This is my quick, late blog for September (still September in my time zone, but not for long at all). I didn’t forget. It’s just been one of those months. I lost someone quite dear to me. Before arthritis, she was skilled in crochet – her primary handiwork. She made numerous items including doilies for her living room tables, afghans, doll dresses, and fake flowers.
Like the doilies, the flowers were made from a fine, threadlike yarn known as kint-cro-sheen. They also had to be starched. I’m sure it was quite the process. There’s been talk of washing and redoing them. Perhaps I will someday as a relative knows how and has offered help. But for now I will leave them as they are: still showing the skill of their creator and reminding me of her and how much she enriched and nurtured my life.
It’s fall. I hope to have a few good fall color shoots this year. We’ll see.
My last photo outing was in early July, and I’ve finally edited it for the blog. There are a lot of other things on my mind right now, as there have been for the past several weeks, but at some point, a person has to move on.
It was a lovely early July day. I met my father out at a local forest preserve.
My intention was to photograph wildflowers, but I didn’t find much that interested me. Lighting was also a bit stark.
I ended up photographing the pink clover, blue cornflower, and grasses at the entry to my parent’s subdivision. There were some bugs as well, including our much hated invasive Japanese beetles.
Summer is about over now. Time to think about fall. This next month will probably not be the best for me, but I might try to get out for photography or do some still life. I’m not sure what my official September blog will be, but I hope I’ll have some good fall photos for October and November.
Time-wise, at this point I’m just going to say I’ll do two posts this month to catch up. Anyway, to the blog.
May first was the first day local forest preserves in my area were officially open (COVID-19). Earlier in the year, you could park outside and walk in. Dad had been itching to go out for some time, I wanted to do wildflower macro, and Mom was worried Dad would be mauled by coyotes. With parks officially open, Dad and I decided to meet at a forest preserve we’d never been to, but many members of the photo club recommended. Mom was OK with this. Upon arriving, Dad did not see anything that interested him. We did see several people. No coyotes. We agreed to reconvene later at Dad’s favorite spot across town. I stayed and got in my annual spring macro wildflower shoot. Different species this time, but still a nice day.
Later in the day, Dad and I met at his favorite forest preserve. The scene he was watching wasn’t right for the shot he was trying to get. I had walked down the road to and from his point of interest instead of driving because I wanted the exorcise. I found an interesting stump on the side of road. Dad was curious about what I was photographing. He decided he wanted to photograph it too. Waiting for him to get his gear set up, I decided to take a few more shots and see if I could get something I liked better. This was the result. I haven’t seen his yet.
It’s June. It’s Dairy Month. As a former 4-H kid, it is my duty to make milk look good to you this month.
This is officially my April post. Yes, I know it is May. Yes, I need to work on my punctuality. At least I shot all of these in April. Anyway, to the post.
Last fall, I planted tulips. This is always done with hope of spring in mind. There is joy and anticipation as the green shoots make their way out of the damp spring earth. And then, in this instance, there was hail. Hail that shredded the tulip’s leaves. One was trampled just after a blossom emerged. My garbage can landed on a row of them. Nevertheless, the tulips bloomed. Closed at first and still mostly closed when it’s not sunny, they provided a nice burst of color, even if they were a little bedraggled.
Then one morning, they were all open and the sun shone on them beautifully. I had to go out and photograph them, even if the finished product wasn’t as good as I had hoped. The changing hues throughout the petals were lovely, and I had to at least try and capture them.
Since these photos, the tulips have continued to change. Some are nearing the end of their blooming season and look like it. The yellow ones have turned more orange. A few have yet to bloom. It looks like they will be purple or white. I look forward to the continuing surprises they will bring.
In a way, humans are like the tulips. We continue to grow and change, but we do so at different times. Some are hit harder by the hail or garbage cans of life than others. Maybe this isn’t the year some of them will display their full glory. Maybe that will come next year. Right now, we are all trying to make it through the hailstorms of this year. May we bloom and change into increasing beauty on the other side of the storm.
I post about love around just about every Valentine’s day. It’s kind of a broad concept. Again, I encourage Valentine’s Day as a day to share love with friends and family, not just significant others. (Write, call, visit, or e-mail your mom, dad, grandma, sibling, friend, etc.) Lately, I’ve been thinking of another sort of bond we as humans often enjoy: bonds with our pets. (Maybe this is because my cat’s approximate birthday is February 15th?) Those of you who have pets, whatever species they may be, please take time to let them know they are loved this Valentine’s day, even if you have a date with a human.
This was my quick still life practice for the month.
I know llamas are not common pets, but it was a cute decoration, and I was looking for more stuff for my mantle. This is my love-love, Maggie:
(Cell phone pic of her cuddling with me.)
A few weeks ago, the weather was nice, and I got out to photograph some flowers. It was late in the woodland spring wildflower season, so swamp buttercups and violets were about all that was left. I decided to shoot with the macro lens. The flowers are small, and practice with manual focus is good for me.
I spotted this large, fuzzy bee. It’s so fluffy looking I almost wanted to touch it, but it’s a bee, so photographing it will have to do.
Later that day, I visited a city park and photographed this flowering viburnum. I liked the bright pink buds on this particular variety.
I visited a classic car museum with the photo club a few weeks ago. Lots of cool old cars! Unfortunately, there were also a lot of reflections and mixed lighting. I used a tripod and tried to find shots where the reflections were minimal, neutral in color, or worked with the subject. It was good to get out and spend the day appreciating man-made beauty, but I hope I’ll be seeing some nature soon.
Next Time: I should finish those dictionaries.
Because this was a long week for me, and because I realized this will be my last post before Valentine’s day, no dictionaries this week.
Back when I was in college, my roommates would get flowers from their boyfriends for various occasions. I didn’t have a boyfriend (which I’m not sad about, because it was the right thing for me), so I would photograph their flowers.
It was good fun at times, especially when no one else was around and I could turn out the lights and experiment with LED flashlights.
While we’re on the subject of boyfriends just a week from Valentine’s Day, I’m going to say it (like I have for the past couple of years): single people, please don’t let Valentine’s Day get you down. Not having a significant other doesn’t mean you can’t observe the holiday. Love comes in many varieties. Romantic isn’t the only one. So take some time to let your friends and family know how much they mean to you. Call, write, send a card, or make plans to meet for coffee. Observe the day as a celebration of the love you do have. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here are a couple of archive photos from January’s photo club table top night. I brought my own light source and reflectors as well as some subject matter, but it is kind of a free for all, so I ended up photographing mostly items the other members brought. Mine ended up being mostly floral items and a vintage green glass dish.
Next Time: Sand Dunes
I went to Michigan and checked out a National Lakeshore area.
A bit of a late Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. This is the time of year I really start wanting it to be Spring. It is also the time of year you can easily purchase a floral bouquet. Last week, I purchased a single rose and some “pompoms” at a local supermarket. I’m pretty sure “pompom” is just florist for big showy mum. Anyway, I set up the light and some backgrounds and pulled out the macro lens.
This was my pinkish rose. Lovely while she lasted.
Twirly in the center and a beautiful hue.
I stuck one of my old rings in it in honor of Valentine’s Day. There is nothing like a macro lens to show you how cheep your costume jewelry is. I spent some time retouching this one, and I’m about to swear I will never shoot it again. Nonetheless, it does look kind of romantic.
A little less seasonal, here is the “pompom”. This was more fun with the macro lens than the rose. I loved the long, spiky petals in the center.
Kind of off topic, but I wanted to say I know this can be a tough day for single people. Personally, I think our culture is a little overboard when it comes to celebrating romantic love. There are other kinds of love and relationships in most people’s lives that are worth remembering and celebrating on this day. So if you can this weekend, take a few minutes to call or message a friend or relative and let them know you love them. And remember, the chocolate goes on sale tomorrow.
I’ve decided to photograph some more of my old craft project necklaces and list them for sale on Etsy. At first, I shot them with the 500 watt bulb and no diffusion, but I decided that was a bit harsh for most of them. I’ve kept one shot from that shoot.
After looking around a bit to see how others photographed similar necklaces for sale. I decided to use window light, reflectors, and the scrim as I felt I needed it. I also changed the backgrounds.
As before, very little retouch was done on these for truth in advertising.
And yes, the shameless commerce division (as they say on Car Talk): https://www.etsy.com/shop/NecklaceArtAndCraft?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Next Time: Snow or Valentine’s Day
Everybody knows the old traditional Christmas colors: red and green. But increasingly, stores are offering decor in any color you fancy. Although I prefer the traditional, I followed the counter-culture this year and included a little pink in my decorating pallet. This was more of a “Man, where am I gonna store those pink vases?” moment than a brash throwing off of tradition. I bought some silver and white artificial flowers to accommodate my storage plans. While I was at it, I decided I may as well leave out this darling beaded angel. She’s probably a craft made by some housewife decades ago. I found her in a small town thriftshop a few years back and thought she was pretty.
Another slightly more traditional approach is the cream and gold color scheme. It’s rich and warm, but not very colorful. I’m in favor of having a little of it here and there.
So yes, I favor the traditional. Christmas comes at a dark, bleak, and often snowy time of the year in my corner of the world. Red is warm and bright, while green reminds us of life and vegetation. It’s what we need right now. Warmth, brightness, life, and beauty.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Next Time: 2012 Year in Review
It never occurred to me before, but a lot of the plants in our yard have pink flowers:
Next Time: Shiny
Time to photograph more reflective metal. It looks good in portfolios.
Spring came early to my little corner of the world. Temperatures were in the 70-80 degree range last week, which is unheard of for March. The cold will come back, but for now we’re enjoying the nice weather. Spring is in the air. The first flowers are up and everything else is budding.
It’s November, and it’s been windy out. In my area, that means most of the leaves are off the trees and blowing around the universe. You think you’ve raked, but there’s still more on the trees, and if your neighbors don’t bother, there’s no sense in doing it either. The last tree to drop leaves is the oak.
Way back when I was in kindergarten, I used to love collecting leaves. It was considered somewhat educational at that point in my life. Different species, basic plant parts, that kind of thing. The main concern of a leaf-collecting kindergarten kid? Pretty! I was always sad when they dried out and crumbled away.
Now, I enjoy photographing fall leaves in all their states, from still a bit green to all dried up. The variety is amazing.
This one is so pink on the back it looks artificial.
It’s narrow red counterpart wanted a darker background.
Next Week: The TV Experiment or My Adventures in Stock Photography
Several months ago, I saw a set of photographs someone took at the moment they turned off a CRT. I’d like to try it for myself.