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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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Where Can you Purchase Awesome Floral Prints?

I just signed up for Fine Art America!

This is a website devoted to helping artists get their work out to the public. To check out some awesome flower images, including some of my own featured here in this post, on this blog, and my 2 Quote A Flower Blog, visit my Fine Art America Store.

Support small businesses and artists but remember to always have fun shopping!

Peace

~V

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Sunflowers

Okay, part two in a two part series, last week featured Sunflower Buds, this week it’s all about the Sunflower. Here are some images I found out on Sauvies Island a couple weeks back. We were late for berries, I thought Marion Berries fruited in August? But this year we were late at the end of July. Bummer days for berries, but we found the flower garden, with bees flying all around the flowers. These are some of the sunflower images I found that day.

The Sunflower is a very interesting plant. It seems like it’s grown mostly as a decorative flower these days. It’s considered a weed in most parts of America now, but is edible and was very integral to the Native American way of life in early America. It grows fast and can easily take over a field when unmaintained. But it’s foliage is powerful in it’s ability to clean the dirt. Taking the toxins out and re-establishing the dirt for cultivation. Some farms today will grow Sunflower around the outer edges of a farm field, then plow the foliage over the field after the field has been harvested. But it also requires a lot of work to keep the Sunflower growing in a limited area. A lot of manpower is needed often during the year to keep the Sunflower maintained. Making it hard to be a widely used cultivated plant. But we make do anyway, by consuming mass quantities of Sunflower Oils and Seeds as a delicious snack. What can I say, it’s a delicious plant.

I hope you agree and enjoy! Please remember to share with your friends.

Peace

~V

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Sunflower Buds

This is actually the first of a two part post. The Sunflower images I’ve managed to collect from this year’s offerings are pretty cool, in my humble opinion. I just have to share! Let me know what you think. Next Saturday, I’ll put out a post that features some Sunflowers in full bloom.

I just can’t help but gaze at these images, they are really that cool. I think I got lucky. But being originally a born and raised, good ‘ole Kansas boy, where Sunflowers are the state flower, I might be a little bias? Let me know what you think? Or, simply enjoy this images as they are presented. And wait in anticipation for next week’s images.

Remember to always share!

Peace

~V

 

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Scentimental Rose

C. Vincent Ferguson - Scentimental Rose - Digital Image
C. Vincent Ferguson – Scentimental Rose – Digital Image

Thanks for visiting and please remember to share.

I just can’t seem to find images of the beautiful rose flower this Summer? After an entire month of celebrating this venerable flower, I can’t seem to stop posting images. Here’s another, and I’ll probably keep posting, though not every day during this month of July. This is the very beautiful Scentimental variety of Rose. It’s beautiful red and white signature is different with every flower I’ve seen thus far. This is probably one of my favorite images from this collection. By all means, scroll through this collection from the previous month and leave a comment letting me know which one is your favorite.

Thanks again for visiting and, again, please remember to share.

Peace

~V

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Lenten Rose Flower

C. Vincent Ferguson - Hellebore - Digital Image
C. Vincent Ferguson – Linton Rose – Digital Image

Okay, here’s a little different Rose flower. This is called a Hellebore, or also know as the Lenten Rose Flower. It grows closer to the ground then the average rose, and it’s an early Spring flower rather than Summer time. That’s why I’m waiting until July to post this image. After a month-long celebration of roses in June, this flower didn’t quite fit it, but still it’s called a rose, so I figured I’d give it a little honorable mention post. Very beautiful in my humble opinion.

Please remember to share.

Peace

~V