Nature

Catch this… Before it Flies

Rose Fly 02

In case you’re missing the flies of Summer on this cold Winter day? Today’s post might fulfill that yearning?Unless, of course you’re reading this from the tropics or South of the Equator? Where there’s probably a few flies around right now? I found this little series of images last Summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out some flies like to rest on roses for lengthy periods in the morning before the Sun hits full noon. All of the images in this series I found at different days on my photo trips to the local rose garden. While photographing I had plenty of time to work on getting a good image. This guy was just in a resting mode. Maybe loving the warmth of this yellow rose?

Source: Catch this… Before it Flies


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?


Ghost Riders Along the Waterfront

Just in time for All Hallows Eve!

Here are some interesting images I found along the Portland Waterfront last week. I wanted to capture the cherry blossom trees between the Burnside and Steel bridges along the Willamette River in the early morning light. In the Spring, these trees a littered with pink blossoms and there are a ton of images out there depicting that. But in the 10+ years I’ve lived in Portland I never noticed the colors during the Autumn, or the Second Spring. The day before these images were created I was taking the off ramp from Interstate 5 into the Central Eastside business district, which features spectacular views of Downtown Portland, and noticed all the colors along the waterfront. I made a mental note, you have to get out there for some images. The following morning, I did exactly that. Little did I know how busy it is with bike commuters and others in the early morning hours? They make for the perfect ghost images and ample opportunity for action shots with some fantastic color behind the ghosts. I particularly liked it when someone rode by in a yellow rain slicker because the colors match the trees perfectly.

I never believed much in ghosts! I’ve never seen one, so it’s difficult in my mind to believe something that I’ve never seen? I’ve wanted to believe. I think it would be cool to see something that’s not really there and to be able to study or to try and communicate with it. But I’ve yet to be afforded that opportunity. Maybe one day I’ll get that chance. But until then, it’s difficult for me to fully comprehend the thought.

Any who! It is my desire that everyone have a great Halloween season. Hope to see some great costumes out there, and perhaps a ghost or two? Be safe and be careful with all that sugar and candy bounty that you’ll pull in tonight.

Peace

~V


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


Caterpillars Story

This is the story of a caterpillar’s trip across a what Kousa Dogwood blossom.

I like to post images in series or multiples of 3, essentially trying to tell a little short story. That’s why I was excited to find 3 halfway decent images of this caterpillar crawling across this white Dogwood blossom. When I discovered the caterpillar initially, it was sitting at the edge of the dogwood bract essentially where the middle image above shows the caterpillar. I got a couple images of her just sitting there, like trying to decide what she wanted to do. As soon as she started crawling across this bract and over the dogwood flower bunch in the middle, one couldn’t stop her if they wanted. Hmm, makes me wish I’d of slowed the shutter speed down because she raced across those white bracts. I was surprise that I didn’t find any racing streaks. Might be interesting to seeing a blurred caterpillar racing across? Maybe next time.

The story of 3, I hope you enjoy.

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


Mother Goose and Goslings

Okay, I found these images a couple months back while on a walk in Downtown Portland, OR. I was walking on the waterfront where, the Waterfront Blues Festival happens every 4th of July weekend. On a quieter, more serene day, one can usually find Canadian Geese mill about plucking at the grass. On this day I found goslings learning how to walk among the flock looking cute as ever. Don’t worry it may appear like I’m really close to the bird in some images, I’m not, I used my telephoto lens so I could stay out of harms way. Besides Mama and Papa Geese, and probably the rest of the flock, were watching me closely, as you can see in some images. My favorite is the gosling in the background and the blurred head other adult.

Peace

~V


Columbia River Birds of Prey

It’s kind of funny. I was at the Eagle Sanctuary near Astoria, OR and saw no eagles. Was closer to the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton, OR and saw two, plus a falcon surrounded by a bunch of blackbirds.

The first image is of course a falcon. I’m not adept enough to identify the type of falcon, perhaps a Redtail? But if you look closely  in the branch to the left of the falcon, you’ll see the head of a little blackbird. This blackbird got it inside it’s head that it was going to bug the big bird of prey, 5 times it’s size. Probably because it’s nest was nearby? There were actually several blackbirds attacking, swooping, chirping and all kinds of pinching a fit while this falcon stopped by. Finally it had enough and gently flew off to another tree, blackbirds trailing behind.

The eagle is a male, I was told at the time I found this image. There was a younger fledgling sitting in this tree also. Which I guess is rear? But alas the fledgling got cropped out of this image. He couldn’t really be seen through the branches anyway.

Hope you like these images of Wildlife along the Columbia River. Remember to share.

Peace

~V


Marijuana Flower

These are images from the very start of my effort to document different strains of cannabis. The first two I get to create digital images of are the Gorilla Glue #4 and Jack Frost strains. I tied the freshly harvested buds  up under the lights in my studio to let them dry for the next 5 – 7 days. I’ll be taking pictures and documenting along the way. Just like drying any plant. These ladies really have changed the smell around the studio these days. Two large buds cut straight from the plants. The images in this slide show are from the first 3 days of the process. Can you guess which strain is which? The labels are in the captions. Sit make and click on one images to start the slideshow. Some of these images appear somewhat blurry, but pretty decent none-the-less.

If you want high quality digital images of your plant, contact me for rates – kindmuse@gmail.com

Check out these cools images on Fine Art America…

https://fineartamerica.com/widgetshoppingcart/artwork.html?memberidtype=artistid&memberid=400127&domainid=0&showheader=0&height=600&autoheight=true

Enjoy responsibly…

Peace

~V


Ladybug and Two Flies

Admitted, this is kind of a weird post I guess.

In my travels and everyday effort at creating images of flowers that I pass by, I’m bound to come upon some bugs flying around and landing on those flowers. I like to zoom in close to these creatures when I find them to see what they are doing. Usually they are just sitting around.

Sometimes the flies sit on the flowers for while, others they are sitting only briefly. The ladybug in the image above had a mission on this particular day. She was just traveling all over this pink flower when I got this image. I think it might even be a little blurry? I tried getting more images, but was only able to get this one because by the time I was ready to take my next picture she was under the flower petal and trucking back down the stem. I would have loved to have followed her around for a while just to see where she goes.

I was able to find a few images of these flies, especially the one on yellow above. They just sat on the flower like they knew what I was up to, probably hoping they could make into some magazine for flies? The fly on the pink petal is a little blurry, but still kind of interesting. Would love to get closer to these creatures, but alas, need a different camera lens in my life.

Anywho, I can probably expect that you won’t share this post, it’s kind of icky with the flies. But if you find it in your heart to share I’m sure this creatures would love to be seen far and wide.

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


Oestre! The Goddess of Spring! Welcome back!

C Vincent Ferguson - Purple Easter Tulip - Digital Image

C Vincent Ferguson – Purple Easter Tulip – Digital Image

My gift to You

Oestre! The Goddess of Spring! Welcome back!

“It makes no difference who or what you are, old or young, black or white, pagan, Jew, or Christian,

I want to love you all and be loved by you all, and I mean to have your love.”

~Victoria Woodhull

2 Quote A Flower.com

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


Leap Year Daffodils

I’m not drawing any connection between the Daffodil flower and Leap Year! It’s just a leap year and these are the Daffodils I’ve see growing in my neighborhood so far. I wanted to put out a post on Feb. 29th and Daffodils are what I’ve been finding images of lately. They are pretty prevalent this year in the Pacific Northwest. The Daffodil is part of the Narcissus family of flowers and symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings. Happy Leap Year and enjoy the Daffodils!

I always think fondly of the William Wordsworth poem “I Wonder’d Lonely as a Cloud.”

“I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

“Continuous as the stars that shine, And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line, Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

“The waves beside them danced; but they, Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought, What wealth the show to me had brought:

“For oft, when on my couch I lie, In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.”

 

Peace

~V


Featured Artist – Sandee Burman

This past weekend, I was afforded the opportunity to photograph for local artist Sandee Burman once again. Sandee has been in the Portland art scene for many years. You can see more of her work from my last visit to photograph, by visit my first “Featured Artist” – Sandee Burman post. I’ve also featured Sandee’s work on a second blog post as well. Her dark and realistic landscapes very much capture the Oregon landscape that is present in our neck of the woods.

The first image above I fell in love within almost immediately. She definitely captures the light in the trees for this piece. I feel as if I’m looking out my window.

The second piece captures the first snow of Winter.

The last piece in this collection doesn’t have a name yet. Maybe you can help. I think it should be called Rainy Oregon Landscape, but that’s seems somewhat cliche to me? What do you think? Help name this piece?

To check out more of Sandee’s art, you can check out her page at the Rental Sales Gallery in Portland, or visit her page at Art on the Boulevard, which has a retail location in Vancouver, WA.

Peace

~V