The squiggly branches of this tree shrub would catch anyone’s interest. My challenge creating this image was to compose it to achieve a balance within the image and to have a light background to highlight the curly branches.
Heatherwood does not have one of these … yet. It is another opportunity to make an interesting addition.
The textured pattern of this tree trunk also caught my eye. I do not know what it is … yet. It is time for another trip to the Arboretum to see if I can locate this tree and find out what it is. Maybe I can add it to the Heatherwood Arboretum.
This post will start a series of images depicting nature’s little wonders. These images are from a photo excursion I took in the Yakima Arboretum over a year ago. From time to time, I give myself an assignment to practice a specific type of photography. This trip I focused on looking for little things that caught my eye whatever they might be. Some were abstracts, others were macro details of pieces of nature.
Interesting bark was one of the things that caught my eye. The texture and color contrasts of the peeling bark of a paperbark maple (Acer griseum) creates a beautiful abstract that highlights a winter scene. We have planted two acer griseums in our yard, one at the entry of our Japanese garden and one in the middle of our front lawn. They are striking in the summer and gorgeous in the winter, especially covered with a little snow.
This tree has an unseen story to tell. The photographer did not step back to include the rest of the story. On the tree’s left is the Little Blue Church. On its right is an ancient Hawaiian heiau.
Here I stand, catching the evening’s last light, Spreading it gently to the souls of the present on my left, And to the ancient spirits of the past on my right
Lesson Learned: I need to take my time to contemplate what I am seeing and feeling, then raise my camera to record the story. I should have used a wide-angle perspective to include the church and the heiau. Always learning …
Over the years, I have taken multiple courses and attended many workshops to help me improve my photography skills. I have practiced, practiced, and practiced. I have experimented with many different techniques and processing methods. Many times my images are only examples of different techniques and processes. Many lack feeling or meaning.
This year, my focus will be to purposefully attempt to create the feeling/story that I am experiencing when I click the shutter. I will attempt to use the different techniques and processes that I have learned in the past to achieve the desired end result. I will think hard each time I click the shutter on what I am trying to accomplish. I will continue to play and experiment in order to see what works and what doesn’t for a specific image. I will continue to create sketch images to explore and find interesting ways to portray what is in front of my eyes. The difference will be that I will attempt to do the above in a much more purposeful way than I have previously.
The above image is from a walk I took on a brisk winter day in the Yakima Arboretum. My friend and I had the arboretum almost to ourselves. Walking along the oak alley, I wanted to record an image depicting the strength, shape, character and size of the oak trees. I took images of the grove from a distance. I took images of individual oak trees showing their overall size and shape. I took close ups of the sun shining on the bark and leaves. Then I looked directly above me and saw everything come together into a single image: a strong trunk, the remnant leaves on the lower branches, the delicate branches extending upward to the sky. I snuggled up to the trunk and shot upward with a wide angle lens setting. I was thinking black and white to match the brisk cool temperature of a winter afternoon.
I love the morning! Each new day brings a new look at the world. It may be dark and intriguing. It may be a little dull, but still full of potential of what may come. Or it may be bright and colorful, like today! But, no matter what it first looks like, it brings new thoughts, feelings, and opportunities.
This morning, I was writing at my desk. I looked up and saw a little color enter the sky. I put down my pen and quickly picked up my camera and walked out barefooted onto the patio. I opened my shutter and let the light flow in. It only lasted a minute or so. If I would have waited to finish the sentence I was writing, I would have missed the opportunity.
Life and photography are similar in many ways. Never pass up a chance to create a beautiful image. Never pass up an opportunity to live life to its fullest.
This image was taken from an observation point just below that of my previous post. I liked the contrast of the orange-brown deposits against the white alkaline deposits. The puffiness of the clouds balanced that of the deposits.
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 7D MkII, EF 100-400mm L@ 100mm, f/11, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
This is my first blog entry since the end of 2015. Since then I have moved from Bucks County, Pennsylvania (between Philly and NY City) to rural Central Washington. It is good to be back home in the country side where I grew up. Life is simpler here.
Residential growth has expanded in the rural areas. The area where I live was an orchard belonging to one of my school mates family. I remember exploring the area when I was a kid. There is a lot of rural charm in the area including this tree located on a nearby side hill. There are still a lot of undeveloped areas to explore. My challenge will be to get out several times a week, walk the area and find new adventures.