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.
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.
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?
Well, I stand corrected in the naming of these flowers. The two red flowers in this collection with the bee flying around are actually Zinnias, while the middle yellow and red flower is a Dahlia (although now I’m second guessing myself?). Zinnias are native to the South in North America, with some varieties spreading into Mexico. They are usually found in the wild grasslands and grow with abandon under the Summer sun. Both Zinnias and Dahlia’s are in full bloom this time of year in Portland! Everywhere I turn right now, I see these bright, and beautiful splashes of color. The Dahlia is probably my favorite flower. They create so many beautiful and enticing colors and designs. I found these beautiful Zinnias in a garden right down the street from where I live. The middle yellow and red flower I had to walk a little distance to get this image. But it was a walk well worth the trip. Help celebrate Zinnia and Dahlias this week by sharing this post with your friends and connections.
Dahlia’s are typically native to Mexico and Central America, but of course these flowers can now be found in gardens all over the world. This flower is actually related to the Daisy, Sunflower, and chrysanthemum. There are at least 36 different species of Dahlias in existence. Being that dahlias are considered octoploids, whereas, they have 8 sets of chromosomes, when many other plants have only 2, this contributes to the great variety of dahlias found in gardens everywhere.
If I Could Show You A Picture…
May joy in its constancy, bless and move throughout your life
and all of your relations.
May you know and feel with great presence and power
the amazing gift you are to this world.
May you see yourself through the lens of love,
in a similar fashion as those who appreciate you are seeing.
If I could show you a picture of who I see when I see you,
all would be witness to your reunion with that one you are,
overcoming you–your tears flowing to be
the brightest jewels adorning your form.
From having known you, I move on with greater awareness,
with greater love, more of my Self, a fullness,
a compassion for the aching heart seemingly “out there.”
All calling, the song of the little ones for that One.
The Song of One through all.
May you see with the greatest clarity, the truth of who you are.
With gratitude I send this to you, to all.
Poem Credit – Matisha ~ May, 2000
With this week’s post, I want to feature what I think are some pretty outstanding images created at my friend Leslie Ebert’s flower garden. Leslie is a phenomenal focusing mostly on artistabstract photography and acrylic paintings. Her and her partner Paul built the house they currently live in from scratch and have spent their time since moving in, creating a beautiful backyard that is literally one giant flower garden. Flowers are in bloom from early Spring until late Fall with some even growing in the Winter Season. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit fairly often this Summer and create some beautiful images of the flowers currently growing in season. Dahlias, Daisy’s, Brown Eyed Susans, Trumpet Lilies, different varieties of roses, Hydrangeas, my new favorite the Stargazer Lilies, and many, many more. Plus, the Willamette River flows probably around 100 yards away from their house, so they get many varieties of birds flying around checking out the scenery. Bald Eagles, Osprey, Hummingbirds, sparrows, finches, and one other bird that had a great morning call, but I have yet to be able to get close enough to photograph. Maybe next time? I think I’ll need a super zoom lens in order to get a good image.
I created several floral images while visiting Leslie’s garden. The five featured in today’s post are my most favorite. The two roses are a Peach Silk Rose, and what I’m calling a Rose Fire. Then there are 3 images of what’s becoming one of my favorite flowers, the Dahlia. Dahlia’s are such a versatile flower, they grow in many different varieties and colors. Every single one of them beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Be sure to visit here every Saturday for more great images created in my travels around Portland, OR and abroad.
Every Tuesday I feature an artist whose work I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph. If you’d like to be a Featured Artist here contact me via email at email@example.com.
On Thursdays I will typically feature a photo essay of images created by other photographers that I’ve come across online somewhere and enjoyed.
More images to see, and prints available for purchase, by visiting my ViewBug profile.
And, as always, you can find me on Facebook.
Could you give me some feedback on which of these two images you like better? I like constructive criticism, so be honest, but be nice too. I appreciate your feedback.
To see more great images from my 2013 Summer Flower collection visit the gallery at SmugMug.