“A Different Perspective” Yakima Arboretum, Washington
I was a little bored today, so I decided to just play around with some recent infrared images of the Yakima Arboretum. From time to time, I get in a little rut of processing images using my “standard” process. Using advice from Tony Sweet a long, long time ago, when in a rut, try something crazy and different. So I did, using Lightroom, SilverEfex Pro, and Topaz Study, this is today’s result.
Walking around the Yakima Arboretum’s crabapple collection is a real treat. I made three trips there this Spring. One day I noticed a young lady walking around and taking closeup images of the crabapple blooms with her i-Pad. Her partner was patiently sitting on a bench waiting for her to finish. The next day I came back again and saw the same lady taking more photos with her i-Pad. And, her partner was sitting on the bench again. Beauty attracts photographers. If it weren’t for “social distancing” I would have asked her if she was just enjoying the beauty of the garden like I was, or was she doing some special project.
The beauty of the majestic ancient crabapples in the Yakima Arboretum has inspired me over the years. It is one of the largest crabapple collections in the country. Almost all of the trees are very old. Some are on their last leg. Over the years the Arboretum has not added new trees to take place of the ones which are past their healthy prime. This will be one of the challenges that the Arboretum will address in the new Master Plan. Anyway, the grove still inspires me to the point that I have decided to create a small crabapple grove of my own in the “lower 40” of Heatherwood. One dark pink crabapple was planted in the garden by the previous owner. It anchors the northeast corner of our house. This spring we will plant a white weeping cherry to complement it. On the “lower 40” we are planting a mini-collection of seven different crabapples to frame in our meadow area. Some are blooming now, so we can get a glimpse of what is to come in the years ahead.
This Easter is quite a bit different than any that I have experienced. I will be with my family in spirit and thought instead of physically being close to them. I will miss watching the little ones scurry around hunting for Easter eggs in our yard and the wonderful conversations between the generations. Our spirits, love, and prayers will transcend the physical distances between us. Mary and I will make the most of the day as we give thanks to our Lord who gave so much to free us from our sins. We will take the time to sit back and appreciate the wonderful world surrounding us. Our prayers will be with the many others around the world as we all fight this pandemic.
The path in front of us may seem daunting. It is dark, winding and uncertain. We have a long way to travel, but there is light ahead. There is a path, we must all pull together, keep our faith, and help each other remain on it. Falling off the path is not an option if we are to reach the light.
The peak of the pandemic is a few weeks ahead. Maintaining our social distance from each other is critical to minimizing the size of the peak. Let’s all stay on the path!
This image is another perspective of the photograph in my prior post. It is also an infrared (IR) image, but processed in black and white. This is typically how I handle infrared images focusing on the contrasts of dark sky and light clouds and foliage from the trees.
A positive ramification of our “stay at home” order is that I can spend a good part of my day working on my photography skills. I enjoy experimenting with different methodologies to create moods and feelings. One of my next endeavors will be to combine IR and long exposure photography into B&W images. Rather than facing each day and thinking about what I cannot do, I much prefer to envision what I can do. It is a time to explore, examine new things, experiment, and learn. I really do not have time to think about what I can’t do.
It is a pretty spring day here in the Yakima Valley. The cherry trees are out in the Arboretum. I’ve been a little restless so I decided to experiment and play a bit. I shot this with a converted full spectrum IR camera. The colors were a little gaudy. Black and white looked pretty good but I felt like a splash of color. So … I added a little artistic flair to simulate a watercolor painting. So here is something a little different for today. I hope it brightens your day.
It was a beautiful spring day, and we needed to get out and wander a bit. The Yakima Arboretum was just starting to show its cherry blossoms, so we decided to take a little walk. It was a little early in the blossoming cycle. The trees were not in full bloom, so we will go back in a couple of days.
It was still nice to be outside for a peaceful walk in the Arboretum. We saw only 5 or 6 people wandering around like us. It was easy to keep our “social distance.” As we were leaving the arboretum, we walked along this meandering path to the exit. The path zig-zagged along the way. We couldn’t see the end, but we knew where it was. It reminded us of what is in front of us all. As with the Coronavirus, the path is not straight. We will need to take different directions to adapt how we will live with this difficult situation. We don’t know where the next step will be. But, we must keep our faith and move forward.
We’ve seen it before—the curving path. The end is out of our reach, but it has promise nevertheless.
We are left to wonder where it goes.
“Uncharted territory” has become a cliche, and we want answers—the right ones. The path must lead forward because
we want to know what the ending brings.
Yet the path itself has curves from one side to the other. Its shape suggests an ebb and flow of life’s fortune.
We take the uncertain journey as that is the gift.
Sunlight on the trunks of a beech tree grove pull my eyes into the tunnel created by the overhanging branches. Filtered light through the upper branches provide a gentle glow on the ground. The natural archway beckons me to walk through.
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 find that most of my images focus on details and small vignettes. As I try to portray the larger grand landscape, I tend to fall short.. But I still keep trying. This scene set itself up for me: an interesting foreground, a reflective mid ground, and a colorful background that helped frame the image.
The Yakima Area Arboretum is a beautiful place to be on a fall morning.