shooting the same no matter what. The blossom changes but the technique and composition are similar. Breaking free of the rut is hard. Rain is different. That helps.


Drama

The good pictures “pop!” Pop? Well, they stand out. I take lots of technically sound images. The ones that stand out for me? I have no particular criteria. Like it or not. It just stands apart from the other choices. Notable! Noteworthy! And then forgotten. Not forgot but just moved to the back; there are more better images coming all the time. TMI. Who can keep up in today’s digital world? Indeed, I feel overwhelmed. Whereas I shot parsimoniously in slide film, digital is a free-for-all. It is nothing to pass thru my garden and have several hundred good images of the blossoms each day. Oh well, bugs and cats, that is my world today. Tomorrow another subject will catch my eye.  


A year ago

It seems so long ago… but it was but a year ago. I was on a quest for a good pizza. It was not easy and did not come for a good long while. We discovered Milton. So? It’s been there for a long time already… Flowers on my deck, they are the same and they are different. The black-eyed Susan were abundant. Perennial plants, they did not come back robustly again this year. Peas was a brand new kitten that came home with us. Donna had a different wig. Mozzarella and tomatoes, a summer classic is usually served in one dish together. The lighting is stark. I guess that is why the image caught my eye. The selfie: I just got a throwback Canon G3, my first digital camera. The original went lost and missing. Not too bad, except I got old. It’s a year later and I am still seeking a good pizza.


Rated well

I go with what strikes me as I edit. No overthinking. I just go with the gut. One star – ok, but not quite. Two star – good solid technically good. Three star – rare, it just stands out. Four and five – hardly ever.

Water is always good in a flower shot. It’s above ordinary. I don’t get water too often. Cats – my black cat is hard to image and she is hard to pin down for a focused shot of her eyes. You’d think it’s easy. I get the eyes on all my other cats. Nope! And getting texture on the fur is a challenge too. But the eyes… except, it’s nice to see the tongue. Cats do not stick out their tongue. It’s different. Worms and bugs – not so easy. I got this caterpillar by chance. I nearly missed it. It was so tiny. Focus! It’s critical. Otherwise, it’s not a shot. And the moth? Not so simple, this one was all over skittering from blossom to blossom. I stood still and just waited to shoot when it landed again. Focus, otherwise, it’s not a shot. There were a lot of “not” shots. Among thousands of shots there are only a very few rated three stars.


I remember this one

I remember taking the pic of this flower. We – I was rushing along the pool edge to get to the other side… this would be a grab shot. I just fired off a couple frames and didn’t stop.  Specifically, we were visiting Winterthur. A nice day, a very nice day was had by all. We did the garden tram tour. And, I made Colleen and Lee stand on the stairs for which Lee was reluctant – camera shy. I cut off their ankles. Did you notice? The pond view with three flowers had potential. Alas. It did not translate as anything special in the edit. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. Hey! Ankles would’ve been better.


Who’s missing?

Missing? Ha ha. It’s cats and flowers. I simply have too many. Flowers are available in great quantity, too numerous to choose one above the others. Cats, I have seven. Try to herd them together. Nope, not happening. The best I can do is to get some individual shots (of the cats) and usually I will not see them all at the same time. Feather is smart enough to avoid me when she wants to hide. Smart cats? Oh, yes! May I also “point” out that the family responds to command and suggestion differently as is amply on display here. They are cooperative but can be hard to herd together too.


Technically good

At this time of the year I am taking pictures of the flowers in my garden. And there are so many – too many – good shots – to mention or to post. Pick. Right! I suppose the bee that flew into my picture would be serendipitous. Fun! Yes, pick one. I can’t. With so much material to edit, I am helpless to pick a single image among the lot. It’s ok. No need to be alarmed. We can post as we may. It’s all in fun. There was a time when film cost money and experimentation was limited. Nowadays I am no longer constrained. It certainly allows you to explore and find new ways to do things.


Do you see…

…what I see. Ha ha. Christmas in July? August? Macro is a counter-intuitive term to me. It should be macro. So?! Whatever. I see detail. I cannot see it (fine detail) without that macro lens, and only after post-processing. Do you?

Here’s how it goes: The detail of the (hairy) pistil is only evident when you enlarge the image by about 10X. Oh! Ah! There’s a fine line between ooooh and ah!

Dammit! (an aside) All of this posting ain’t free. You run out of storage space and pay WordPress an annual fee. Damn! So, I’m outta space. Just now! Just this very post! And, I gotta pay – more! I almost stopped publishing. Oh, well, I guess the show will go on. Send money please….

At the end of the day, it’s all macro, through my macro lens. But, some things are enlarged further. I could do it all with normal lens – mostly, but not all. Technology?! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Colleen, the credit card bill went up again.


Back…

… home. Can you say wilted? My flower garden wilted in my absence. We have just returned. A cousin watered. The garden took a hit. You’d never know from these pics. A bee fly? Yup! Never seen one, it’s new to me. No longer. I got to leisurely shoot one out in Colorado. Deja vu all over again?? Meanwhile, a caterpillar walked into my picture. Really! And another bug, looks like a firefly, but it’s more ominous, I’m sure. The colors have changed. The flowers missed me. Return to normal? We’ll see. Meanwhile, Miracle Gro for all!


Bee fly

Ok! I’m sitting looking at a cut flower arrangement and the wildest looking bee ever flies up and lets me take its picture!! Over and over! Like, it flew away and came back and again and again. Get it? I was so privileged. Anyway, the internet says – bee fly. Wow! The details in flight were quite something. It all came together for a few magical moments. There was a ruby throated hummingbird flying around too. Nope! My luck did not go there.


Road trip

Covid is still around us. Emma got it. Jason got it. Our trip was torn to sunder. We have a Plan B.

How do you watch the Jan 6 Hearings without an internet connection or TV? Unlimited ATT data stream. It did not work on my DirectTV connection, or, on the NYT site. We went to the NPR site for a while till the tech caught up. Riveting?!

Travel day is always traumatic. Nutley was pretty much clinging to Colleen’s leg. Don’t go! I will miss my (flowers) cats! Things change. Clouds! Colleen’s favorite coffee shop is moving! Did I mention, Jane loves to eat out. Travel days are always eventful. I changed light bulbs. The string on Jane’s weed eater takes .065 string. It says: right on the label! Calm down. Maintain humor.

Epilogue: ? This requires one? Walmart: .065 string, 1,2,3… It doesn’t fit. The fitting is all proprietary!!! The different companies all carry their own specific string container. Scott is a POS – piece of shit. They are not on the internet with any replacement string. I had to buy a whole new one (weed whacker!) from Amazon!! Yup, the great mega store in the sky!


Choices

Everyday there are choices to be made. Pick a picture(s). Cats? Flowers? Old photos?

Old photos? Colleen has a few photos in her archive. They are scattered, disorganized, and precious. Precious few, precious photos. Old black and whites depict images of family from long ago. The folks are known and remembered. Memory fades. I hope the legacy will endure.

Or, it would be – pick a flower. I got lots. It’s like diving. I do a photo survey about twice a day on two decks. I cull out the best in my editing. My digital archive is expansive. … so many pics, so many choices… Quintessential? I’m still looking…

Cats?! Ha ha. I got seven characters. Their numbers vary. Their behaviors are sometimes quite charming. Baskets, boxes, containers? All are fair game. They patiently wait and take their turns. Cuteness reigns. We (wistfully) remember the missing (cats). This would be Feather and Nutley. Ha ha, I can count too.


Summer

It’s summer flowers. Details. Close-ups. Color. I like water – shooting the droplets on the petals. You can do it after the rain, after watering, or just use the mist setting on the water nozzle. Parts: a detail of the flowers – stamens, etc., is always worth a moment’s effort. Same ole’? I try for something different. No matter. The color palette will always keep you interested. Alas, the days are getting shorter once again. My thoughts turn to fall.


Macro (lens)

It’s sort of like micro as in microscopic but it is more telephoto or close-up of near objects rather than birds in a tree. Got it? It is a 105mm lens. Portrait? Well, not really. I can focus down to within an inch of my subject… get close… closer.

Great cat photo! I was surprised. The macro lens did a better job than…? Hummingbird? I happened to have the macro lens mounted on the camera as the bird flew toward the feeder. Serendipitous! Ditto, the bee, it was in my picture from the corner of the lens/my eye as I pressed the shutter. Spontaneous capture, definitely, unplanned. No error! It was skill! Ha ha. Sometimes I just close my eyes and press the shutter. Yes!


More or less

I cannot seem to post a single picture any longer. It seems to be multiples. I should be more discerning about editing. There are so many pics and stories…. The pines suggested to me – saguaro cacti in the dessert. Orange flower on a stalk? Red hot poker? Names vary, color is great, and it is a beach perennial. Ok? Waves? I finally got the hang of catching one. Pan the camera. People watching? It never goes out of style. Clouds, I chase them. We do selfies. It’s legacy – for the kids. It adds up. We exercise – some. We hold hands – more or less all the time. I shoot, edit, and post.


Dead horse

Sailors were paid wages for their first month of work before it was performed. This month of pre-paid work was known as dead horse. After the first month of their voyage, seamen sometimes performed a ceremony known as Flogging the Dead Horse, to mark the ending of their owed work time.

The idiom “to beat a dead horse” originated from the fact that flogging a dead horse will not compel him to do useful work.

So, the floor is done. Fill the room. No! Don’t put all the clutter back! Ok!? So, two looms and a sewing table, I thought we had a weaving studio? What’s in your closet? I got a warping reel… and a bench. It’s a walk-in closet, gotta have a place to sit. My mess is all the travel bags on the lower left. The defect? … my narrow board, it’s tucked under the rug. Tillie (black cat) knows.

Why are flowers red? Easy – genes. But why red? Philosophical, existential? What to know? I can concentrate on flowers once more.

The window washer came. Like the einsie weinsie spider…

“Itsy Bitsy Spider”, more often recited than sung, is a finger-play rhyme for children. It tells the adventures of a Spider, named Itsy Bitsy (or Incy Wincy – more popular in England)

I have never spelled it out. Imagine that. How old am I? but itsy bitsy is the popular version….

Everyday, I learn something new….


Six boards

I ordered 13 boxes of flooring – 20 sq ft x 13. One box was damaged and another delivered without a question. 14 boxes and I was short about six boards to finish the space completely. We bought another – whole box!! Ha ha. It comes in 2 ½ inch, 3 ½ inch, and 5 inch width. I had just installed 3 ½ inch. Our new box was 2 ½ inch. My bad! Oy!! I buried the narrow boards in the closet. No one will notice – maybe the new homeowners, eventually.

Can you see? The newest boards added are now narrower? The trim board at the bathroom floor transition is slightly narrower, (by an inch). Nope! Looks good! I’m sitckin’ with that! It was amazing that mostly the rows fit together like a puzzle with hardly (just a few) any cuts with the saw.

Flowers?! My reward for a day’s hard floor work, a photographic walk thru my garden. Yup, all planted for summer, good to go. In a weird way it is like diving in the Red Sea. Same flowers (same fish), they change every day. Flowers bloom, others fade, I am challenged to capture beauty and essence. Technique, focus, and composition are critical.

And so on and on… it makes Colleen smile … the floor or the flowers?


Cloudy

We deferred having our windows washed… (Yes, I do not do windows?!)… because it was gonna rain. And, it did… for two straight weeks! Good call!

How much rain? … enough to wash away our beach.

Mother Nature is a powerful force. I am happy we got blue skies back. The window washers are coming next week. Doesn’t it always work out, that, it rains right after you wash the car? I don’t wash mine; it rains anyway.


The saga

Does my living room look less worse? Cluttered? Ha ha. The floor us complete! Awesome! We did it! Colleen would defer. But, indeed, she helped! Assembly required, we had to return everything to its place. Note: a few (only a few) things did not return.

I had saws on both decks. Thank goodness. The sawdust! See the spider webs revealed by the stray dust?! (We got lots of spiders!) I cannot be certain, but, we passed, cat inspection. Mistakes? A few. How about waiting a day for a new floor nailer? 16 gauge nails do not fit when it calls for 18 gauge. Duh?! Yeah, guilty! Not too bright! In the end…  great job, looks fantastic, I’m glad it’s done.


Still trying

Last year I got pics of a flower with a tongue sticking out just like the Rolling Stones logo. I think I have the same flowers in different colors? But, I have missed the brilliant red tongue. I got yellow and purple…. There is a snap dragon with fangs. And, there is a black petunia. I am still working on technique, focus, and composition. I avoid working too hard. 🙂 Focus has been hard! The softest breeze wreaks havoc with macro focus. I rediscovered the AF-On button (as if you care). It’s all about color and detail. Easy! The flower pics look good, don’t they?


I’ve been better

In context, that title may mean several things. I’ve been accused of not being in my right head but then again, I am left handed…

Flower with a tongue? Yeah! I ain’t crazy. Last year… I have only begun to shoot since planting this past week (…late May). Wow, the pics from last year… but then, also, a lot of flowers did not find their way into my cart, unavailable this year. Focus. I need to concentrate. Don’t sweat. Things will come to me. Again. Patience. Ha ha. Colleen laughs. When did I ever sit down and smell the roses? Ummm… how would I photograph that?


Focus

Macro photography has the great benefit of delivering flower detail you might ordinarily not notice. Lessons! Or, macro may easily enough fail to deliver the essence of the subject. Hit or miss? Hibiscus, did you know the pistil has fine hairs? Did you ever care? The African daisy has central sex parts, the focus is critical to draw interest. Asian lily, focus on the stamens and the focus on the petals is lost. Is the picture lost? Nemesia, has a small protruding hairy tongue. I bet you did not know that and probably never cared till I pointed it out. A slight breeze makes it impossible to focus on this fine detail. You look at a cluster of flowers and just notice purple or yellow. I can tell you the my nursery folks were mystified that I sought to purchase their flowers with the little protruding tongue. Yup, right, crazy! …Too much tequila before he went to buy plants.