Word and Image

Posts tagged “Flowers

Done

I don’t keep track well. The garden is done when? After the first frost, everything goes dormant. All the impatiens are gone overnight. The frost came late this year. How would I know that these pics a week or so before were the last from my garden till next spring. Bye! It was a good year!? I have a few pots that come inside… Meyer lemon trees, asparagus fern… I like the cycle of the seasons.


Fill time

It is a rare day that goes by without me taking pictures. Subject? Ah! Cats and flowers… they are available and do not object too much. Seven cats – only a few are cooperative. The rest avoid me.

Take a picture just to take a picture? Umm, I consider it a challenge. Get a technically sound image with some wrinkle in detail – water – that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Busy time activity? Boredom? Warding away the doldrums of retirement? Ha! Colleen fills her time with reading. For me, there are only so many times I can hit the refresh button on the NY Times.


Muse

I wonder why I blog? Not too much. But… ego? Show off? Do I need to share? Am I needing accolade?

It started a while back as a suggestion from cousin Amy. It has lasted. Occasionally, there are mentions from my family and friends. “Likes” and “comments” here are appreciated. Of course!

Colleen! Yes! My muse. She is the current driving force. Ginny commented that things got a lot more personal when Colleen entered my life again. Sure. It was always in me from freshman college English. I could/can always write. But the personal side… that is/was guarded.

Meanwhile, beauty and wonder are all around. I marvel at the images my camera will produce. I do not consider myself an artist in the “drawing/painting” sense. But I enjoy documenting my life. I am creating a legacy while capturing life as it unfolds for me and for Colleen. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder how legacy carries on. Not too many people use telegraph or horseback these days. Do you still have a hard line phone?

As ever, I remain fascinated at the detail my camera lens can capture.


What lives

Year to year. Annuals are flowers that last the summer and die with the frost. Cherish them. Water them. Enjoy! We plant again in the spring. Start over. Cherish them…


Whimper

I recall vividly that the last slide I shot was at Dave’s graduation. Little did I know or suspect film would so suddenly be gone in my life. I just simply never went back. I did not look back. And I have not shot a roll of film since my Nikon D70 arrived late after I got home from work. Who knew?!

Nothing of import was on that last roll of slides. The deck, my dog, Dave, the school play and some flowers numbered among the mundane subjects. Interesting to see. I had never really checked until now.


Develop

Develop has a whole new meaning these days. It used to mean taking film and transforming it into a print. Digital images require no printing. Manipulation can transform an image into something it wasn’t when it started. Cropping? Or, there are black and white conversions. Or toning. Whatever. The effects can be dramatic. So many flowers, so little time.


Point and shoot

I humbled myself this morning. I was passing over these images and simply assumed I had shot them with my trusty “big camera and lens.” Wrong, it was my point and shoot Canon G7. Too easy, the camera was too basic to get shots like these. Nope! Each and every one was the G7. I’m so biased. I do not believe iPhone to be a worthy camera. In a pinch, but not a mainstay, the iPhone lens is too small!

It’s not the camera it’s the photographer, eh?!


This year

It happened. Can it be? Covid – mask? Ukraine? Travel? Events? Forbidden?

Though many around us have been touched by covid – children, grandchildren, cousins and so forth….

We went to the museum to see the new exhibit. It’s on loan and traveling from Long Island. Photos forbidden. Oops! I already shot by the time Colleen pointed it out. Does this fall under street photography? It was illustrative that covid was still in our thoughts.

Taken at random the flower or the fish could have been anywhere. I needed the white gate to orient me. Aha! Winterthur – been there!

Random sunset. Or perhaps sunrise? It would depend on which side of the car windows I was shooting. Aha! Metadata?! 6:56PM.

Fine photography? No, nope, not hardly… but, fine by me.


Three star

I rate my pictures as I edit. Two stars – technically good, not outstanding, but a good shot. Three stars – a little bit better. I’m looking through three star edits. No worries. Good shots. Fun. Solid. Wow! They might make you smile. It’s not necessarily an easy shot to get. The smiles are real. I can admire my technical prowess sometimes. It’s like kids. Don’t you love them all? Equally?


Fast forward

Life is in fast forward these days. There’s no let up soon. We returned from Maine and flew to California. Day trips. Thanksgiving at our house. Ohio a couple of trips. We are on the go. In between there is a lot of fleece to wash, card, and spin. No boredom around here. Looking back at the first part, maybe that was the slow part?

Family, kids, nature, cats… repeat.


Guilt

I am racked with guilt. Even when they were both with us, I could never tell the difference between Ray and Nutley looking at them head on. There was a white collar of fur on Ray’s neck. Flowers look the same too? Right? You don’t mistake your kids? Relatives? Friends?

Ha ha. Freudian? I started to list the cats as “family” in the category and tags.


End of the season

It’s the end of the garden season. I try to have color all spring and summer. Flowers, even annuals, have a season and some do not last all season. Glancing briefly at last year there was a better season, so it seems. There were more picturesque blossoms that lasted longer. Really? Does it matter? We go forward. But, gee, I wish I were getting better.

The best I can say is “different.” Each season is learning what works and what did not. No complaints. The nurseries carry different flowers. Some work; some do not. Be positive. Be happy. Don’t worry.

Don’t worry. Be happy!


Who’s watching

Colleen reads my blog. She is very complimentary. Of course! Well, thank goodness. She is quick to tell me if she dislikes something. She is my number one fan and supporter. Do I need more?

They keep statistics on the parent website. It tracks visits and views and from which country I am being viewed. I have been seen from around the world. Not all at once but over time someone from almost every country has seen one of my posts. Impressive! I am awed at the reach of the internet. Some folks even come back more than once.

So. Today. I see some nice things. Peonies. Who knew? I ignore them in the plant nurseries. They put on an utterly amazing display in the spring. It’s too short for me to plant in my container garden. I want color all summer long. But spectacular! My thanks to the patient gardeners who have such a brief but spectacular show. It’s still pandemic as evidenced by the cat mask (Colleen made it, my favorite).


Same ole’

It’s easy to slip into your comfort zone. I shoot cats, family, and flowers. There is some travel, restaurants, food, and museums. Events are an occasional opportunity. It is a running legacy. Does anyone care?

By now you’ve seen about as many cats and flowers as you might ever wish to see. There are stories. Sure. But how interested is anyone in the saga of my cats? Good pictures? Technically so, they are I suppose. Good stories? For a laugh, maybe they are. Somewhat.

I write. It’s an outlet. I illustrate. Or, perhaps I photograph to illustrate? Eh? I photograph. I decided I cannot draw or paint. Photographs don’t lie. Except when they do. I photograph. I tell stories. I suppose you should be glad not to be my cat. Too many pictures.


Boring

Not! Life is never the same. We finished a kitchen renovation. What happens if you don’t like the color? Now, for the backsplash – I was gonna tackle that job. Experience? None! Ha ha. Confidence or stupidity? Easy! Except if, the tiles are not fitting the wall height or width, and, there are outlets to cut around. Oh boy! The weather! It’s always fun. Clouds, color, the moon all provide ample opportunity to capture a good image. Why are there always telephone poles in my images? Flowers?! Too numerous to count. While renovating we had to eat out. Eh? You know who likes to eat out!


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.