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Flowers

New Years Peace Lily


Peace Lily Meditation Guess what’s blooming in the studio right now?

I’ve been watching this little Peace Lily bud for a couple weeks now. It was on New Year’s day is when I first found this bud. I was actually photographing another Peace Lily flower on the other side of the plant. This bud was just emerging from the leaf stalk that it comes from. Since then I’ve been watching it emerge from the leaves of its plant.

The other day, while I’m sitting at my computer editing images, I saw this scene come to light. This little meditation figure is on the window sill behind the Peace Lily bud. Throw in a little tea light, and it’s kind of a cool image. I barely had to get up from my chair. Perfect, given the political activities of this month?

I hope your day is filled with a little bit of peace and a whole lot of Love. And perhaps this post will contribute to that in some love filled way?

To check out more images check out this link – New Year Peace Lily

Peace

~V

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What is a Bee to the Flower?


Yellow Iris Bee

I miss the Bees! Particularly the Honeybees.

That’s what it could sound like in a few years if we keep going the rate we’re going? Of course, right now I’m missing the bees because it’s the middle of Winter. I literally can’t wait to photograph bees among the flowers again this coming Summer!

According to a report published on the Bee Informed website last May, America lost 44% of it’s Honeybee population over the previous two years. That’s typically more than twice what the normal rate of honeybee loss is in an average year. The fact that the honeybee loss over the Summer season has increased dramatically, as well as the loss over the Winter Season increasing, has many folks very concerned. Personally, I feel this article, link above, puts a lot of blame on parasites rather than focusing on pesticides like Neonicotinoids. While the article does mention pesticides as contributing, it pretty much puts the blame on small backyard beekeepers. When a swarm of dead bees are found underneath a fruit tree that’s recently been sprayed with pesticides, as happened in Wilsonville, Oregon a few years back, I find it difficult to believe that’s because of a parasite from backyard beekeepers.

Anyway, it was Albert Einstein who said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”That’s very concerning, I just hope we’re not in those last 4 years yet?

If America doesn’t care enough about it’s dwindling honeybee population, it’s my hope that another nation will pick up the slack?

Find out more… What is a Bee to the Flower?


What is the Camellia Flower?


Camellia Japonica Mikenjaku

Alright, well in the Willamette Valley area of Oregon anyway, the cold snap has pretty much passed for this year. While we may still get a few more cold days inland of the coast, pretty much, the really cold weather for this Winter has passed. Of course, as soon as I say that, we’ll get an extended cold weather snap. May even still get some snow? But now we can start thinking about the warmer days ahead. Plus, the days are getting longer too – just the other day I stuck my head out the door at 5pm and celebrated that it’s still actually daylight at 5pm here. As you can tell, I like when it gets warmer.You might want to start looking closely at the outdoor plants in your neighborhood. You’ll see some tiny buds beginning their short blossom period. Fruit trees will have tiny little buds on them. Rhododendron plants will have large size buds on them.

Source: What is the Camellia Flower?


Why Photograph Flowers?


I’m not really a good photographer!

Many folks ask me why I photograph flowers? It’s difficult to get outstanding images of flowers. Especially macro images of those flowers. Many folks use that as an excuse not to make an attempt.

I started photographing flowers simply because they are something to photograph. I’m an older photographer in the photography community, when I attempt to apply for jobs in the industry, people would rather hire younger folks, than an old man like me. I entered photography as a profession later in life and honestly I don’t know very much about running a studio or managing photographers in a business environment. While I’m a quick learner and I do have that experience from other areas in my life it’s difficult to convince hiring managers that I can successfully convert those skills. They typically don’t want to take the gamble and would rather go with the younger, impressionable candidate. So I lose out. Of course it’s age discrimination, but it’s difficult to prove that unless someone out right tells me that’s why they won’t hire me. I’ve applied for so many jobs that it’s really very difficult to even begin the process anymore. While I’m bummed that this happens every day in the photography community, it’s beyond my control and I’d rather focus my attention in another direction (pun intended).

My desire was, is, and will continue to be photography. Flowers ended up being my medium because I didn’t have a lot of funds to go on a fancy trips somewhere to photograph. I’ve always been jealous of a fellow artist friend, older than myself, who could afford to take these fancy photography trips with her camera and come back with images that she would then interpret into her water color paintings. With flowers, all I have to do is walk around the neighborhood and photograph whatever flowers I came across. Plus, it’s a bonus to meet some of my neighbors who are growing those flower in their gardens and share those images with them.

While photographing flowers can be difficult, the really hard part in photographing flowers is selling them. The world is already full of great floral images. There’s not a lot of demand. I can’t seem to sell a single one of my images? I’ve tried so many different web sites and stock photography sites, but my images just don’t seem to pass muster for them? Of course, that’s probably because I’m simply not that great? I do manage to create a great image once in a while, but most of my images are only so-so.

Lately, I’ve been bringing flowers that I purchase home and photographing them in my home studio. That’s where the Sunflower images above come from. The first having been photographed with an imitation Vincent van Gogh painting in the background. The name on the back of my painting says “Pool Hall,” but it’s quite obviously a copy of “The Night Cafe in Arles.” That was not planned when I brought these Sunflowers home. I was photographing them is a vase, and while photographing looked up at my painting on the wall and suddenly realized… I just couldn’t resist. The other two images above are from the same session. I really tried to get a good image of the water drop with the sunflower in the background, but this was the best I could get with my equipment.

I hope you like? Remember to share with everyone you know. Sharing brings me more exposure, so to speak, but perhaps I’m not ready for that exposure yet?

Peace

~V


Yellow Fireworks Dahlia


This is what happened when I brought a Yellow Fireworks Dahlia plant home from the market. I’m not a big fan of visiting the market in the Summertime because they bring out all the recent flowers and I want to bring them all home. I have limited garden space, so I don’t get to grow a lot of flowers in the house. But I manage to take one or two in a season and my indoor plant collection is a budding start. While the flowers on these plants are blooming I’ll then spend afternoon, morning and night creating images and capturing memories that hopefully will last throughout the Winter.

These are some of my favorite images from this particular plant and creative session with a Yellow Fireworks Dahlia flower. To find out which of these three images is my absolute favorite, visit the Niume post.

Peace

~V


Two Moods of a Red Dahlia


These images aren’t that great! I just wanted to see what they would look like, published on my blog? I’m still having some focusing challenges. My images just don’t seem clear enough yet? And red, for me anyway, seems like a difficult color to duplicate?

Here are two images of the same flower. The first is taken without a light, just opening up the camera. The second under a spot light. Revealing two moods of this gorgeous American Beauty Dahlia flower.

I found Christopher Beane’s book “Flower” at the library a few weeks back. He’s a New York photographer who worked at the flower market in Manhattan. He got to bring a lot of flowers home to photograph after work. So he got to control his background. I noticed this particular book has a lot flowers on black backgrounds. I’ve always enjoyed black backgrounds on a lot of things, black seems to bring out the colors more? But I haven’t photographed flowers on a black background yet? Yes, with all the flower images I’ve taken so far, the ones with black backgrounds were taken like that. I’m normally out in a garden somewhere finding images where the background can be controlled, but not changed. I haven’t spent a lot of time photographing flowers in the studio, under lights yet. I decided to give it a try.

I visited my neighborhood flower stand – Flower Bomb – the other day and found some beautiful Dahlias to photograph. This is new for me too; I have only bought flowers for photography a few times. It’s fun to support small local businesses.

I got the flower home and started in on the task. It’s a little more difficult than one might thing? I mean anyone can point a light at a flower and take a picture, right? I did that, was done in about 15 minutes. But since you have everything set up and the model is willing, might as well get creative, right? Next thing I knew it was 2 hours later! And I still had another 3 flowers to photograph. So, I guess there’s the time invested and whether one has such time to invest in a project like this? That was just my first session with this flower.

Hope you enjoy? Remember to share! Let me know if you think you might want a print?

Peace

~V


Queensland Tulip


A couple weeks ago upon visiting my local Tulip flower farm, I decided to bring home a planter full of Tulip Queensland variety of flowers to photograph under my lights in the home studio. This week those Tulip Queensland flower are in full bloom and this is what I was able to capture of that group. I spent a morning creating images of these flowers from different perspectives, but mostly macro and closeup images. I also moved my lights around and experimented with different lighting situations. What I present here in this post are just some of the images I found during this session. They make for some pretty interesting macro images! What do you think?

Peace

~V


Three Moods of the Trillium Flower


Trillium flowers are blooming. This poor flower is almost extinct in some places. It’s so beautiful people can’t resist the temptation to pick it and take it home.

First off, it won’t last! Second, Don’t! In some places it’s illegal!

But, if you pick this flower it won’t get the opportunity to collect it’s all important energy that enables it bloom next year. This flower depends on it’s above ground parts to collect the energy from the Sun and send it down to the root underground for storage. The longer it has the opportunity to do that the more energy it has for  continued blooms. So, take pictures all you want, but leave it where you find it. Don’t fulfill that temptation.

Peace

~V


Tulips, Tulips, and more Tulips


There’s just something about the challenge of photographing Tulips? While a good external profile image can be enjoyable. There’s just something about catching the light at the most appropriate moment and exploring inside the Tulip flower.

Here are three of my favorites from recently.

Plus, the different focus planes inside this flower can be a challenge. Just some of the different planes in these images include; the stamens, pistils, the tips of the petals, the base of the petals. I’ve found that I haven’t come across a good image as yet, when focusing on the tips of the petals?

Then you have the lighting. The inside of most Tulips can almost be cavernous, hence images from inside tend to be dark and not very compelling. But catch the flower at the perfect time of day, with the sun shining through? Hmm, The colors are amazing. But sometimes you can come away from the flower with a good image using a flash. The third image above can be found in this category.

Hope you enjoy? Share some color with a friend today.

Peace

~V


Magnolia: The Magnificent Spring Tree


I had to confess last week, upon walking through a local park, I picked a Magnolia Blossom and brought it home. It was just too tempting to not get that flower under my lights in the studio and create some images. My justification was that if perhaps I come up with some decent images, maybe this beautiful Magnolia flower will be seen by folks worldwide, rather than by those who happened to be walking by when this blossom was blooming? Maybe this flower will bring some inspiration to some who takes its beauty in? Well, that’s a big Maybe? But here are a handful of images that I was able to create after getting this beauty in a light box and under some studio lighting. Hope you like, and happy Spring.

Peace

~V


Grape Hyacinth


While riding my bike to work the other day I came across these Bluebell flowers growing in a little garden on at the top of a wall along the sidewalk. I remembered I had my camera with me and had a little bit of time so I stopped and found these images among others. Kind of cool, love the purple tones. Hyacinth flowers are all introduced to North America, some grow like weeds. They are more native to the Mediterranean area of the World, Northern Africa and Southern Europe. These flower add a little purple color to the early Spring flowers community.

Peace

~V