Category Archives: Flora

A Day to Celebrate Life

Wildflowers – Snow Mountain Ranch, Cowiche, WA

Today is a special day.  It is a day to celebrate the wonderful life Karen and I had together.  What a better way to celebrate than to take a nice walk and enjoy the wildflowers of early Spring. It was a beautiful day.  The hills were covered with brilliant wildflowers … yellow, pink, purple, blue and the lush green of spring grasses.  Peace surrounded me.  It was a wonderful time to reflect on our lives and what is right in this world.

It was a day to CELEBRATE !!!

Abstract Fun

Colorado Blue Spruce Abstract 1

Sometimes it is just fun to play around with images.  I knew that I would use various ways of post processing when I first took the image.  Here is one version.  Playing around a little more, I came up with the following abstract :

Colorado Blue Spruce Abstract 2

Head On

Colorado Blue Spruce Tip – New Growth

As I was walking around my yard, I was just looking for images to pop into my sight.  I have photographed new growth on evergreens more times than I can imagine.  However, I have never made an image on new growth taken from a head on perspective. A tip of new growth from a Colorado Blue Spruce just jumped out in front of my eyes. So I looked around more to try to get one that was the most symmetrical.  My mind started to think what I could do with this from an abstract point of view.  I plan to apply some creative alternatives in a future post.

Like my friend John Barclay (www.johnbarclayphotography.com) emphasizes.  Do not force a photograph, let the image come to you.  This one did …

Practice

160725_JapaneseMaple_AntiqueFuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 18mm, f/8.0, 1/550 sec, ISO 800

My photography has not been very creative lately.  When I get this way, I like to walk around and just practice.  I do not have high expectations and just stop to photograph what catches my eye.  I usually do not carry a tripod with me during these practice shoots.  I use them as a scouting inspiration/exploration endeavor to come back and shoot at a better time.  This image was taken in mid-day light at the Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden in Seattle.  I spent 2 to 3 hours just walking around and enjoying the beautiful garden.  I shot for less than an hour.

Once home, I just started playing around with different processing techniques on a few images. Again, more practice.  This was one of the images that caught my eye.  The original image was full of bright yellows, greens, and some oranges.  I almost did not even try black and white processing.  I wasn’t happy with the standard B&W images either, so I decided to experiment (play) some more.  This sepia with a reverse vignette was the result.

Dogwood Impasto

160421_Dogwood ImpastoMultiple Exposure:  Dogwood Blooms and Asphalt Pavement

I got a little bored shooting in the garden.  Nothing was “Popping” for me.  So I thought I would have a little fun with multiple exposures.  This image is a combination of a Pink Dogwood branch and a texture photo of a section of asphalt pavement.  Magic happens.

To finish it off I decided to experiment a little with Topaz Impression.  Here I used the Impasto I preset.  Something a little different.

 

Yakima Arboretum Early Spring IR

160406_Yakima ArboretumCanon XT-IR, Tamron 18-270mm @ 65mm, f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO 400

Cherry trees are in bloom and brilliant green leaves are emerging at the Yakima Arboretum.  It is a great time to get out my old IR converted Canon Rebel XT and try out some IR imagery.  It was a beautiful spring day and I had a little time in the middle of the day to get out and explore.  I chose to work in B&W using Infrared.  The Arboretum was showing its early spring pink and white blooms of the cherries and pears as well as a few trees with emerging brilliant light green leaves.  Tomorrow I will go again with my normal camera.

More Fallen Cherry Blossoms – New Perspectives

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-1 by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkII, EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 60mm, f/11, 1/20 sec, ISO 200

Fallen cherry blossoms covered the ground beneath the trees.  I was able to get a few images before the lawn mowing gang cut the grass and swept away the beautiful blooms.  The past few weeks are typically my favorite weeks in the garden each year.  For a few days we are lucky to have the flowering pears, flowering plum, flowering crab apple, and flowering cherries all in bloom at the same time. It is peaceful and beautiful in the garden.

The image below is a new perspective using multiple exposures while zooming out.

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-2 by Karl Graf.

A different look is achieved by a long exposure and a zoom pan as seen below.

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-3 by Karl Graf.

Which one catches your eye?  I like them all.

 

Fallen Cherry Blossoms – A Different Perspective

150512_Fallen Cherry Blossoms_ME2-2 by Karl Graf.

Impressionistic Cherry Blossoms.

I was having a lot of fun creating multiple exposures and just experimenting with various artistic ways of processing images when I came up with this combination.  I first started out taking individual images of fallen cherry blossoms.  I then experimented with multiple exposures (5 exposures in this case).  I then further experimented with different artistic presets in Topaz Impression (Georgia O’Keefe II) to arrive at this image.

For reference, below is the 5 image multiple exposure:

150512_Fallen Cherry Blossoms_ME1 by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 70mm, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 200 (5 exposures)

Lesson Learned:  Enjoy experimenting, you can never tell what you can come up with!

Buddies

150422_Yellow & White Daffodils by Karl G. Graf. Canon 7D MkII, EF 100mm f/2.8 IS Macro @ f/8.0, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

As I was coming in from my morning shoot of our garden, I saw these two blooms intermingled in a clump of white and yellow daffodils.  They reminded me of two close friends , one whispering in the other’s ear.

I cannot recall how many times that I have been getting ready to put my camera away for the shoot when that one last image pops up in front of me.  It seems to be one of my most alert times.  On multiple occasions, this last image is my select from the whole shoot.

Lesson Learned:  Always be ready for the image to come to you!