You might not recognize these, but they some of the wildflowers/weeds growing in the dirt pile from across the street!
In January, a sign went up in the empty lot across the street from us, indicating a new home was going to be built. Soon, dirt and rocks were dumped along the sidewalk, a sure indication that grading was going to be taking place on the property. Eight and a half months later, no more work has been done.
We may not have new neighbors, but new life is appearing in those piles of dirt, thanks to the monsoon rains. Wildflowers have sprouted, their cheerful heads reaching toward the sky- in contrast to the images of sunflower decay I’ve been posting!
These beautiful flowers stopped me dead in my tracks as my friend, Carol and I entered the restaurant where we had lunch in San Francisco. We both ended up taking a few photos- the flowers were so gorgeous! We ended up photographing them from different angles- and edited them in ways that were opposite from each other, as well as opposite of our usual styles. Carol’s photo is an impressionistic rendering- and mine is more of a standard photo, edited for clarity. It’s as if we switched styles!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying some different photoshop techniques. Here is a very different take on my chamomile macro from the other day!
Here’s a closer view of some of the chamomile I’ve used in my still life shots in the last week.
It is feeling so good to get back to doing a little still life photography! Now that the house is no longer torn up, I have some space and time to set up some stills. I’ve been especially eager to try out a birthday present I got from my friend, Debbie- a vintage window! It’s been piled in the garage with everything else, but now I can get to it, along with some of my other still life props that were covered up.
I propped up the window on a table outside in the 95 degree heat and had a great time composing this image. I edited it using Kim Klassen’s darkday preset (desaturation, a matte tone curve, and split toning, among other adjustments).
As usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I took it into Photoshop and Topaz Impression for a painterly look.
Here’s another Topaz Impression version- a new one called Wispy Sketch. Love this!
It was too hot to create any more still life vignettes- but look for this window in the future! Thanks, Debbie!
You may remember my series of chair photos from last year- some including this hat. Well, the bunch of chamomile I picked up at Trader Joe’s put me in the mood again- so here’s another in the series, this time in black and white.
I’ve been experimenting with some new (to me) Photoshop techniques which are a departure from my usual style- if I indeed have a style. No textures, more obvious textures, frames, and now this:
What? A black background? Drama? Not my usual thing, but I like the effect on this photo.
And now this:
Holy Cow! If you use Photoshop, you probably recognize the Topaz Glow filter (a new purchase), which I used almost full strength on this photo. A little over the top- but FUN!
I guess it does pay to get up early, even though you’re retired. It’s a rare day that I don’t wake up before the sun comes up; however actually getting dressed and out of the house is more challenging. The golden light backlighting the flowers after sunrise caused me to dash outside with the camera- it seems like Spring is here at last!
On Saturday, Lonnie and I got OUT OF TOWN! After a couple weeks of illness- and then a water leak which will eventually lead to our floors being replaced- we were more than ready for an outing. We didn’t go far- just southeast to the town of Superior to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, where we walked and walked and walked admiring all the different cacti and wildflowers. It is a beautiful spot! I took dozens and dozens of photos; it felt so good to get out and use my camera again.
These rocks form the backdrop of the state park, which is right by the highway. Octotillo was in bloom everywhere!
I brought my Lensbaby Edge 80 along too, which I used on these flowers (along with a bit of enhancement from Topaz Impression).
Happy Tuesday! Just a couple more flower abstracts. . .
This was the view that awaited us as we walked onto the grounds from the parking lot! I kept trying to capture shots of the little hummingbirds flitting in among the orange flowers, but, alas, they were too quick.
The focus of our short stay in Palm Springs was of course our reunion with the Rapunzels. We enjoyed some great meals and spent a lot of time catching up on each other’s lives. Our one outing was to Sunnylands, which had been highly recommended by my cousin, Charlaine who was just there. Sunnylands was the estate (built in 1966) of Walter Annenberg, the late publisher, diplomat, and philanthropist. We hadn’t bought tickets for the tour (which included the house), but took our time walking around the beautiful grounds. I was especially captivated by the palo verde trees (state tree of Arizona!), the trunks of which you can see in the below photos.
This is what can happen as you arrange flowers for still life photography. . .