Archive for the ‘Flowers & Trees’ Category

#134 Winter Dance

Thursday, December 16th, 2010


Cold But Rhythmic

I’m not sure this is a cliche

But it ought to be. Bare branches (with or without the snow) against a clear sky are to me some of the most natural sights to be found. Our ancestors grew to humanhood in the forest and the forest remains, in our deepest brain, the arch-type of both the best and the worst of places to be. It’s comforting under an overspread tree, it’s frightening amidst choking dense trunks at twilight.

¤ ¤ ¤

Rating 4.00 out of 5

#126 Wearing Whites

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010


Wearing Whites

Even if they are not in the Navy

It’s become winter

Suddenly on the flat. There has been some snow up high the past two weeks, but only a skiff one night a couple of weeks ago in my backyard. Today that changed, and no more will the colors of autumn be seen. From here on out, the skeletal trees will strive to scratch the sky until Spring comes to relieve the itch of Winter.

Rating 4.40 out of 5

#123 It’s a Very Vine Thing

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010


It's a Vary Vine Thing

Just hangin' out in the sunshine

The sun slanted so well

On this vine that I spent several days exploring and learning about backlighting and how it works with color. Ordinary reflected light looked fine on the vine, but with the sunlight glowing through the leaves, the colors deepened and came alive. I learned that even five minutes could make a huge difference as the sun angle changed.

¤ ¤ ¤

The fun lasted only a few days. The leaves eventually withered and dropped off, and the vine is now a mere skeleton of itself.

Rating 4.22 out of 5

#118 Mixing the Reds With the Blues

Monday, October 25th, 2010


Mixing the Red With the Blues

There are some early morning blues and greens, too.

Continuing the experiments

Of photographing backlit vegetation. I’m here to tell you it’s tricky. Too much light here, not enough there, and the sun is moving too darned fast!

Once the proper exposure is made, there later comes a great temptation, in the development phase, to bump the saturation of those luscious reds, to boost them far beyond any reality, to make them screamingly red. I resisted. I did bump the blue of the berries a little, but I pulled back the greens and the yellow gold. Yes, the greens and the yellow-golds are desaturated, less vibrant, less in-your-face than reality allows. The reds are just as nature made them.

¤ ¤ ¤

I once had a jigsaw puzzle of Jackson Pollack’s “Full Fathom Five.” I believe it was the hardest conventional jigsaw ever produced. However, I’m thinking a jigsaw made from this photograph might give it a run for its money. Would you pay 59 dollars to drive some poor, but excited, jigsaw puzzler demented for Christmas? If enough people say yes, I’ll do up a 17×23″ 768 piece puzzle and offer it to you.

Extra points to those who can identify both late 60s musical references. The first with title and artist of each gets a free 5×7 proof of this photograph.

Rating 3.20 out of 5

#117 Full Moon Rising

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010


Full Moon Rising

The night is large

We are all held in the spell

As the sky darkens but for one large shining object. The fitful breeze quickens, and the stars are not yet visible in the cloudless sky. Far off, a coyote yips and another answers. We shiver.

There is baseball on the TV.

Rating 4.40 out of 5

#115 Below the Rim

Monday, October 18th, 2010


Below the Rim

Autumn breaks out

It happens every year

And it is always a big deal. The leaves turn whatever color they do, every year. The aspens and the scrubby poplar bushes change, but the pines just carry on. Except those killed by pine beetles. See those scraggly, naked things here and there above the rim? Those are pines killed by the mountain pine beetle, a bug that gets underneath the bark and eats away at the tree’s ability to feed itself. First, the pines turn a very pretty shade of umber, then all the needles fall off and they die. The only thing that kills a pine beetle infestation is a forest fire. Trees are dying all over the West, because we suppress fires in the forest.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

#114 Long Time Livin’

Thursday, October 14th, 2010


Long Time Livein'

And not scared of dying

This lonely, old pine

I found under strong mid-day sunlight at the top of Muddy Mountain, amongst these rocks in the midst of a scree field. Only a little grass grows nearby, and only very near to the rocks. The scree covers an acre or so, and I’d guess there is less than a quarter acre of grass there. These rocks are what allow the tree to live, and the grass to grow, by catching the rain and snow and protecting it from evaporation. The sky was deep and nearly clear, and the wind whipped unmercifully across the plateau.

¤ ¤ ¤

I’d been looking for a good monochrome subject, and this tree and its rocks seemed choice: Stark and bold, with plenty of space around. Harsh light, lots of strong, defined lines, and not much color to begin with. I studied landscape photography using the work of Ansel Adams, and this seems to me to be one of my closest approaches to his level of work.

Rating 4.25 out of 5

#112 A Very Vine Story

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


A Very Vine Story

And a likely one

We’re Back To the Vine

And I’m sticking with it. The usual Wyoming wind has been absent for the most part this fall, and that means the leaves are staying around longer. In many past years, this vine has gone from bursting intense green to drab brown overnight. Not this time. We haven’t had our first freeze yet, and that is most unusual for mid-October, so all the leaves are getting a chance to put on their very best colors.

¤ ¤ ¤

There seems to be another rule about posting stuff on internet pages: Thou shalt not commit punnery.

Too bad. And I’ll throw in a reference to Laurel & Hardy whenever I like, as well.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#111 Wheat Among the Flowers

Monday, October 11th, 2010


Wheat Among the Flowers

It arrived this Spring

I Didn’t Plant This

And it’s not really wheat. It’s a prairie grass of one sort or another, but it’s enough like wheat that you can make bread of it, if you like, and if you have enough. At least that’s what I’m told. This clump planted itself and I didn’t notice it at first. When I did, it was already tall enough that I could see it fit in very nicely between the Tiger Lilies and the irises, so I left it to grow.

I’m glad I did.

¤ ¤ ¤

When (and if, and I think I will) I work this up into a finished piece, I will knock some of the light off the Tiger Lily leaves at the front. It’s just a bit too strong. And I may bring up the ruddiness in the vine leaves hanging in the back. These are things that could be done in the days of film, but are so much easier, precise and repeatable in the digital age that I find myself rejoicing anew each day.

Rating 3.75 out of 5

#107 Almost the Hunter’s Moon

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010


Almost the Hunter's Moon

Bow-hunting season opened this week

Hunters were everywhere

Driving their four-wheelers, in their camo outfits. I guess it’s legal to go camo with a bow. And there I was, with my camera and tripod, in a t-shirt and shorts. They kept stopping and asking if I’d seen any elk. No, I hadn’t. Saw a hawk, who refused to come back for a portrait, once I had the camera set, but no elk.

Hunter’s full moon is actually tonight, and I had been hoping to get some good out of it, but the clouds are here in earnest. Maybe next year.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

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