Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

For the Weekly Photo challenge of Minimalist, I chose 3 plant photos I took the other day at the Franklin Park Conservatory. I don’t really think of plants as being minimalistic because they are quite the opposite. But I decided these compositions suited the theme, at least that was my intention. Minimalism conjures up thoughts of cold and hard, yet clean. At least to me. Perhaps the forms speak louder than words.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

Christmas Cactus

I chose this photo for my weekly photo challenge of “Angular” because while purpose of the photo was to capture the bloom of the Christmas Cactus before it opened all the way (it looked quite like a graceful flamingo to me), the confluence of the tip of the bloom exactly in line with the edge of its container, with the accidental geometric background was delightful to me. My eye gets pulled in a few directions, my mind wonders about the intent and the purpose; and the angles, normally harsh and cold, are soft like the petals of the flower. I like it.

Playing Catch-Up

Fall Color 10/16/14New Life 10/16/14Morning Glory 10/16/14

I’ve been unavoidably detained~ but I have taken a few photos here and there when I could. As I play catch-up here on my beloved blog I am grouping things together in a time/theme fashion. My apologies for my absence. 😉

Happy 4th of July

Old GLory Flower Morning Glory Lovers

I finally grew the morning-glory seeds that I keep buying. Only one has bloomed so far and really it is pink (shown below). I love these flowers when planted on purpose. The insane white ones that are weeds in my front yard that go crazy and choke everything I am not a giant fan of. I am anticipating blue ones, variegated ones, and even a coffee with cream color flower. Wouldn’t it be fun if I could grow the flag one? I’d be one popular flower lady. Why do I love the morning-glory? Their leaves are hearts, the blooms only last a day, they climb, hummingbirds like them, and most of all my grandma always had them in her backyard on the trellis by the back door to her house. (I even got a tattoo of some on my back a long time ago). Anyway, I am cleaning my room (which sounds so funny. Somehow it was more fun as a kid) and as usual I have trouble not doing little distractions along the way, like photo-shopping a patriotic flag onto one of them. And now, back to cleaning, going through old stuff and listening to tunes.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday if you reside in the United States. And for all the doggies, I hope it goes by quickly for you! If you live elsewhere have a wonderful day, week, weekend….!

morning glory flower

Ranunculus Hybrids

Spring has begun and I have been planting new flowers and fruits, as well as three plants of brussels sprouts. (I also got a bunch of veggie and flower seeds but have yet to begin sprouting them. Eek). These beautiful flowers are all Ranunculus (meaning “little frog” in latin, supposedly because they like damp conditions). We have had a couple of rainy days, and what better time than to photograph raindrops on the flowers? None! The basic ranunculus is also known as buttercup and is poisonous, so don’t eat it or rub it on you. Folklore of the flower is below; funny we always held up dandelions to our chins claiming you like butter if it reflects yellow.

Folklore (taken straight from http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/ranunculus_acris.htm)

Is said to give a brighter yellow colour to butter. On May Day, the Irish used to rub buttercups onto cows udders, a tradition to supposedly encourage milk production. In some places, this tradition continues.

If a buttercup held beneath your chin casts a reflection against the flesh, you are fond of butter.

Victorians believed it stood for ingratitude and childishness. Some folklore believes yellow to be an evil colour and, hence, gives the plant an evil side.

African Violet Beauty

african violetThe African Violet (Saintpaulia) is a good plant to raise your green thumb awareness. They need a little thoughtfulness regarding how they need to be treated, and if done right (and it isn’t hard) they will reward you with much love, color, and sweetness. Water from the bottom (or at least under the leaves), well-drained, but not dry. Do not get the leaves wet as they will show discoloration. Most of my other plants are super hardy, so if I can care for an african violet, so can you! I just make sure they are not overly wet or overly dry. I keep it by my kitchen sink so I see it often. If I put it somewhere out of sight (and what would be the point of that?) I would forget and it would be compost.

Elegance

Christmas CactusI have a Christmas Cactus that is really old. I think I got it around 1998 as a gift. It is still in its original plastic pot. It could use a new home badly. It is completely lopsided, and this year only has one bloom. A brave little soldier. I can’t say why I haven’t repotted it. Maybe I am a little afraid of it breaking. I see new beautiful ones in the store, but I will not buy one until I give this one some love. I sometimes see them out on the curb after the holidays with the discarded trees and garland. I hate seeing that. It makes me very sad. Next time I see a Christmas Cactus I am going to save it from its death. I think they have the most exquisite blooms. I love the elegance they have, soft, sheer petals that somehow resemble shrimp to me. Mine has a pretty pink stamen that looks like a hand reaching out. I used my preview window, tripod, 100mm Macro Canon lens (which is awesome btw) and cable release to shoot these macro images. It is way better that holding your breath trying to not move.

How do you do?

 

Fall Snow

We got our first snow of the season 2 days ago, last Tuesday. So pretty, a bit cold, but it was neat to see the fall foliage with the snow. An unusual sight. Most of the snow is gone now, except my north facing front yard.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

When I explain what a SLR/DSLR camera does regarding aperture and shutter speed, I try to liken it to a see-saw. If one is up the other is down; There always has to be a point of balance. For myself I always decide what is the most important thing concerning the subject at hand. There are lots of variables, but speed, light, and depth of field are the biggies for me. I tend to shoot in shutter priority, because I am lazy and don’t enjoy lugging my tripod around. Shooting in shutter priority I know will give me a fast enough shutter speed to keep the image from being blurry. I also am lucky enough to have an auto ISO (“Film” speed) so my camera can adjust the ISO according to the available light. I don’t have a flash, don’t like the tripod (which would give me better photos but a neck and shoulder ache), so in low light my photos are a bit grainier (noisier in digital land). But for now, that is ok by me, because I am trying to have FUN! Sometimes it is fun to play with the aperture. Notice how one image is more in all over focus? That is the small little opening (22 or so). The depth of field is a long range compared to the very short range of depth when using a wide-open aperture. When shooting little flowers and things (or a portrait), I like a short depth of field, otherwise it just looks like a reference photo. “Here is my plant”. “Here are my rocks”. When a large aperture (small number) is used, those photos become artistic and interesting. The eye sees details in a different way and focuses on the inherent beauty of the subject, the flow of the image as a whole. All that and they are just some things on my deck using a large aperture, creating an interesting focal point.