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Monthly Archives: June 2011

As a gardener, I’ve learned there are a number of factors, many of which are completely out of my control, that influence how ‘good’ a growing season will be. Some years, I’ve seen off-the-chart clematis blooms while others, not so much. And it seems when one particular plant species is underperforming, sure enough, another will out-do itself.

For example, this year the peonies in my garden didn’t quite fair so well with less-than-normal yields on each plant and short-lived blossoms that faded quickly. However, in direct contrast, the dogwood trees are simply stunning! 🙂

Our tree is 12 years old and it is completely engulfed in flowers. It looks lovely by day as the sunshine strikes the white pointed bracts and ethereal by night, when subtly lit and reflecting into the dark water of the pool below.

“The Flying Nun” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 320

The challenge for a photographer, especially one like myself who has been shooting flowers for more years than I care to admit 😉 , is to capture the beauty of nature in a unique manner. Type in ‘kousa dogwood flower’ in any internet search engine and pages upon pages of image results will display, many of them looking exactly the same. Sigh. Where’s the creativity, people??!

“Yamaboushi” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 320, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, +1.0 EV

So, I set out to shoot these beauties in a manner I’ve not seen before. I admit it took alot of walking about and much contemplation (studying backgrounds, lighting and camera angles) to achieve what I wanted. What I love about the first image is the way the light is cradled inside the delicate cup shape created by the white bracts, causing it to literally glow against the darker background.

What I love about the second image is the soft tones and curves that focus our attention on the true flowers (considered ‘ornamentally insignificant’) which are the small yellow-green inflorescences in the center. (Surprised? 😉 ) Those same bracts now appear as fluid as fabric, gathered and held together at the center by Mother Nature’s very own version of  ‘bling’.

All in all, a doggone good day for shooting an old favorite. 🙂

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Well, I’ll leave that up for you to decide… 🙂
 

“Faith” (White Nemesia) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/320s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

 
 

“Hope” (Pink Herbaceous Peony) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/320s, -0.3EV, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

 
 

“Love” (Dicentra spectabilis, Pink Bleeding Heart) Nikon D300, 260mm, F/5, 1/640s, -1.0EV, ISO 200

With higher than normal temps for spring, it feels more like August than early June. Stepping outside today is like entering a sauna FULLY CLOTHED. Yuck.

Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

“Momma Told Me There’d Be Days Like This” (American Red Squirrel, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 340mm, F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

Now, I like the heat and all but it is just too soon to be in the 90’s. I broke a sweat just doing the morning chores! The air is so hot and thick, it is difficult to even breathe let alone move. And it isn’t just me who is feeling this way. I spotted many yard residents acting very lethargically.

Just Resting My Eyes

“Just Resting My Eyes” (Adult Female American Red Squirrel) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm F/4G w/1.7x Teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/25s, ISO 640

Can’t say I blame them. The heat is tough enough to take without sporting a fur coat! I felt bad for the furry beasts knowing I could escape back into the AC when it simply got to be too much. Sadly, they do not have any other option but to grin and bear it. Sigh.

Takin' It Easy

“Takin’ It Easy” (American Red Squirrel, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 370mm (200-400mm F/4G w/1.7x Teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

Hang in there, my little critters. Relief is coming! 🙂

"Killer Moth" (Moth on Screen) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/320s, +0.7EV, ISO 2500, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong Puffer, -1.0EV, Color Negative Processing

I really can’t explain why I shoot what I shoot.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as: I see it, I think it’s neat (for whatever bizarre reason), so I shoot.

Earlier today, I came upon a moth on our screen slider. A fairly common occurrence and before now, I never felt the least bit compelled to take a photograph. Today, I did. Why? No idea. 

My gut said, That looks interesting, shoot it.’ (I find it most prudent to listen to what my gut says).

Looking at the result on my monitor, I didn’t hate the image but I didn’t love it either. Until, that is, I processed it as a color negative. Cool!

Does my gut have x-ray vision?? 🙂

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