Tag Archives: Nature Photography

Flowers


Flowers

Flowers

I realize that much of the country this week has been sheeted with ice, shivering in sub-zero cold, or stuck in the snow, but maybe a pretty flower photo will remind you that Spring is in the not-too-distant future.

This was taken last week outside the Naples Botanical Gardens.  There wasn’t a lot in the gardens in bloom and many of the more susceptible plants were cloaked to keep them warm if the temperatures dipped too low overnight, but this colorful bloom was a cheerful greeting at the door to the visitors’ center.

Background created with textures by Kim Klassen (Chaos, Karla, 1402magic, & Frosted)

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Travel Theme: Wood


Twice in as many weeks, I’ve tried to take a lengthy walk along the shore, past the point where the mangroves jut into the Gulf briefly, before the beach widens once again.   At this point, mangroves have developed between the shoreline and the high-rise hotels.  It’s about 1.5 miles to this point, and is only accessible at low tide.  Beyond here, the beach is usually less crowded with people and more populated with birds.  Each time, I’ve arrived at this point, worked my way through the rough path and stopped to see pelicans, herons, and cormorants resting in a tidal pool.   And, each time, after just a few snaps of the shutter, I’ve heard a clap of thunder and looked up to see enormous, dark clouds moving quickly towards the shore.  “Flash showers” the TV weatherman called them.   “Dangerous” to my camera is what I’ve called them.   Luckily for me, there is a hotel with a beach bar not far from this spot that has been an easy spot to retreat to until the showers flashed over — or until I was “rescued” by my beach-lounging chauffeur.

When I saw that Ailsa’s travel theme this week was wood, I knew that a few of these shots would be a good fit for the theme.

Drifted wood

Drifted wood

Cormorants resting

Cormorants resting

Old Pier Pilings

Old Pier Pilings

Pelican Perch

Pelican Perch

Fallen pine

Fallen pine

She saw


…sea shells
SheShells

…by the sea shore.

Sunset


Joy!

Joy!

Image

He landed close enough to discuss Chekhov


SeagullAndShells

It’s still Tuesday somewhere: Texture Tuesday


It’s been awhile since I participated in Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.   Once I started to do a quick edit this image, I ended up playing around with it for a long time.  And then suddenly it wasn’t Tuesday, but Wednesday.   Although I didn’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight, I will wither soon if I don’t get some shuteye.  But, before I go, here’s an image I shot a few weeks ago.   Love how these beautiful flowers just seem to spring forth everywhere around here.   Driving down any street and seeing these in the ditches and beside the shoulder of the road, especially where they have not been planted — and they are planted in many, many gardens — makes me smile.  The little rebels!

rudbeckia, wildflower, nature photography

Rudbeckia

Textured with the following textures by Kim Klassen:  July_2, Elevate, and Chalkmagic.   Added — and subtracted in parts — two color fill layers, one brown for background, one yellow for the flower to bring back some color lost with the textures.   As I went to post this, I saw that Kim had made 3 new textures available.    What could I do but use one of them — Culligan_scripted — to frame the shot.

No Ripples….


Unlike last week’s “Ripples” post, I have no shots of water because the “water feature” continues to be a mud pit, although it is slowly being rebuilt.  Even in summer, the leaves fall regularly.

Green Leaf, Grey Rocks

Green Leaf, Grey Rocks

Sunday Quote, 2013, Week 24 (Martha Graham)


There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.  ~Martha Graham

One. Singular. Sensation.

One. Singular. Sensation.

Orb-its


I discovered this technique on a Facebook macro forum I follow.   I use “follow” generously, as I haven’t looked at this group in months.  Serendipitously, I saw it in my feeds the other day and decided to take a look at what new items had been posted.    Wow!   I find this manipulation so much fun.   Directions at the bottom.

Spring Bouquet

Spring Bouquet

From an abstract of a colorful leaf

From an abstract of a colorful leaf

Dandelion Seed Head

Dandelion Seed Head

Blue Sky, White Clouds

Blue Sky, White Clouds

I discovered this technique on the Macro Abstracts/Soft Focus Flowers group on Facebook.   Looks like credit belongs to Bill Barber (Website) (Facebook Nature of Orbs Group).  Rather than repeat, I’ll just link to his Orb Tutorial.  Besides, all of his work — not just his orbs — is amazing and it deserves a visit!

Images 1 & 3 were done with little editing to the files.   Images 2 & 4 had several manipulations before & after creating the “orb”, including the addition of various textures and layers.   Although Bill’s directions are for Photoshop, I use Photoshop Elements (v 8); it works the same.   You should try out this effect.   I — like so many others — found it difficult to make only one!     I’d love to see your versions.

I’m Solar-Powered …. and need a bit of Spring


9.25 was the number yesterday.   9.25 inches of snow, a 100-year-record in my area of the country for this late in March.   It was a year ago that I went to a friend’s home to photograph her garden because she thought she would miss it before she returned from her winter home in the South.  I went hiking one day in mid-March without sunscreen and paid the price.   All the Spring wildflowers had faded by the first of April.

But this year?  9.25 inches of heavy wet snow.  It started Sunday, dumping a few inches on the ground but not sticking to the roads.  By noon it had stopped and everything on the trees and lawns had melted.   I thought we had dodged a bullet.   Around dinner time it started up again with a fury, covering the ground within minutes.   Because Daylight Savings Time is earlier now than in past years, this may have been the first time I experienced a heavy snowstorm in the daylight — at 8 pm!

Monday morning everything was covered.  It was cold and the winds had picked up.  At times it was difficult to tell if it was snowing again — and often it was — or whether it was merely snow being shaken off the trees.  Every once and awhile I would see a robin.   This weather isn’t for the birds!   I bet that bird wondered why he had booked his return flight north so early.

I wandered outside later in the day, accompanied by my camera and my iPhone.  Since the iPhone is new, I thought I’d take a few setups with both.  Having a phone that was so old my family liked to tease me that it was “so last century” (hyperbole runs rampant in my household, but they were almost correct), I have been amazed at the quality of the photos this little wonder that fits in my pocket can take.

But you know what?  I’m bored with pictures of the trees in the woods covered with snow.   I’m fatigued by ice crystals slowly melting off the picnic table.  I’m no longer fascinated by the frost patterns on the windows and sidewalks.   I’ve seen enough of footprints left by woodland critters on the driveway.  I’m fed-up with the constant grey haze that permeates the midwestern winter.   I’m solar-powered and I need the sun!

And yet, in the midst of the white fluffy snow, there are hints that this Second Winter, Winter 2.0, or The Winter That Never Ends — call it what you want — will in fact melt away and soon there will be flowers and trees in bloom.

The flowers will bloom tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.  Can it please only be a day away?

The flowers will bloom tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Can it please only be a day away?

I didn’t like any of the photos that I shot, but this one, with just a hint of yellow and green against the rocks reminds me to keep looking forward a few weeks to more enjoyable weather.  The photos weren’t as clear as I liked, nor were they exposed correctly (dark afternoon shadows and bright-grey light — ugh!).  So this seemed a perfect candidate for adding some artistic, painterly effects and some overlays.   I liked adding a texture (Kim Klassen’s Grunged Up 2) to the snow.   I’m over it looking pretty in its pristine condition. Don’t beguile me with your whiteness, ye blanket of snow!  When it doesn’t melt around here, it gets very grungy looking and so I thought this image deserved the same.    Pow!  Take that snow!   

Linking up for Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.  This week’s theme:  Flowers.   New green growth with a few buds hinting at blossoms is about as close as you can get to flowers in the wild here and I wasn’t about to head out to the store in the snow!  🙂