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?

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

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

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

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

Cleopatra – Forest Feline

I visited Tryon Creek State Park yesterday in SW Portland yesterday and was afforded the opportunity to photograph new Spring growth in the forest. Those images will be forthcoming in future posts here. While out there walking around, I came across this little feline, with her human, out for a walk also, her name is Cleopatra and she reminded me of my awesome cat whom I lived with for 16 years. See my memorial tributes posted on this blog a year and a half ago. When Sinatra was younger he used to go for walks with me in the forest. I loved it. That forest was in my backyard, so it wasn’t difficult to get out. As far as I knew Sinatra never walked out in the forest by himself, but whenever I would go he loved to follow. And Cleopatra kind of looks just like Sinatra did. Such a cute cat, I was glad I got a chance to capture the moment.

I’m trying to create more posts here on my blog. I’ve been busy of late getting up to speed with a new photography job. Things are getting back to normal now, so hopefully you’ll get to see more posts here. Don’t give up on my.

Peace

~V

Clackamas River

Okay, so I was supposed to post this series of images last Summer, soon after I posted my Washougal River post from last year. But I got sidetracked and to be honest I didn’t think these images that I found out on the Clackamas River weren’t as spectacular? But I’ve decided to post anyway, since I haven’t posted at all this month, I wanted to get something out there.

The Clackamas River feeds into the Willamette River in Oregon City, after traversing out of the Cascade foothills Southeast of Portland, OR. It’s a beautiful river, but was probably once even more grand before Portland General Electric came in and built dams to provide power to the growing city to the North. The valley hasn’t been logged very much recently as compared to along Highway 26 out to the coast. It was logged long ago, and the second growth forest is coming in nicely. Hopefully they won’t log again for a long time to come.

I also wanted to say that I updated my last Feature Artist post featuring some commentary about the pieces I posted images of from the artist himself, Jan Shield. Check out the link and some great fine art.

Peace

~V

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