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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Today was the day, the very last day to get a nice shot of my ‘Judith’ Daylily. After today, there would be no more blooms until next year. Over the past week, I’ve photographed the flowers up close, far away, individually, as a group, etc. and nothing has worked. Soooo, this was it. No pressure, right?

To add to the difficulty, dark clouds were looming and rain was imminent! I decided to do the best I could and let fate decide the outcome.

"Judy" (Hemerocallis 'Judith' Daylily, Old Hollywood Glamour Series), Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/20, 1/40s, ISO 640

“Judy” (Hemerocallis ‘Judith’ Daylily, Old Hollywood Glamour Series), Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/20, 1/40s, ISO 640

I bought this particular daylily many years ago in honor of my mother-in-law, Judy, who was taken away from us much too soon. Just like the blossom that bears her name, she was also larger than life, with rosy-pink cheeks and eyes that would twinkle when she smiled. She welcomed me to the family with open arms and engulfed me in warm hugs. Those are what I miss most.

Admittedly, I wasn’t much of anything (wife, homemaker, gardener, cook, etc.) when she was here with us. I’ve certainly come a long way since then and her influences weave in and out of my life. When I look at these flowers, I see her and hope that she is proud of the daughter-in-law I’ve become.

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I was up and out early this morning because our weather pattern has been so very unpredictable. Just in the time I’ve been up, we’ve experienced clouds, rain, sun, wind, more rain, then blue skies and more sun! Welcome to New England weather! 🙂

“Rise & Shine” (Thunbergia alata ‘Sunny Lemon Star’, aka Yellow Black Eyed Susan Vine) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/2.8, 1/640s, ISO 400

Black-eyed Susan Vine is one of my favorite annuals to have around. They make great topiaries, grow quickly, bloom all season long and are virtually maintenance free! What could be better than that?

I typically don’t photograph flowers on bright, sunny days when the sun is high in the sky. The difference in contrast between shadow and highlight areas is too pronounced and overall, colors tend to be washed out. Not good times.

"Limelight" (Cranesbill, 'Rozanne' aka, Hardy Geranium), Nikon D300, 460mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/8, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 320

“Limelight” (Cranesbill, ‘Rozanne’ aka, Hardy Geranium), Nikon D300, 460mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/8, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 320

However, some really cool effects can be had when, what could be called “harsh top light”, is used to illuminate petals that are photographed from behind. 

Take this Cranesbill blossom. I photographed the flowers from this very same plant a little over a month ago (Crayola part deux) and the two images couldn’t be more different.

If you didn’t know, this bloom could be one of many flower varieties, as we generally don’t see them photographed this way. Here, the focus is on negative versus positive space and the play of light between the two. It’s tricky to pull off successfully and, in order to do so, you have to pay even closer attention to the 5 design elements of good composition: line, shape, pattern, texture and color. (A little luck doesn’t hurt either). 🙂

When it all comes together, the results can be downright illuminating!

For some reason, the North American Green Frogs loveour swimming pool! We fished this girl out and she stayed put on the arm of the yellow Adirondack chair where I was sitting, so I decided to photograph her.

“Ribbit” (North American Green Frog) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 400

As the sun was just about to dip below the horizon (a.k.a., the “magic” light), it cast this lovely warm glow across the frog, highlighting that really cool ring of metallic gold surrounding her eye.

Oh, and that gorgeous blue background color?? Well, that is courtesy of a pool float leaning up against our gas grill located about 15 feet away.

I couldn’t have staged this better if I tried! 🙂

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