Tag Archives: Flora

Mt. St. Helens, Life Renewal

Mt. St. Helens – 27 years after

Nature is magical!  It renews itself.  Out of a devastated landscape, life emerges.  I wish I had taken photographs when Karen and I visited the devastated mountain twenty plus yeas ago.  Everything was grey and brown, mud and ash.  It reminded me of what I thought the moon’s landscape was like.

Now, life is emerging everywhere.  The reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of the wildflowers scattered about breathe life into the landscape.  The greens below are young trees that have sprouted from seeds that have been brought to the surface by the small ground animals that survived the blast underground and from returning birds dropping seeds from above.  Life is a miracle!  My spirits lifted as I looked down over the valley below.  My imagination looked forward to picture a natural forest that will return in the centuries to come.

Textures

The textures of the various plants, moss, and rock caught my eye.  The hardness of the rock, the softness of the moss, the glossy smoothness of the the blade-type plant coupled with the variegated shades of the three-leafed plant attracted me.  I converted to B&W to focus on the various tonalities and textures.  Just experimenting …

Seeing the Beauty of the Little Things Around Us

Wildflowers – Snow Mountain Ranch

As I walked along the trail at Snow Mountain Ranch, I stopped frequently and just looked around enjoying the countryside.  Almost every time, something caught my eye.  This simple image of rocks and flowers was one of those moments.

Photography has taught me to see the beauty and interesting things around me.  Today, everywhere I look, I see something interesting that makes me step back and enjoy the moment.  When I become engrossed on a photographic subject, I feel like I become part of it.  I am no longer just an observer.

A Day of Fun and Practice

Wildflowers – Snow Mountain Ranch, Cowiche, Washington

I took a day to explore and photograph wildflowers.  I tried to capture both the overall feel of the large masses of flowers and their place in the countryside as well as individual vignettes of little scenes of flowers and interesting subjects.

This image I attempted to capture the field of bright wildflowers set against the green hillsides covered with sage brush and bunch grass and the interesting clouds in the background.  My objective was to capture the feel of the beautiful, cloudy, peaceful day.

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 …

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!