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

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