“Fell asleep in the backyard while the peonies were blooming hard. And in my half slumber, they were blooming for you, like they bloomed for me.” Peonies by Charlotte Cornfield
“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” Charlie Chaplin
Eckhart Tolle, in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment said to let the flowers teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem. Butt wait, there’s more.
Let them teach you about composition, aperture, exposure compensation and shutter speed. Let them teach you to not only keep a tripod in your car but to use it.
Let them teach you about light, wind gusts and patience. Let them teach you to pay attention to signs, and not get locked in the park overnight. Let them teach you about color and how to bring out their beauty in a photograph.
And finally, if it takes a while to learn all of that let them teach you to convert to black and white, and pretend that you feel color is distracting and that you were going for that aesthetic, artistic look.
I wanted to get my four dollars worth out of the roses I bought Wednesday so I set them up near a sunny window. I used spot metering and a wide aperture but had not planned to convert to black and white.
I did plan on adding an effect in ON1 Effects and for some reason chose one called Ansel In The Valley. Ansel Adams is famous for saying you don’t take a photograph, you make it. So this one’s for you Debra.
Note: Aldi has very good quality flowers for next to nothing, but you have to bring your own bag and shopping carts cost a quarter. The upside is that the one in Lancaster has horses in the back ready to pose for pictures.
“What is perfect? From the Zen mind, perfection is not being there.” Frederick Lenz
I’m going to be working on another project with my friend Alena Shminke but we’re having trouble figuring it out. This morning she suggested that we make it out of the boredom and sadness of being, which to me sounded perfect.
This is my first take on the theme, only today I had a fantastic day and wasn’t bored for a second. Fortunately I’m Bipolar so my mood changes as fast as a Cheetah on meth.
Scratched film texture added in ON1 Effects.
“I see a bright portion under the overhead light that shades into darkness and then into darker darkness and I can’t see beyond that.” Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
I read an article this morning about how Sony’s Clear Image Zoom feature will double the focal length of your lens with almost no loss of quality. Actually the term used was minimal loss of quality.
In theory it sounded great and in practice the focal length was indeed doubled but the images were terrible. And to do a proper test I used a tripod and shot in manual at several different apertures.
Just figuring out how to do it with my A6000 was a challenge. First of all you can shoot only JPEG. Then you change the Zoom setting to ClearImageZoom. Then go back to Zoom and Zoom from 0-2x.
After looking at the images I remembered trying this with my RX100 and the results were equally disappointing. But that camera can focus much closer so I shot this Dahlia with it from about an inch and a half away at 10mm.
If you’re interested B&H photo has an article called “Sony Clear Image Zoom: The Most Amazing Shooting Mode You Never Heard Of.” They used a Sony Alpha a7R II so their results might be different.
There is an old proverb that says there is no need to put legs on a snake. But you can get some great shots of him if you use the right lens, until he bites you and then it really won’t matter at all.
I was driving around yesterday and realized I was near the house of the Amish Dahlia dealer I met a couple of weeks ago. I pulled into her driveway, grabbed my camera and she smiled and said: “You’re back for more pictures!” I was.
The usual questions began only this time with a special request. “What do you do with these pictures? Do the people leave comments? Do you ever tell the people where they can buy these flowers?”
I told her that I usually don’t but that this time I would mention that there is a wonderful woman selling the most beautiful Dahlias I’ve ever seen who lives on the corner of Ridge Road in Gordonville, Pennsylvania.
You can tell her the big guy with the Honda sent you and say: “Er is weenich ad.” Which means: “He’s a little off in the head.” I think she’ll know exactly who you mean.
“To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.” Sengcan
“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” Thich Nhat Hanh
I woke up today at 6:30 and decided to go back to bed. Thirty minutes later I was standing in a field taking more photos of the same sunflower as in my last post.
I remembered the tiny voice of the flower talking yesterday: Get closer it said and use your monopod. As I waited for the right light I realized that the plant was at least a foot taller than me so handheld it was.
I struggled to hold the camera steady and get as close as I could, occasionally chimping and deleting any image that was not tack sharp or at least close. As the wind picked up I had the funny feeling that this was completely ridiculous.
I think maybe the miracle of a single flower is that it doesn’t struggle, anything that happens is perfectly fine. Life could be the same way, whatever happens or is going to happen is beyond our control so resisting it is pointless.
As I was sitting in my car zooming in on each image I heard very soft laughter coming from somewhere. It turned out to be someone feeding the goats but I have a feeling that the flowers were smiling that I got the message.
Of course I’ll be doing the exact same thing tomorrow. Maybe unusual things made from wood, shot wide open, converted to black and white and resized to exactly 1000 x 1294 (more or less).