Category Archives: Special Effects

Getting Out!

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to get out to a safe place and do a little photography. It was early afternoon with a bright blue sky. It wasn’t the best time for color photography, but it was a great time for shadows and black & white, infrared images. My sherpa and I trekked out in my wheel chair, sherpa pushing, and I with my camera in hand. The arboretum was not crowded, so it was easy to keep our “social distance.”

Sherpa was wonderful, moving me to just the right spots for me to create a few images. We saw this lone bench in the shade. The scenery was great and no-one was around. It was a good place to take a break. Thank you sherpa for a great excursion.

A Little More Meadow Color

“Meadow Impression”
Heatherwood Summer

As the temperatures hover in the high 90’s, our new meadow continues to display a variety of color. I long to be able to get our among the flowers and become one with my camera and the beautiful blooms. For the next several weeks, I will need to be content with viewing alongside and from above. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.

“Beardtongue”

“White, Pink, and Burgundy”
Heatherwood Summer

The “Eastern Smooth Beardtongue” (Penstemon laevigitus) is one of our garden’s first bloomers. its three foot tall burgundy stems host brilliant white and pink flowers in the middle of the meadow.

Small beautiful vignettes like this help me focus on what is right with this world as I let go of the many difficult things we are all facing. Beauty is all around us, we just need to open our eyes and hearts to recognize it.

More Meadow Color

“In the Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

Here is to more color in the meadow. This time we’ve added a little orange to the yellow and purple. The patches of color are separate, but gently blend into one another. The yellow provides a little buffer between the orange and the purple. What a summer treat our new meadow brings us.

Monet’s Yarrow

Yarrow in the Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

This image continues the theme from my previous post. The colors in our new meadow are striking. Adjacent colors were actually laid out using a color wheel. Here, opposite colors were planted next to each other to create the color contrast. Here again Monet’s perspective comes to the rescue.

Monet’s Interpretation

“The Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

We just finished carving out and planting a new meadow in the lower section of Heatherwood. The colors are already bursting out for its first summer season. Reds, purples, yellows, blues, oranges, and all different shades of greens are scattered about. We have a lot of bark covered ground showing through most of the areas. It will take a few years for the perennials to fill in. We have patience and are enjoying the individual plants as each one breaks into bloom. Hopefully we will have a flow of changing color throughout the summer and early fall. This is just a start. We will record the activity of the meadow and adjust as we go along. It will also be a “Never Ending Journey.”

I created this image today. It was my first time out photographing since I had my foot operation. I’ve been hobbling around for the past three plus weeks. I still can’t put any weight on my foot, so I got a little creative and hopped on my lawn mower and drove around our new garden meadow. I stopped and recorded many images from above. Getting the best perspective and composition was very difficult, and sometimes impossible. But, I just had to get out with my camera. When I started processing the images, I noticed that they were all a little out of focus. I guess the high frequency vibration of the lawn mower didn’t help my unsteady hand. So, I decided to cheat a little and convert the images into a blurred impressionistic versions. Thank you Topaz!

Light and Shadows, Clouds and Sky

“As the Hills and Sky Roll By”
The Palouse, South Eastern Washington

In my last posting, I used a long exposure to blur the clouds in the image. In this image I let the camera do the work as I panned the camera along the rolling hills to create the blur. I saw clear contrasts between the light and shadows on the rolling hills and the white clouds and the blue sky above. In addition, I was gifted the contrasting orange-brown color of the hills against the blue color of the sky. Together they all combined for a nice abstract.

I am yearning for the Palouse!

Crabapples, A Look to the Future

Crabapple Grove
Yakima Arboretum

The Yakima Area Arboretum has one of the largest and oldest crabapple collection in the country. In the Spring, the blossoms create a mass of whites, pinks, purples, and reds. The trees are all mature and the blossom display is gorgeous.

The Yakima Arboretum collection is the stimulus that has led me to try to develop a little crabapple grove as part of our home landscape. This Spring, we planted a small grouping of six crabapples, all different varieties. Being young, their spring bloom was just a harbinger of what will be in the next 10 years or so. Over the coming years I look forward to watching them grow and mature. I plan to gradually develop an understory that will pull the grove together and complement the individual trees.

Back to Reality … Sort of

Yakima Arboretum Infrared
Yakima, Washington

Now I am back to reality (partially). I am experimenting working in Infrared to see what works best with Infrared images. Clouds, deciduous trees, and grass are always good candidates. Infrared seems to bring out some of the tonality differences among the various types of trees. Here I see the differences between the deciduous trees which have fully leafed out, ones that are in bloom, others that have just started to have leaves at their tips, as well as the conifers.

This image was created using my standard image processing steps: Balance levels in Lightroom, convert to Black and White in Sliver Efex Pro. then optimize in Silver Efex. Pretty simple!