Tag Archives: plants

“Grape Hyacinth Revisited”

“Grape Hyacith”

“Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.”
― Libba Bray

A few days ago, I posted an image of grape hyacinth with a white background, something a bit new to me, since I really enjoy the dramatic look of the black background. At the time, I also offered to publish the same image with the black background to compare. Keep in mind, nothing else changed except the background and a slight edit to remove the flower pot, which I found distracting on this version. It’s pretty astounding the different effect a background can have.

For reference, here’s the link to the original post. “Grape Hyacinth”

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1.6 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Grape Hyacinth”

“Grape Hyacinth”

“There are just two directions in life, the one which is safe but boring, and the other which is delicate but exciting. Now ask yourself, which path will you go?”
― Joe Mari Fadrigalan

I’m toying with the white background this week but not sure how much I like it. It’s a bit of a creative risk, as I have been enjoying the black background photographs I’ve been doing  so much. I also don’t have a good white backdrop, so relying on a roll of drafting paper I have anding and fighting with the background texture.

The lighting and everything else seems to work, but I’d appreciate any feedback.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1.6 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Coleus”

“Coleus”

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan

I thought I would try this technique on leafy plants and expand from my blossom photos. We have several varieties of coleus in our gardens, but this one has weathered the drought better than the rest.

The wonder of coleus is that you can take a little sprig of it, place it in water for a few weeks to root and grow a whole new plant. For me, that’s great, as they winter over well and offer nice colour all summer long.

I did cheat a bit on this image. Because the plant was quite dry and flat, I misted it with water before making the photo.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/5 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Spider Plant”

“Spider Plant”

“What I’ve always found interesting in gardens is looking at what people choose to plant there. What they put in. What they leave out. One small choice and then another, and soon there is a mood, an atmosphere, a series of limitations, a world.”
― Helen Humphreys

I’m not getting tired of these flower images yet and I hope my viewers feel the same. This is yet another image made using my portable backdrop in my backyard. The fine details of the spider plant have always stood out to me, though this summer has been a challenge for them as we experience drought-like conditions here in southern Ontario. The blossoms have been smaller and slower to grow. This is one of my healthier plants and the flower head is about half as lush as I would expect.

Once again, this image was made without the use of studio lights, just sunlight and careful camera adjustments to isolate the blossom and leaves.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/20 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Maidenhair Fern” – Secord Forest

“Northern Maidenhair Fern” - Secord Forest

“… the world can give you these glimpses as well as fairy tales can–the smell of rain, the dazzle of sun on white clapboard with the shadows of ferns and wash on the line, the wildness of a winter storm when in the house the flame of a candle doesn’t even flicker.”
― Frederick Buechner

Yes, I know, I have lot of photos from Secord Forest, but why not. This little slice of heaven has so much to offer. Photographing and learning about the plants and animals that inhabit this beautiful conservation area give me great pleasure. The 4.7km trail leads through meadows, rolling woodlands, wetlands (home to orchids), and farm fields, contains an incredibly diverse selection of plants, including many ferns, which I am just starting to recognize as being very different species.

The fern pictured above is the Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) and is fairly easily distinguished from other native ferns by the thin dark stems and scalloped leaves. It’s also a paler shade of green than other local species. I can now identify 5 different varieties and working on more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/9.0, ISO 2500

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Coltsfoot” – Whitevale Dam

"Coltsfoot by Boulder"

“Little yellow flower
Like a dandelion shrunk
Yet she’s not its kin at all
She blooms there without leaves

Shows her face in early spring
Shines brightly like the sun
In my childhood, she was dear
Quite precious to be true 

She it was who truly said
That spring had just arrived
I picked bouquets in my small hands
And brought them home to mom 

Even now, quite old and grown
Coltsfoot is still quite dear
In early springtime it’s of her
That I try to catch a glimpse”

Coltsfoot is a pleasant little flower that I look forward to each spring. It’s the first to bloom and many people mistake them for dandelions. When the coltsfoot blooms, spring is just around the corner.

I found the beautiful poem above while looking for a quote suitable for this photo, which I touched up to look like a painting, Something I am quite fond of doing with some of my photos simply because I like the painterly look in some cases.

That a poem about coltsfoot exists is quite delightful and I’m surprised more is not written about it, as it was and is considered a key medicinal plant for treating lung aliments. To the point where the coltsfoot symbol was used to designate a pharmacy not too many years ago. The latin name Tussilago farfara is derived from latin tussis, meaning cough, and ago, meaning to cast or to act on.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hydrangea on Ice”

“Hydrangeas on Ice”

“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”
― Kahlil Gibran

This year, I left a few dried hydrangea blooms in my garden. My usual ritual is to trim them all down in the fall. I’m glad I left them, they added some interest in this past, dull, nearly snowless winter, and created a nice franewirk for our recent freezing rain event.

For those who have never experienced freezing rain, I’ll include a brief description here:
Freezing rain occurs when the ground temperature is below freezing while the air layers above are warmer. The precipitation falls as rain and freezes on contact with the ground. The end effect is that everything is coated with an ever increasing layer of clear ice. If conditions are right, this accumulation can be over an inch thick and cause major damage to trees and powerlines. Because it is a gradual accumulation, delicate plants, which would collapse in snow, are held rigid by the ice that encases them.

This was the case with the hydrangeas pictured above. A thin coating of clear ice built up over a period of a few hours, making them look like the are coated in clear glass.

It’s a beautiful effect, unless you are driving and have to chisel the ice from your car, or try to walk, since the ice is usually covered in a thin layer of semi-frozen water, making it extremely slippery. This is not a good feature when you are trying to walk around with your camera. The other thing with freezing rain is that it tends to be a very brief, beautiful event, which generally melts away within a few hours, as the temperatures rise.

I find it to be a challenging time photographically, since everything is beautiful and it’s difficult to isolate a particular composition within all that beauty.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 -0.33, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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