Category Archives: Special Effects

Looking Up

“Tree Abstract”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

I have a habit of standing near the trunk of large trees and following the limbs up to the sky. I almost always find an interesting abstract if I twist around a bit to get just the right composition. One time back in Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, PA, I slipped standing on a log and fell into the crotch of the tree and got stuck. Luckily after several minutes, I was able to wriggle myself free. I am not quite as persistent to get the right angle these days!

Foot Zoom

“Japanese Garden Pond”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

I must remember, “simplify, simplify, and simplify” when I use a wide angle lens. For this image, my subject was the Japanese lantern balanced by the rock jutting out into the pond. All the additional stuff to the right was not essential and just cluttered the image. I just needed to “foot zoom” a few steps closer to make it a better image.

“Foot Zoomed”

I must remember to get in close and intimate when working with a wide angle lens. On the positive side, working with infrared allowed me to achieve a reasonable dynamic range with the harsh highlights and shadows.

I am humbled with my progress, but still encouraged. As my website theme highlights, my photographic excursions are a “Never Ending Journey.”

Change of Pace

“Japanese Garden”
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

Today’s post moves away from Heatherwood to the Yakima Area Arboretum. Almost all of my recent photography work has been in our Heatherwood garden. I feel like I need a little change. Reviewing this week’s “Nature TTL” web site, I noticed the weekly challenge to be wide-angle images. It has been over a year since I created my last infrared images in the Palouse. So I gave myself the assignment to go to our local arboretum and photograph wide-angle infrared scenes. I quickly noticed how “out of practice” I was. I had to focus much harder on managing contrasts between tones, highlights and shadows, as well as details. Critiquing my work, I feel it was about a 3 on a scale of 10. But that is OK … it just means that I need to practice more! More to follow on future posts …

Goodbye Spring

“Yarrow Abstract”
Heatherwood Spring

Today is the last day of spring. It is time to say goodbye to most of the flowering trees and shrubs and to say hello to the flowering perennials. We still have several shrubs (viburnums and nine-bark) that are in their last stage of bloom plus several hydrangeas that will bloom later this summer. Our perennials are just starting to display their summer glory.

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Something a Little Different

“Patio Rock Garden in Infrared”
Heatherwood Summer

I needed a little change, so I thought I would post an infrared image of our summer garden. This image is of our new rock garden planted during the spring of 2021. By early summer, the plants had taken hold and started blooming. It will take a couple of years for this area to catch up with our rock garden and meadow planting areas.

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Abstract Thinking

“Ornamental Grass Abstract”
Heatherwood Late Fall

How many ways can I look at something? They are infinite. This image is a 9-layer multiple-exposure, vertical pan of a clump of ornamental grasses in our garden. I enjoy looking at the world around us from multiple, sometimes abstract, perspectives. It helps me develop a balanced view of life that I would have never considered if I would have approached it from only one conventional angle. It also helps me come up with some creative images.

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Visualizing for Fun

“Liatris”
Heatherwood Meadow

As I walk through our Heatherwood garden, I constantly look for little vignettes that catch my eye. When I see something of interest, I pause to look at it from different perspectives. I tilt my head, squat up and down, move around, squint my eyes, and imagine how I can translate what I see into something a little unique. Many times I just move on, other times I imagine what I can do in post processing. For this image, I knew that it was a painting from the start. With a little help from Topaz Impression out popped my interpretation.