Day 8 – Still Life with Pumpkin

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Sunflowers

Good morning world.
After the deluge of yesterday I am sun-kissed once again.
Look out of the window.
Two gardens up stand sunflowers.
Heads the size of dinner plates.
Seems rather late this summer.
Late in coming.
For their gifts to be pasted to the sky.
They stand in a sort of floppy gestures.
Trying to support their heavy heads.
They remind me on this autumn morn with blazing sun.
That summer’s almost gone!

Olivia Kent

With a forecast of 90% chance of rain I thought it wise to plan to work in the studio today. Though as it turns out I haven’t seen more than a few raindrops this morning. But I have been quietly gathering props for a day such as this including some small pumpkins and a bouquet garnered from the growers market yesterday. I also had some new textures to try out so had some fun with this one anyway.

Day 7 – Apples

Apples

After Apple-Picking

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree 
Toward heaven still, 
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill 
Beside it, and there may be two or three 
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. 
But I am done with apple-picking now. 
Essence of winter sleep is on the night, 
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. 
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight 
I got from looking through a pane of glass 
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough 
And held against the world of hoary grass. 
It melted, and I let it fall and break. 
But I was well 
Upon my way to sleep before it fell, 
And I could tell 
What form my dreaming was about to take. 
Magnified apples appear and disappear, 
Stem end and blossom end, 
And every fleck of russet showing clear. 
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. 
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. 
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin 
The rumbling sound 
Of load on load of apples coming in. 
For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking: I am overtired 
Of the great harvest I myself desired. 
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, 
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. 
For all 
That struck the earth, 
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, 
Went surely to the cider-apple heap 
As of no worth. 
One can see what will trouble 
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. 
Were he not gone, 
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his 
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, 
Or just some human sleep.
                     – Robert Frost 

 

Today’s destination was the grower’s market which, as always, offered up a colorful array of compelling subjects. But the box of apples spoke to me most of fall so they got the nod for picture of the day.  And Robert Frost’s poem was a perfect fit. You can almost see him nodding off as he is writing. And feel the ladder’s rungs on your feet. And I was reminded of when I worked at the library when I was in college and we had a period when we would recall all the books checked out by faculty… and I would dream of books, carts and carts of books. Just as Frost would dream of apples after a day of picking.

Day 6 – Japanese Maple

JMapleLeafw

 

Japanese maple
       she sits paused in morning’s light
                       a breathless… haiku

                                  – Malabu

Today I took a camera walk in Lithia Park. It tried to rain on me but I persisted. I actually found more color than I expected though I think we are a few weeks away from the raging glory that can be seen in the Park toward mid to late October. This Japanese Maple in the Japanese garden had more color than most of the trees.

Day 5 – Scrub Jay

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The Blue Jay

No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

Pursuing winds that censure us
A February day,
The brother of the universe
Was never blown away.

The snow and he are intimate;
I ‘ve often seen them play
When heaven looked upon us all
With such severity,

I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky,
Whose pompous frown was nutriment
To their temerity.

The pillow of this daring head
Is pungent evergreens;
His larder — terse and militant —
Unknown, refreshing things;

His character a tonic,
His future a dispute;
Unfair an immortality
That leaves this neighbor out.

                           – Emily Dickinson

Today I took to one of my favorite neighborhoods for a camera walk. Ashland’s Railroad District is an eclectic mix of businesses and older homes. There are always interesting things to photograph in shop windows and on front porches. There are textures of old wood and rusty metal, flowers blooming, gracious tree lined streets. But today I was only half a block into it when this fellow showed up and perched in a tree where I was contemplating whether the dead leaves were autumnal enough. I knew immediately I had the days image, but I took the walk anyway and came home with many other treasured shots: The hood ornament of an old car shot through a chain link fence, dahlias, zinnias, and crepe myrtle, maple leaves, a glass pear, an old gas pump, a cut out of humpty dumpty, a garden gnome, and a statue of Buddha holding a seashell and, of course, I can never walk by the Coca-Cola sign on the side of the Peerless Hotel without taking at least one picture.

Day 4 – Faded Rose

FadedRosew

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

 – Mary Oliver
from her collection, A Thousand Mornings

This may not be the most beautiful image I shot today. But I knew I was going to the rose garden this morning and could not get this poem out of my head. Who would ask the petals on the ground to stay? I tried shooting petals on the ground but I could not quite capture the feeling. But I thought this faded rose losing its petals did. I tried processing it as a black and white but I liked the little bits of pink and the aged yellow look so ended up adding a couple of textures instead to emphasize the mood.

Day 3 – Milkweed Seeds

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September

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down. 
The gentian’s bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun. 
The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook. 
From dewy lanes at morning 
the grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies. 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer’s best of weather, 
And autumn’s best of cheer. 
But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair. 
‘T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.

– Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

I have been neglecting my morning walks because I have been so excited about getting out to photograph in the morning light and before the wind picks up. So today I decided to just make it a camera walk. I found many interesting things to photograph but I especially liked these milkweed seeds. I had photographed milkweed bursting forth from pods at North Mountain Park the other day but the Morning Glories won the day so I was happy to have a chance to bring some milkweed seeds into the mix.

Day 2 – September 14 – Wine Grapes

Grapes2_Sim

Not even field mice can hide 
from the smell of autumn grapes
that bind with air molecules
for the sweetest fragrance 
that could never be replicated
by the best candle.

It’s no wonder that trout
throw themselves above the stream
that runs through the vineyard
to get a taste of the concord
September aroma.

That’s why the windows stay open
until the first frost bites the fields
and takes with it the purple air.

– Don Brenner

Well, the vision I had for today’s image was about like this but without the netting. Maybe I will find a vineyard without netting before the grapes are all harvested. Maybe not.  I ran it through a simplify program to modify it a little. And I still like it. It’s just not quite as organic as I would have liked.

I also tried working with another image that ended up turning into a full blown digital art piece so here is a bonus for you to look at today.

Grapes

Day 1 – September 13 – Morning Glory

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Autumn is coming!

Apples, pumpkins, falling leaves…

It will soon be here!

                   – Jeanne Hoadley

 Periodically, in order to stretch myself as a photographer, I assign myself a 100 days project. It occurred to me sometime last June that it would be fun to do 100 days of Autumn. Unfortunately, after doing the math, I discovered that there are only 91 days from the Autumnal Equinox until the Winter Solstice. I thought of dividing the extra nine days between September and December but somehow September seems more autumnal than December and the lead up to Autumn much more interesting to photograph. So, I decided to just start the project nine days before the Equinox.

This is my fourth 100 days project. I started with the first 100 days of retirement, next was my first 100 days back in Oregon and most recently I did 100 days of winter from December 2015 into March of 2016. The rules of the game are that I have to try very hard to get out and photograph something every day and post it to my blog. If for some reason I cannot get out to photograph, I have to create a digital art piece from something I photographed within the 100 day period. Since I’ve front loaded the project with a trip to New England I am not too worried about running out of material. But just so I don’t get too lazy, and so that I can really live into the fullness of autumn, I will also try to include a poem, a quote or a Haiku with each day’s photograph.

For my first day, today, I chose to visit one of my favorite places to photograph in Ashland; North Mountain Park. I ended up with over 100 images so the hard part was deciding what to post: the milkweed seeds, the fading coneflowers, the sunflowers, the leaves turning on the Oregon Grapes… I opted for a Morning Glory because these lovely flowers speak to me of September and the transition from summer to autumn.

Coneflower

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This was captured using a technique called free lensing, where one takes the lens off the camera and turns it around to shoot through witout being attached. The trick is finding and holding a point of focus. I was going for the little curly cues and I think it turned out pretty well. I also added a texture to take it even further in a painterly direction.