Everyone probably has a favorite place to visit. One of my top local places is a scenic valley astride Virginia Route 8 headed northwest toward Floyd, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As you drive along the highway and crest a steep hill, a panoramic view presents itself looking west towards high ridges of the mountains, with a nice farmstead sitting in the midst of a beautiful (and productive in season) apple and peach orchard. I hardly go that way in winter due to the cold weather, ice and snow but in the Spring, Summer and Fall it’s grand to photograph. This year was the first for me in Spring and the day I was there recently I was treated with the sight of blooming trees, nice sun and clouds, and lots of mountain views. The only downside to this is the fact it’s not a simple matter to pull off the road to safely make photos; having to drive up a steep dirt farm road, park, and then carefully back down onto the main highway, watching for oncoming traffic of course. It’s definitely worth the risk in exchange for some nice photographic memories.
Category Archives: Flowers
I made the first photo out of one of the upper level windows in our home as it was raining fairly hard outside. I liked the way the rain drops were forming on newly opened tree buds, soon to turn into nice green leaves. After the rain stopped, I went out in the front yard and took the last two shots of small, but very beautiful, Grape Hyacinth flowers which pretty much grow wild all over our yard at this time of year. The ones seen here are underneath our street-side mailbox, in the middle of a smooth, colorful river-rock garden. I wanted to capture the wet, smooth appearance of the rocks in the background behind the purple flowers, each flower bunch being about 1-2 inch high. To get that look, I used my telephoto lens and stood far enough back to keep the flowers in sharp focus, and to make the background blurred. In photography circles, that effect is called “bokeh”, from the Japanese word “boke” which means blur. It’s pronounced as follows: Bo (as in bow), Ke (as in the first part of kettle). Pronounced as two separate words, “Bo Ke.” So now you’ve learned some photo community trivia.
I went out on a brief photo trip locally to specifically find and photograph Bradford Pear Trees, which in this area of the Piedmont Region of Virginia and North Carolina are mostly in full bloom. That period sadly is all too brief it seems to me. Many people do not like the smell of the blossoms, but to me that pungent odor signals it’s time to get the camera out. In short, I was lucky because I was able to find many trees to photograph and some were in very nice surroundings which made the images more interesting. I hope you enjoy seeing these beautiful flowering trees as much as I did in finding them.
Even though the weather does not always feel like Spring, what we see around us confirms that it’s here. Blooming flowers attest to that, and it’s always a pleasure to record with my camera this beauty. When I make photos of flowers, I like to get as close as possible, position my camera approximately at the same level as the flowers, compose the scene in the most interesting manner with no undue distractions present, and especially have the main subject in focus. So, with that in mind, go out and find your own “Spring flowers.”
One of the most important aspects of making photos I’ve learned is to put yourself in a position such that the composition resulting becomes the most interesting. This can be especially true when using a telephoto lens. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. The first photo of the church spire is fine by itself, but when I looked at the result on my camera’s LCD, I decided it was sort of “ho-hum.” So, I moved (zoomed out) about 20 feet to my rear, so that the top portion of the spire could be included in my composition along with the flowering Bradford Pear tree in the foreground. You decide for yourself, but in my opinion the latter image is much more interesting.
One day it’s near 70 degrees and I see many signs of spring season in bloom. Then, winter sticks its head back out, hopefully only for a brief moment. Perhaps my photos here will warm your heart no matter where you are. By the way, the two Pansies you see here made it through this very cold and snowy winter in our back yard. Also, the Bradford Pear Trees shown here have a way to go yet, but are indeed trying to push winter aside.
A brief walk outside the back door to our home with my camera in hand, while I was waiting for supper to be ready, resulted in four quick images of what I saw that represented the magic of Spring — the renewal of the earth as it warms up and brings forth young plants and flowers, and a dark blue sky with a rising moon and a soaring Turkey Buzzard overhead. Making photos can definitely cheer one up!
Two weeks early, but close enough to Christmas to begin blooming a bit at a time. By Christmas Day it will be in full bloom. These flowers are some of the most beautiful to me, mainly because of their bright color and translucent petals with differing shapes. The plant is one-year old. It replaced one which was at least ten years old and it bloomed annually, but not necessarily at Christmastime. The new one is on a perfect schedule.
Moving in close to your subject often results in some nice photos. Had I not done so with these two photos, I might have missed the bumblebee in the center of the flower, as well as the silky spiderweb, covered with early morning dew. I wondered if the ole spider was looking out at me from inside its hole … but I didn’t want to get “that” close to see if that was so.