Tag Archives: garden

Spring: Raindrops

140501_Redbud & WaterDrops by © 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF60mm F2.4R Macro @ 60mm, f/4.0, 1/210 sec, ISO 400

We have had a downpour of rain for the past two days.  One good thing about rain is raindrops.  So, this mornings shoot focus was to try to capture them.  The day was cloudy so I could not capture the sunlight starbursts or the bokeh.  It was still a nice morning walk and shoot in the garden.  It was a gift.

Spring: Looking Through

140430_Japanese Maple Trunk by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF55-200mm @ 156mm, f/5.6, 1/75 sec, ISO 200

Experimentation … does this work?  I am not sure.  The intended subject was the trunk of the Japanese Maple as viewed through the emerging red leaves.  The RAW image was very flat.  When I added contrast, the colors of the leaves and grass made the overall image look gaudy.  I toned it down with a B&W layer at about 50% opacity.  It still looks too busy for me.  Next time I will try a shorter depth of field, get closer to the leaves and focus on a smaller area of the trunk.

Spring: Dawn Redwood Cone & Forsythia

140429_DawnRedWood & Forsythia by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF55-200mm @ 200mm, f/4.8, 1/1500 sec, ISO 200

This image follows the approach shown in my last two posts.  Here I used the bright yellow of the flowering Forsythia along the back fence line as a background to force the viewers eye to the small 1/2″ Dawn Redwood Cones.  There is something interesting around every turn in our garden.

Spring: Garden Shed & Red Bud

140428_shed & red bud by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF55-200mm @ 50.5mm, f/11, 1/340 sec, ISO 200

The pink of the Red Bud always attracts me.  I used the emerging buds to frame our white garden shed. I used NIK software to add additional blur and defocus the foreground while leaving the shed “as shot”.   Typically I focus on the details of individual flowers or plants.  This and my post from yesterday, I focused on using spring color as a foreground or background to frame and bring focus to another object.


Spring: Bench & Weigela

140427_bench & wegelia by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF55-200mm @ 55mm, f/5.0, 1/400 sec, ISO 200

This post will start a series on Spring as it comes into our garden.  This image is a composite of two images. The first is a straight image of the garden bench against a red Weigela.  I then overlaid a C-blur of the Weigela on top and adjusted the opacity to my taste.  I can never pass by an opportunity to capture red!

Spring has come slow to SE Pennsylvania this year.  The plants and trees are now rushing into bloom before we can catch up cleaning the yard.  Each new day is a gift that we very much appreciate.  So here’s to 27 April 2014 … it is a beautiful day!


Remains From Prior Year

140408_Spent Cone Flower by © 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF55-200mm @ 58mm, f/5.0, 1/55 sec, ISO 400 (hand-held)

As new growth emerges from the ground, the flora from the previous year stand above protecting it.  It is a natural progression.  But now is the time when all “good gardeners” remove the old in preparation for the new.  My preference is to let the old and new coexist in a natural environment.  But in our garden, I don’t vote.  I just need to spend more time in the natural areas close to home.

This spent cone flower caught my eye.  I minimized the DOF to keep the focus on the flower head and blur out the ground.  I converted to B&W to further keep the interest on the spent flower.

One Day Makes A Difference

140402_Single Crocus by . Fuji X-T1, 60mm Macro

One day makes a huge difference as nature moves forward.  Two days ago, the crocus blooms were all closed.  Yesterday it was 60 degrees and they just burst open in full glory.  I enjoy watching as Spring evolves in our garden.  I just received my 60mm Macro lens for the Fuji X-T1, so I thought I would give it a try.  I definitely could use a tripod …

This image is processed in Topaz Simplify using a impressionistic painting style.  This type of processing hides my lack of sharp detail.


First Blooms

140401_White Crocus's by . Fuji X-T1, 55-200mm

No, it is not April Fool’s, we really do have bulbs sprouting up.

These little white crocuses are our first bloom of the Spring.  The blooms remained wrapped up.  It seems to be too cold for them to open up to the sky.  Maybe tomorrow.  The shadow cast by the bare flowering pear tree gave the image a little balance to fill the void of the brown winter grass.


Spring is Coming ???

140331_Emerging Daffies by . 140331_Emerging Daffies by . 140331_Emerging-Daffies by     . Fuji X-T1, 55-200mm

Spring has been long in coming.  It has been a long, hard, cold winter with record setting snow fall.  Since the “official” spring started one and one-half weeks ago, it has been cold and wet with even a little snow flurry.  But finally I see emerging spring bulbs coming up.  Maybe Spring is really here!  This morning I thought I would give my new travel camera its first try.  I purchased my new FUJI X-T1 on the recommendation of two of my mentors/instructors,  John Barclay and Tony Sweet.  They have both fallen in love with the new FUJI X-series cameras.  It will take me a while to get familiar with its strengths and weaknesses.  It is sure a lot smaller and lighter than my Canon SLR’s.  Hopefully the weather will get a little warmer for more pleasant shooting.

I See Red

140224_Coral Bark Maple by Karl Graf. Canon 5D Mark III, EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 70mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

In our back yard field of white, the red of the coral bark maple stands against the bleakness of a cloudy winter day.  I walked around the tree multiple times trying to get the right balance for the image.  I found this foreground “Y” (or “V”) framing two other “Ys”  I added a touch of graduated fog in NIK Color EFEX Pro to focus on the foreground “Y”.