WRAL Azalea Gardens

Once a year I just have to post a blog entry to encourage you garden enthusiasts to visit the WRAL Azalea Gardens.  This year’s blooms came a little later than usual but they are magnificent.

Hope you’ll get out there to see the wonderful blanket of azaleas on the hillside along with tulips and pansies.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2156

 

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Quiet Thoughts

_3210011What a glorious morning!  Light snow falling as Spring tries to come forth. My power went out along with all the sounds of the house. So I sat by an open window near my dogwood and bird feeders to take in the sights and sounds of the outdoors.  This wasn’t about taking a fabulous photo… it was about embracing the moment.

I wrote down some thoughts and took a few photos but mostly just enjoyed the serenity.

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A feeling of disappointment came over me when I heard everything chug back on and the stillness was gone. My posts are usually about technique and such but perhaps this is the most important one… take time to sit in the silence and just take in all that Nature offers.

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PS  I post every weekend but just didn’t have anything in particular that I thought was worth bothering your inbox this past weekend.  Now I am glad I waited and hope you appreciate these thoughts.  And I am happy to have power back of course!

Indoor Simple Setup

I bought these flowers at my local grocery for $4.00.  The background is black foamcore trifold available at office supply stores and others.  The base is a card table. I used the Magic Water Gels (see 2/17/18 post) to keep the flowers steady in the small vase with some HandiTak… a gummy substance you can find with glues at craft or hardware stores.

Natural light was my only light.  I added a light flare to one images, otherwise no real post processing.  You can have fun any time with just a few flowers!

Canon 5D Mark II with Lensbaby Velvet 56.

Many Versions

 

I enjoy using Smart Photo Editor to come up with new looks for my images. Sometimes I just get an idea by browsing their extensive library of over 6,000 effects and then make my own version in Photoshop… other times I like exactly what it does in their software.

This program operates on its own, so you do not need Photoshop or Lightroom to enjoy it.

The software is $29.95 and you can get an additional 10% with my code of LL1914.

All of these images were photographed with my Canon 5D Mark II and a Tamron 90mm macro lens.

The upper left is the original photo using a background of greenery I photographed defocused to get the blur of color. I printed the image and mounted it on foamcore to use indoors or in the garden.

The flower is a Frizzle Sizzle pansy.  I was buying some plants at a local nursery and they were getting ready to dump a whole flat (18 – 4″ plants).  Lucky me… she gave me the whole flat!  The plants needed a some cleaning up but it didn’t take me long and they now surround my mailbox.  Love the ruffly edge.

 

Recipe Greeting Cards

It’s fun to photograph food and then share with the recipe on a greeting card. I have given you three possibilities.

Recipe Greeting card

Print your photo on front of card and the recipe inside. Note the card is folded so the recipe is on the top half when opened. Or you can print it on the back if you want.

Gift Recipe Share

You may give bread, cookies or other baked goods at the holidays. Include a card with the photo and recipe. Print on a single 5×7 sheet front and back. (not a foldable card).

Greeting card with separate photo

If you don’t print your own cards, you can use a separate print and tack it onto the card surface. I added a title underneath the photo, but you can hand write it or leave text-free. The recipe can be printed on the inside on your regular desktop printer.

Overexpose on Purpose

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I enjoy overexposing some images on purpose.  You get a light, airy look.  Keep in mind the scene should be on the light side to begin with. A dark room overexposed would not be pretty!  f/9 @ 1/100 for slight blur

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Overexposed shots work very well when adding textures and other effects.  With a Multiply blend mode you will knock out the white and leave your subject clean. In this one I cropped and also added a radial blur.  With the image light to begin with, the effect doesn’t get overly dark.

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Landscapes on an overcast day can benefit from overexposing too.

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White subjects against a blue sky and clouds are nice too.

Plan a Project

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Charleston garage doors

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Charleston doors missing steps!

The Old Schoolhouse

Door of old schoolhouse providing light for my subject.

We all have favorite subjects but sometimes still get in a rut.  One way to lift yourself up and get excited about your photography is to plan a project around your favorite subjects. You can plan a book or exhibit or calendar using all those images.

I love photographing doors and windows, especially in historic buildings.  This collage includes doors found in downtown Raleigh.  I made them into a poster.

Doors of Raleigh

You certainly don’t have to do doors, but they can be great fun. They are full of texture, interesting shapes and color too.

And planning a project can be very motivating!