We are now blessed with a little frost every morning. When the sun comes out, the leaves remaining in the shade retain their frost dusting. There is so much to see. How do I pick what to photograph?
I use a similar technique that some of our forefathers used to find underground water on their land called “water witching.” Their first step was to find a branch shaped like a “Y”. They held the “Y” branches very lightly with the leg of the “Y” facing horizontally in front of them. They would slowly walk across the land hoping that the leg of the “Y” would drop. When it did, there was water below and they selected the site to dig their wells. Now, imagine a camera with a telephoto lens serving as a “witching” tool. I hold my camera lightly with the telephoto pointing horizontally forward. When I feel the lens starting to drop down there is my pile of leaves that I am destined to photograph. “Leaf witching” works for me … or maybe, my arms just get tired.
“The color of life —
Older under emerging,
as laughing lines play.”
One of the most insightful lessons I experienced during my retreat at Hui Ho’olani was an exercise of creativity. Groups of three were formed. We were told to create a “haiku-type” poem of what we were experiencing at the moment. A little twist was injected; member #1 would write down the first line, #2 would write down the second line, then #3 would finish with the third line. Each member would build on the other. It totally amazed me what beautiful and creative poems were composed in a short time of less than 15 minutes. It all goes to show that there is creative talent in each of us if we just let it flow freely out!
I tried a derivative of this process with a dear friend. I sent her the above photograph. She jotted down several short poems expressing her feelings. The above 3 lines are hers.
Old covers new
But not really
The glory of youth emerges through
After an hour of meditation a the Hui, my eyes and soul seemed open and aware. Beauty was everywhere. I stopped, looked, enjoyed and sometimes photographed what was given to me. I was usually late to breakfast.
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 …
Canon 5D MkIII, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro @ f/5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 400
Out in our “Back 40” we have several bunches of bright yellow daffodils. Ah ha … great background opportunity. Now I just needed to find something to put in front. A few emerging Japanese Maple leaf buds caught my eye. So I put them together. The challenge was to get an interesting composition while the branch was moving in the wind. A relative open f-stop and a moderate shutter speed gave me the best balance.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 110mm, f/11, 1/210 sec, ISO 400
Spring is officially here and I have a lot of Spring clean-up to do. Our compost bins are full from last fall. They also need a little rebuilding. This will be another Spring project. It was a bright cool day when I took this image. Today is overcast, breezy and cold … so I felt that a B&W version would fit my mood.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 110mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 400
Walking through parts of Henry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando was almost like walking through a tropical rain forest. Light filtering through the various palms provide multiple opportunities to capture interesting backlight images. Huge palm leaves were like huge fans waving in the gentle afternoon breeze. I love wandering along garden paths looking up, down, and everywhere. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Fuji X-T1, EF18-135mm @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec, ISO 800
I took a little walk in our backyard to capture a little remaining color and try out my new Fuji 18-135mm lens. The Heucheras in our flower beds are still holding on to their last color. So, I looked around to find something interesting to put in front of them. I found this wilted Japanese Maple branch as a candidate. There was quite a little breeze so I needed to use a high ISO to freeze the motion of the branch. I find there is always something interesting if I am patient and let the image appear.
I think I am going to like the 18-135 as my primary “walk around – go light” lens.