Photography

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


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


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?


Portland, Oregon Autumn 2016

I was afforded the opportunity to be in downtown Portland this morning at sunrise, or at least when it was supposed to come up anyway. Dawn breaking! It was looking like Winter today, but the Autumn colors were still hanging on. These are just a few of my favorite perspectives this time of year.

Hope you like?

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


Marching Toward 1000 Digital Mandalas, Pt. 2

Royal Dahlia Mandala 04 - Digital Mandala

Royal Dahlia Mandala 04 – Digital Mandala

When I first started creating Digital Mandalas, way back at least 15 years ago, I always had a thought that macro images of flowers would probably make killer Digital Mandalas. I also thought that all Digital Mandalas would best be displayed at a large size, like maybe larger then 3 feet in diameter? At that time I didn’t have the proper digital camera equipment to create something that big without the resolution looking pixelated and blurry. Sometimes in abstract images one can use blur to their advantage, but I think there’s a difference between artistic blur and blur created because the image’s resolution has been blown beyond it’s capacity?

So that was the course I set out on, the ultimate goal of finding the camera equipment that would allow me to create decent looking, artistic, macro images of flowers that could ultimately become very large killer Digital Mandalas. I think with this Royal Dahlia set of Digital Mandalas I’ve come a step closer to that goal? The Digital Mandala above was created from the macro image of a Royal Dahlia flower, see image below. I can get in closer, and I have on some flowers, but with this particular dahlia flower and it’s petal design, this is probably one of the better angles to be at for an outstanding Digital Mandala image. What do you think? I think I need to improve my resolution a little better? But, this Digital Mandala should be clear and sharp when printed up to 4 feet in diameter? I’m not a printer expert, it’s hard for me to visualize converting my digital files to print? This will be printed up soon and I think it’s colorful design would look awesome and a large white wall somewhere?

On Sept. 27, next month, I’ll be publishing my 1000th Digital Mandala post on the Daily Digital Mandala blog. This post is part of a series celebrating that accomplishment. Celebrating and looking back at having created that many Digital Mandalas, I think that is quite amazing? This Royal Dahlia set of Digital Mandalas is one of the most recent sets I’ve created from a digital image taken just last month. While creating this set and reminiscing about all 1000 Digital Mandala, I remembered having this thought about macro images of flowers making killer Digital Mandalas from a long time ago.

At the end of this year, after publishing nearly 1100 daily posts, it is with sad regret to announce that I will be retiring the Digital Mandala blog. The blog hasn’t caught on very well with followers, the average number of daily visitors is zero. But more importantly, I’m out of fresh stock! In order to satisfy the demand of a blog posting daily I have to create 365 Digital Mandalas every year. It’s taken me 15 years to accumulate 3 years supply to post on this blog. 15 years to create 1100 Digital Mandalas. I thought about recycling back to the beginning of my supply and posting for another 3 years? But the blog isn’t getting enough support, visitors per day, to make it worth the time it takes to pull that off? It’s possible that I may start back at the beginning of my Digital Mandala supply and posting weekly? But we will make final decisions between now and the end of the year. But there could be others things coming up with the Digital Mandala designs? So stay tuned and you’ll hear what’s going to happen soon.

C Vincent Ferguson - Royal Dahlia Macro 01 - Digital Image

C Vincent Ferguson – Royal Dahlia Macro 01 – Digital Image

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


Marching toward 1000 Digital Mandalas

Fremont Reflection 06

A few of you already know about two other blogs that I facilitate. What you are reading now is my website/blog/portfolio where I share the digital images that I create and write what hopefully are fun posts. I also facilitate two other blogs that are both similar in nature to each other. They both feature original art work created at the Emerald Studio in Portland, OR. The Digital Mandala blog features circular images that I create from many of the images I find with the digital camera and combines them with an inspirational quote. The 2 Quote A Flower blog is similar with the idea of having quotes, but instead features digital images of flowers, hence the name.

I created these blogs about two an a half years ago as tool to share the images that I find in my daily travels with the world. I figured it would be a great way to show the transition in images associated with my growth in photography. Through my journey toward broadening my photography skills, its kind of nice to have a record that shows that growth. Plus, with all the challenges to today’s world, I just wanted to provide an atmosphere where you can take a break and perhaps bring a little bit of beauty into your life? Especially in our internet lives. Many times we don’t take the time to stop and admire the beauty that surrounds us. Many times it’s the same when we’re rushing down the street past a beautiful flower. Many time we miss the beauty all together. And, some of you are saying to yourself right now, “It’s a flower!” But it’s more than just a flower really. It’s taking a moment to stop and smell the flower, it’s about simply taking that moment to stop and take a break in our lives. To reflect on what we are doing to the World, and how we are impacting the atmosphere around us. Both of these blogs put out a post daily.

On September 27th I will reach post number 1000 on both blogs. Which means I will have posted for 1000 days in a row, which means over the last 15 years I’ve created 1000 Digital Mandalas. While I’m equally impressed that 2 Quote A Flower will be reaching 1000 posts, really it’s easy to post a picture of a flower online. Take the picture, do some editing, and post it to share. It’s pretty simply. The hard work is creating the image in the first place. But with the Digital Mandalas I’ve created over the past 15 years, I’ve had to spend a little time putting those together. I usually create them in families of 8, simply because they come from a circle within the original image, with each Digital Mandala made of an 1/8 pie slice of that circle that means there are 8 pieces from this original circle, so I go ahead and create a family of 8. It takes a little bit of time to do this. Plus, taking into account editing and all the background work put into the creation of a Digital Mandala. There’s a little bit of time investment associated with creating over 1000 Digital Mandalas.

Well, now that I’ve created such a huge body of work. To be honest, many of them are humble in their on regard. Not a lot of them stand out, but some of them are absolutely beautiful. Rather than thinking of each one individually, right now I want to recognize the effort put forth in the creation of these 1000 images. I’m reminded of the Japanese tale of creating 1000 paper cranes and being granted a wish that would come true after completion.

I want a wish! And I have 100 days to come up with that wish. I’m initiating a campaign toward 1000 Digital Mandalas. I’ll continue making posts here on my Emerald Studio website, perhaps featuring a few of my favorite Digital Mandalas over the years and if I remember, explaining how it came about. Meanwhile the Daily Digital Mandala blog will keep chucking toward the day of Daily Digital Mandala 1000 with a release daily. And on that day I will reveal what my wish will be.

So onward we go. 100 days to 1000 Digital Mandalas. I hope you get a chance to visit the blog. All 1000 are there waiting for you to discover and appreciate. Go on then, stop by and spend some time checking them out. Be on the lookout for some posts that I make here in my own personal journey toward this goal. And at the risk of being called a tease, be on the lookout for what my wish will be on Sept. 27th.

I end every post I’ve put on this blog with the word Peace. I try and end every conversation I have with the word Peace. Because I believe we need more Peace the the world.

Peace

~V


Zaatar Lebanese Restaurant

My photography adventures this week included a visit to the Zaatar Lebanese Restaurant in the Pearl District of Portland, OR. Andre runs the place, he’s the one with the big welcoming smile as you walk in the door. The decor of the place includes a soft green palette of colors with exquisite decorative and intricate lanterns adorning each table. Despite Zaatar being in the middle of a bustling part of the district, the sidewalk seating outside of the restaurant feels like one is in a sort of garden setting. The true treasure of this place is the food. Andre and Zaatar are open for lunch and dinner everyday and have a catering component to their business as well. My visit during lunch time allowed me to find these images above feature their chicken line of delectable Mediterranean favorites. That’s the Chicken and Rice plate on the left above. In the middle is their Chicken Schwarma Sandwich. To the right is the Chicken Salad Plate. I was also fortunate to get an opportunity to photograph some of their deserts and catering items as well. I’ll feature those images in an upcoming post.

When I visit a restaurant I tend to be one of those who is visiting because I have a taste for something specific the place I’m visiting makes. Meaning, when I have a hankering for something specific, I’m usually thinking about visiting a restaurant that does that particular thing really well. I visit that place and that’s what I get. If I have a hankering for something else I visit another place that makes it. I rarely branch out and try something else that a place might offer. I’m getting better at experimenting with trying new things, but right now, the Chicken Schwarma Sandwich is my favorite item at Zaatar. But that’s not to leave out their flatbread, freshly, wood-fired baked, on site. I can site there and eat nothing but their flatbread and special Zaatar seasoning that I can use for a dip. It’s simply delicious.

So, when you’re visiting the Pearl District and looking for an awesome Mediterranean place, I hope you take the time to visit Zaatar in the the Gregory Lofts building on the corner of NW 11th Ave and Flanders. Just look for the lime green umbrellas on the corner, pull up a chair and take a break from your bustling life, and enjoy some great food.

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