They come in late spring.

This delicate little flower begins to arrive in late spring and last through summer. For me, it’s a symbol of summer.

This may be one of the cleanest captures that I’ve made of them since I’ve been photographing them.

I think that’s because the light was muted which kept the exposure simple. Often, I photograph them strongly backlighted.

The creates a whole host of problems.

Since I try not to move my subjects around and photograph them how I find them, I have to deal with their quirks after the fact.

It’s Sunday so I’ll give you a break from my commentary about the state of the world. You should always remember whatever I write about that is just my opinion.

Some call this an Iris. I cannot find it in my big book of flowers. So, I’ll go with Iris.

As I mentioned on the left side, the light was muted so the exposure was easy.

That made post production simple.

The biggest issue was making sure a flower so translucent as this held enough yellow so that you could view it accurately.

I’ll talk about accurately v creative intent in another post.


I found its name.

Wildflowers.

When a friend of mine asked about this flower’s name, I replied, “Yellow.” Helpful wasn’t I? She said that she’d seen them in Hawaii. I sort of connected the dots by saying that the flower must like warm, moist weather.

Close.

It likes moist soil and warm, humid conditions.

Around here, people call it a Swamp Iris. They also call another similar flower that is white, has purple stripes with orange highlights, a Swamp Iris.

That confused me.

So, I went to the book. “The Great Plant Guide.” It has small external dimensions of about 4×5 inches, but it’s extent is about two inches thick. The book claims over 3,000 plants and flowers. It’s a labor intensive book because you must know the names of all 3,000 plants and flowers in order to use the index.

Sheesh. If I knew the name of the plant I wouldn’t need the book.

There was only one thing to do. Look through it page by page by page. Yeah, labor intensive.

Finally. I found it.

This flower is an Iris. It grows best in moist soil, warm weather and humidity. Specifically, it is a Honington Iris.

Mystery solved. In just 45 minutes.

I’m just going to call it a Swamp Honington Iris.

A few thoughts about being prepared

I couldn’t really prepare for this particular flower, but I could have researched it when I first photographed it almost nine years ago. Yes, I bought the book while I still lived in New Mexico. That makes the book at least ten years old.

There are sorts of methods for preparing for a shoot. I use them fully when I’m working on a commission. I use the basic principles when I am just out looking for pictures. I’d have to think through my preparation process in order to outline the steps.

But, one major step comes to mind. Much of my work is on location, sometimes photographing it. I like to read about where I’m going. I read histories, the current status, and I might even read fiction as long as it gives me the feel of the place.

I never look at pictures of the location.

I want my pictures to be as original as they can be. It is true that I might cover old ground, but it’s my old ground. With luck, I’ll make a few pictures that are unique to me. With even more luck, they might be good.

Sometimes I return to the scene of the crime, if I can. I’ve photographed these flowers for nine years. I wrote, earlier, that I was getting bored because I’ve worked them to what I thought was the end of their potential. That same New Mexican friend corrected me. She said that nature always changes and my vision changes. Those are my words, but, well, you know.

That’s the story for now.

Stay safe. Stay might. Enjoy every sandwich.


Friday.

All day long I thought yesterday was Friday. See what I mean about time melting? I think that I’m posting this for Saturday. That I’m getting out ahead of my work. I’m not. I’m posting this for Friday. Time has no meaning.

Today.

First.

The picture. Wait for the light. Press the button. Clean it up a little. Publish it. Easy? Right?

No. It’s not so easy.

WordPress kept nagging me to try their new block system. I ignored them for awhile. Then, I thought what the hell? Why not?

Bad move.

I don’t understand the sytem. I don’t understand how the system is supposed to increase design flexibilty. Sure, for do-dads like drop caps and that nonsense, it adds a little. But, to design a clean, reader friendly page it’s worse.

Aside from having to find the page that allows you to add a new post, you have to figure out how to use it. This is more time consuming then the so-called classic method. I still am trying to figure out something that will help me to design a modern editorial page. There may be a way, but I can’t find it.

You know what’s worse?

Once you test it, you cannot back out of it. At least I’m not smart it enough to find it.

Before my usual sign off, if you think you’ve caught the virus, I would encourage you not to follow the president’s recommendations. Do not pour bleach down your gullet. Do not drop a bright light down your throat. Even toddlers know better.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


On Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday.

The world is upside down. Time has no meaning. People are living in fear. Stupidity is the order of the day.

Still.

There is hope. Even though the current state of change is very negative, there are those of us who think that if we make it to the other side there is reason something positive can come of this. I happen to be one of those people who might not make it. I’m in a very vulnerable age group. I have one underlying condition.

Maybe.

If I follow the directions I can make it. I think I can. But, the government advice keeps changing. Last week we were told to buy enough food for seven days. Now were are being told that “this is not the time to go shopping. This is not the time to go to the pharmacy.” Great. Just great. We have enough food to make it through a week. Luckily. I do have to go to the pharmacy. Eventually.

We are told to wear masks in public. The president says that’s just advice and he won’t be wearing one. What kind of leadership is that? I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. What’s the point?

The picture. It’s layered to make a point about spring. Now that the unseasonable heat has passed and we are living in typical spring weather, beauty abounds. I enhanced it. Two Irises in one. Since Catholics cannot hold services in the real world, this is for them.

Stay safe. Care for each other. Keep your distance. Mask up. Enjoy every plate of pasta.


Rebirth even now.

I was thinking.

Yeah, I know. That’s very dangerous. But, after the constant flood of bad news about CoVid-19, I think that we all need our moods lifted, even if it’s only for the length of time that you need to read Storyteller.

There’s magic in photography. I should use it. You should embrace it.

For me, making a photograph always lifts my mood, even if I’m in a good mood. Things just get better. If I’m in a bad mood, it changes. That’s the power of art. So, I advise you to keep making art. Keep doing what you do. At the very least things won’t get worse.

Here’s one thing.

We did a massive grocery shopping. I think we bought enough food for about a month. Even the dogs have that much unprepared food. What I saw was encouraging. Instead of moving on certain products such as toilet paper like sharks on a feeding frenzy, people actually helped each other. What a wonderful thing. We can’t self isolate. We must work within our communities to look after each other, to care for each other.

The picture.

What a weird exposure. The light meter sought out the brightest part of the scene, so much so that I can’t brighten the shadows beyond what you see. If I do that I lost contrast and depth. I made this on another dog walk. I forget exactly where. And, that’s another thing. That steroid injection I got about a week ago is seemingly doing its thing. Now THAT’S something to be grateful for.

Stay safe.


A nice day.
A nice day.

Earth Day. Yes. I know. I’m a day late. It’s just that I wanted to actually take the picture on Earth Day. I’ll just have to start planning better. Next time, I’ll take the picture, go into the studio, do the post production and post. But, that seems like the same everybody else is doing. Go to an event, take a picture using a smart phone and post immediately… to prove you were there. Or, are there “right now.” Me? I’m slower than that. Besides. I was enjoying a pretty spring day in my backyard.

Flowers
Flowers


NOLA 13 May-20
Something Pretty

After the shock of yesterday’s shootings, I decided to make a pretty picture. This flower came out of our garden. That’s all I have to say about it. The really cool thing is, aside from some slight sharpening and minor color adjustment, it’s as I saw it.