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Tag Archives: Peony

I don’t typically post a yearly wrap-up but, Scott Thomas’ latest photo assignment, “Best Photos of 2011” had me looking back today. Hmmmm, was a pretty lean year for posting… I must do better in 2012! ūüôā

To make it easier, I approached this task with the desire to select the best photo for each month starting with November 2010 through October 2011. Three months proved more difficult and I allowed myself to select more than one image.

Here we go! ūüėÄ

Back in November 2010, fresh from a trip to Disney, I had posted a series of photos from Hollywood Studios. The giant scrabble board complete with green army man was my favorite:

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Oversized Scrabble Board with Green Army Man, Pixar Place, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 34mm, F/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 200, ‘Poster Edges’ CS3 Photo Filter

In late December, we were hit with the first of many Nor’easters. Even so, the abundance of¬†heavy, wet snow couldn’t put a¬†damper on our holiday spirit!

Frosty

“Frosty” (Snow-covered Holiday Wreath) Nikon D300, 82mm, F/5, 1/60s, +0.7EV, IS0 200

I couldn’t pick a favorite from January. Both images hail from our October Disney trip since by then,¬†I simply had HAD it with winter! (Molten Mickey post is here).

“Coquettish” (Lesser Flamingo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

“Molten Mickey” (Turn-style Gates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 52mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, ISO 250, Nik Color Efex Pro Detail Stylizer & Bi-Color Filters

February brought some fun with my 105mm macro lens and 3-ring extension tube set. I wanted to see just how ‘up close and personal’ I could really get!

“Missing You” (Dianthus Stamen & Petals) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro w/3-ring Extension Tube Set, F/11, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

The macro fun continued well into March

“C is for Carousel” (Stargazer Lily Stamens, Lilium Oriental Stargazer) Nikon D30, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/8s, ISO 1000

After a visit to the doctor in February got me back into a fitness routine, I was in serious need of¬†motivation to ‘stick with it’. I found exactly that in April! ūüôā

“Motivation” (Marc Jacobs Swimsuit) Nikon D300, 36mm, F/4.2, 1/20s, ISO 640

Critters are often featured in my photos and this adorable little chipmunk stole my heart in May:

“Home is Where you Make it” (Eastern Chipmunk in Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 640, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Fill Flash, -1.0 EV

June turned out to be all about flowers. I couldn’t decide between these three beauties:

“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

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

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

As a die-hard foodie, I love to cook and sometimes, I actually remember to take a photograph of my creations! We chomped on these delights all throughout July:

“Summer Cubed” (Watermelon, Mozzerella & Procuitto Bites) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/30s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

Feeling very proud of myself for not only sticking to my fitness committment but also exceeding my expectations despite breaking my left foot, I decided to show off the results of my hard work in August!

“Good Form’ (Female Fitness Portrait) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Silhouette II’ Filter

Another entry for August… when I wasn’t sweating on the elliptical, I¬†made sure¬†to enjoy the summer sunshine and was rewarded with a unique photo of a bee in flight:

“Flight of the Bee” (Carpenter Bee in Flight) Nikon D300, 280mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 640

I got all ‘artsy’ in September¬†with a series of¬†cucumber tendrills…

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

…and finally was able to say a proper Au voir to summer in October.

“And the Sun Sets on Summer” (Rudbeckia ‘Gloriosa’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/125s, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Photo Stylizer’ Filter

So, that’s it folks…a small photographic slice of 2010.

Yes, it was a VERY good year! ūüėÄ

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

“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

Blushed

“Blushed” (Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Kinkaku’, Japanese Tree Peony), Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/8, 1/80s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL-BL Flash, -1.0EV, Color Efex Pro ‘Duplex’ Filter

I’ve been saving this image for quite awhile, waiting for the perfect day to post it. Well today is my sister Lynn’s birthday and I can’t think of a more fitting time!

Unlike myself,¬†Lynn decorates for the holidays in subtle hues reminiscent of a Victorian Christmas (think¬†shades of pink, cream, gold and pale greens nestled amongst twinkling white lights…soooo pretty). You won’t find a stitch of Christmas red and forest green but trust me, you won’t miss it one bit.

Lynn is a master gardener and if it weren’t for her, I doubt I would have any sort of green thumb.¬†She helped nurture that seed in me oh, so many years ago when I was a new homeowner completely overwhelmed by the large landscape I had acquired. She lives across the state so¬†I don’t get to see her very often but, we do stay in touch via telephone and when¬†I’m in the garden or doing anything with flowers, I can’t help but think of her.

So, today’s post is all for Lynn, sending warm wishes, hugs and kisses! ‚ô•‚ô•‚ô•

When I wrote in my last post how I have a number of garden umbrellas to protect¬† my peonies from our unpredictable New England weather, I imagine some of you (and not just FS Photography) were thinking, ‘Of course you do.’ ¬†

I assure you, there is a method to my madness! ūüôā

Powder Puff

“Powder Puff” (Herbaceous Peony, Unknown Heirloom Variety) 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/11, 1/60s, +0.3EV, ISO 200

Aside from extending the life of the flowers, another advantage to the garden umbrellas is they act like large diffusers! This fact I noticed the other day while out walking the gardens. Had the umbrella not been in place, the light on this gorgeous blossom would have been too strong as it was just after high noon.

Anthology

“Anthology” (Herbaceous Peony, Unknown Heirloom Variety) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/11, 1/160s, ISO 200

Now normally, I would prefer a bloom sans ant, but since ants have always had sort of this symbiotic¬†relationship with peonies it was time to give them their proper due.¬†There is a long running debate on whether or not ants are necessary for peony buds to open and¬†most likely the correct answer is, ‘No’, but I firmly believe that Mother Nature doesn’t do something for nothing.¬†

I think the¬†ants¬†are there to provide some natural protection against harmful insects and that is why the buds¬†secrete a sweet sap to attract them in the first place. You can believe what you like but I know, the years I’ve¬†seen ants crawling all over my¬†peony plants are the years I’ve enjoyed the most blossoms and the least insect damage.¬†

So, thanks little buddy! ūüôā

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