December 31 was a beautiful winter day and a great way to end the year in the garden. The temperature was in the mid-40’s and the sky was bright blue. Mary and I took a walk around the neighborhood and then settled into our Adirondack rockers or our lower patio. We closed our eyes and cherished the warm sun as it beamed down on our cheeks. It was a time for quiet and a little reflection on things that we were thankful for during the past year.
Peacefully sitting in our garden enjoying the warmth and beauty of nature, it just doesn’t get any better.
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!
Whitman College Library Mobile Walla Walla, Washington
Color, color everywhere. The central skylight and abstract mobile spreads light and color through the central area of the Whitman College Library. It provides such a warm and energy charged feeling that a student could not help from absorbing the surrounding stacks of knowledge.
A splash of white and pink, Against a sea of red, blue and green, Is a pleasure to be seen!
Clusters of orchids were everywhere. Tourists and other photographers were lined up to get that “perfect” orchid image. I stepped back and walked away when I saw this lone flower standing out all by itself. Behind it several feet, were other blooms and foliage of various colors. I walked around the flower to get an interesting combination of color as a background. I used a wide aperture to separate the flower and blur the background. It looked great on my camera display. I was happy!
But when I got home and viewed the image on a large monitor, I was disappointed. By using a wide aperture and blurring the background, the flower itself was not as sharp as I would like. I could not give up on the image and used a little Topaz Impression to add an artistic perspective.
“More Hats” Capitol Hill Eastern Market, Washington DC
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, hats were everywhere in the Market. They were different colors, different shapes, and different textures. A stacked set of colors and repeating lines caught my eye here. It was pure “eye candy”
I have been working to develop my process for contemplative photography. My assignment today was to take a walk with a fresh open mind not looking for any specific thing to photograph. The practice objective was to just wander and let the world around me catch my eye. If something caught my eye, I needed to keep my mind open, take my time, and explore specifically what was it that captured my eye, what was important, and what was not. Only then I could raise my camera and frame the image.
Walking along Front Street, I saw a bright orange flash that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was in stark contrast with the surrounding area of old stucco and bricks. Shadows from a metal gate added to the contrast. Soft mottled shadows from a street tree graced its surface. The vertical bars of the gate framed the brilliant orange. What a wonderful gift I was given.