My Secret Garden – Part I

Blog, Photography

Nope you haven’t missed any posts, I’ve just been too busy growing my photo library… a lot!  Since this is a photo blog and it is a beautiful time of year… I guess it is not that surprising that I’ve been spending a lot more time behind the camera lately.

EandM-II

Our lovely guide (aka sister-in-law) Eva and my daughter. I read somewhere recently that a blurry object in the foreground is a no-no. I actually like the slightly blurred column here… I also like to veer off the beaten path from time to time.

Back to my garden(s)…  Actually, it’s not really much of a secret as they are readily available for all to see.  One sits in front of my house, and the other is a beautiful setting and formal gardens of Longwood.     Part I:  My visit to Longwood with my daughter and sister-in-law.  I traveled light (i.e. minimal camera equipment) because sometimes it is just really nice to be present with those you are with.

And what's an outing without a self?

And what’s an outing without a selfie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that’s not to say, I didn’t keep an eye out for a photo-op when it presented itself…

grape-lime-ricky-copy

Ok, let me just say I am pretty gosh-darn proud of this image.  First, I resisted adding any effects… although tempted… a lot.   This is straight out of the camera, taken in a wide open field, hand-held-no tripod.  Okay, so maybe it’s 95%… the other 5% is the post I did in Topaz Clarity to bring back some of the vibrance lost from it being such a bright yet humid & hazy day, but that’s it.  The flower, the backdrop, and those colors are 100% courtesy of mother nature.

 

Longwood-Terracotta-copy

Now this one, I could not resist. Before I even took the picture, I thought it looked like a painting.

Wavy-White

A solitary peony with some painterly touches

 

I like to think of the sky has a natural light pad. Exposing for the flower, I naturally blew out the sky and created this lovely white backdrop.

A natural light pad! Exposing for the electric  orange of this flower (no idea what kind it is), I naturally blew out the sky and created a lovely white backdrop.

white-on-black

Moving indoors, a Longwood visit isn’t complete without perusing through the orchid house.  Opposite of the orange flower, exposing for the lovely white cluster of orchid blooms (again, I can never remember the names) provided a dramatic almost black background.  

X marks the spot

Don’t forget to look up!  A slight variation on the black & white (or is it white and black) theme. This is the top of the lovely gazebo you saw part of earlier.  Again, exposing for the black ironwork created this natural black and white image.

Yellow-Water-Lily

I’ve been to Longwood a few times over the years, but this is the first visit where the lily pond actually had lilies! No painterly effects; surprised… me too.  Another 95/5.  I am definitely heading back next month with my long lens when the pond is in full bloom!

And that was just a handful of some of the beautiful blooms  at Longwood.  I can’t wait to go back.  Until then, I’ll be spending a little more time on my photos from my own garden… the roses are putting on such a show and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Until next time,
Maria 

Snapshots

Photography

Memorial-RoseI have since returned from my road trip with my daughter, celebrated all sorts of birthdays, etc., and kicked off summer and the festival season with Carversville day.  I survived May!  With hundreds of photos and lots of topics to write about, I think I’ll actually start from the beginning…  The-biltmoreno, not with my trip… not exactly… but with scrapbooking.

Road Trip HighlightsI used to spend hours (and lots of $ for double prints) cutting up my drug store developed photos, buying stickers that said cute or funny things, and pasting it all to a page.   Then, yippee, along came digital to speed up the process… and, well, that is how it all began, this fascination of mine with photography and digital art.

Of course, I wasn’t planning to start out this bog post with a flashback to my past.  I had ideas to write about things like dealing with the obstacles of shooting amongst the tourists,  during tourists’ hours and all the wrong conditions,  or how not to bore (or embarrass) those you are traveling with.  I guess this is why photographers pay good money to go on workshops or photo excursions.

the body language says it all

that body language says it all

But… feeling a bit sentimental and having read a few blog posts and articles recently on society’s new photo taking habits, it got me to thinking how my own photo practices have changed.

I recently read somewhere that the number of photos taken in 2015 will reach 1 trillion!!!  And in another article, the question (or something to the effect) was asked, just how many of those photos, all those “snapshots,” will  future generations will ever see? Or how about all the chatter about the questionable longevity of our digital images on hard drives, discs, or the cloud.  Even in my own photo-life there is now about a 5+ year gap, where my images (my memories) sit on a hard drive in no particular order (and in only a file system I can probably understand)…  for no one else to see.

So, after looking through all my shots over the past month, I started again, from the beginning, looking for my snapshots . . . for those photos that truly capture the fleeting moments that leave the biggest impressions, the unexpected finds, and the indescribable feelings and memory that a photo (that snapshot) can rekindle, and the story they tell or will tell once they are put together.

Turns out… most of my snapshots were taken with my camera phone (you know, the camera that’s always with you and much more inconspicuous than that DSLR your lugging around).

20150509_153139

Love this and all its imperfections 🙂

Maybe, some day, I can go back and scrapbook those 5 or 6 years (before they disintegrate on my hard drive), but, for now,  it’s time to start a brand new scrapbook/photo album, to put those snapshots in print, so they are ready to share…  with the grand kids (someday), family, and friends.  I’m not leaving such important memories to chance.