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 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 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

ConeflowerFLw

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.

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia

Still having fun with the flower photography workshop. This one was taken with the 50mm lens and one extension tube at f1.8. Love the soft focus and the shape of the petals.

As the instructor was demonstrating editing in Lightroom I followed her lead with some adjustment of exposure and clarity and vibrance and a little sharpening. I did take it into Photoshop to use the spot healing brush on some blemishes and pollen spots.

Sunflower with bee

Sunflowerwbeew

I’ve been having a great time doing an online flower photography workshop. While I’m already a pretty good flower photographer (IMHO), I have been motivated to try out lenses I forgot I had (shot this one with a 50mm and one extension tube) and look for new locations to shoot. This one I just had to walk down the street to where my neighbor has an amazing patch of sunflowers. Nice of the bee to show up just as I was shooting. Very minimal post processing required.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch

Just started a flower photography workshop so I was out photographing in the butterfly garden at North Mountain Park when darned if a Monarch butterfly didn’t show up. It took its time exploring the butterfly bush and I was very happy to have my 180mm macro lens on the camera.

A little cropping, a little vibrance and saturation, a little sharpening. But really not much post processing required. Of course, I have another version that went through a full blown Photoshop artistry treatment.

Monarchw

Fireweed Blossom

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One of the things I love about macro photography is that it allows us to see thing we might not otherwise. Bright pink stalks of fireweed line the highway on the Olympic Penninsula creating stunning displays, but how many of us ever look at the individual blossoms. I was surprised to see the little white curlicues when I zoomed in close and, of course, the dew drop was an added bonus.