Macro Monday Texting

Or, how to be with two people at the same time. The one in front of you, and the one in your hand.

Macro Monday Seeds and Nuts

This is a seed from one of the many common palms in the yard.  It will sprout anywhere it’s buried, and its appearance will resemble a blade of grass. As a Florida newbie ten years ago, I didn’t recognize this. I thought those blades were grass, but Northern turf and Southern turf is a whole other blog post (and who really cares except Master gardeners and golf course turf managers – or weed-pullers like me?)   That’s the time to yank it though,  before it’s had a chance to develop its ‘tree’ root system.    These weeds are everywhere in my gardens, and are easy to extract when nascent blades,  but dullsville for people who eschew weeding.  Like children. Like my children. Even when I offer to pay them (I naively thought they’d be glad for the chance to earn some cash.  I’m blogging, and taking pictures of weeds,  I’m a bit busy, you understand …)   But  honestly? I actually love weeding.  It’s quiet time, and really satisfying to work in the dirt, removing weeds, and turning the mulch;  prettying the gardens. I used to have more time for gardening and I miss it.   These palm seeds also pepper our decks, and squash when stepped on. Since we painted the decks black, these seeds are barely discernable. Until you step on one.

A tiny acorn, with its friend, the dimpled seednut.  I don’t know what it is, but it has an interesting texture next to the acorn, don’t you think?  Since I focussed on the acorn as the primary subject, the dimpled seednut plays second fiddle in this image. The blurred green in the background is Spanish moss, which you’ll see more clearly when you keep scrolling down.

I have no idea what this … pointy sphere-on-a-stem is, but they are everywhere about my yard.  I love its texture also and doesn’t it just pop when placed in front of my green deck railings?

A composition of the palm seed, tiny acorn, dimpled seednut or whatever-it-is, against a backdrop of Spanish moss.

Three of my favorite colors: black, green, and gold. Do I need to mention that’s a leaf, on the right? It was just there when I set the seed in front of the Spanish moss, and I liked how it looked in the picture.

Red berries. Obviously.  Probably not good for you if you ate one.

The end.

Macro Monday: Raindrops on Disney

This was my favorite trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando ever.

I stayed in a lovely hotel on the Disney property. I went into Downtown Disney – once.  I saw a movie there. Well, let’s call it two and a quarter movies, if you want to know the truth.  The King’s Speech was fabulous.  You can wait for The Dilemma on DVD, and Country Strong?  It was probably pretty good, and I won’t give away the last twenty minutes.  Having seen that, however, now I’ll probably wait for the DVD.

I went shopping at Nordstrom, made a side trip to Winter Park, and read an entire book.  A heavenly weekend, really.

But technically, I did not enter any of the Disney attractions, although they were on view from the hotel window.  See?

When I changed the focus on my macro lens, looking through the same window a moment later, this was what I saw:

All cozy, inside, with my new novel.  Not standing in line, in the rain, on a Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal holiday,  with kids, for a ride or anything inside the Disney parks.

I’m happier taking pictures of raindrops on windows and reading.

Macro Monday: A Night of Lights

The inspiration.

She wasn’t sure what the homeowners thought of the girl with a camera and tripod, who moved stealthily about the periphery of their front yard. It wasn’t quite dark when she stopped her car, having had an aha! moment when she saw so many lights, twinkling lights.  She definitely knew she ought to knock at their door and just explain her mission; surely they would not mind. The odder way was to do what she did, traversing their expansive yard with her tripod and camera, staying close to the street, until dusk became dark. Then she packed up her gear and drove off. She had no manners left on that evening, none at all. She wonders if they even noticed her activity; it did appear that people were home. She justified that if they were genuinely curious, or concerned that a weirdo was doing photography in the dark in front of their house, they would have come out to have a word with her.

But no one did, and that was that.

This is what she saw:

The end.

Macro Monday: Korean Edition

These pictures are among my favorite items, bought in Korea. I’ve been looking at them in my glass case for a long time. I admire their craftsmanship and always protect them. A few years back, a two-year-old nephew actually tossed one of these precious Korean sculptures and her shoe cracked off. Oh my, I was inwardly roiling with fury! How could he have done that? I know: he was two … but I’d been so careful, transporting them all the way home from Korea and in a single offhand, impulsive toss my beloved figure cracked; maimed! Yes. I was a grown woman, and I was upset. So fine, I was able to repair the shoe with glue, and life went on, and no one would have ever known about it if I hadn’t just written these words but it’s all part of the story, as many beloved things do have a story, a little more history. So now, you know, whoever inherits the girl in hanbok. Be careful of her foot!

One day, oh, in about forty or fifty years – all of which will be healthy and happy and prosperous, creating a wonderful legacy for generations to come (!) – the kids will inherit these pieces. I hope these pieces (and there are more than the snippets you see here) will grace a special place in their home as they do in mine. They’ve grown up looking at them, but probably never really seeing them. I think that’s just the way it is. Some of the favorite items that I inherited from my mom after she left for Heaven were the small things, the objects that were just always there, in the house, and now, they are in mine. Every time I look at one of them it evokes home. I never expected that these little things would be imbued with such meaning for me, but they are. Who’s to say what will mean something to my kids, down the road? But two of them are Korean-born and today, the images are Korean.

I love Korea and will go back there as soon as I can. The shopping is fab, Seoul is a vibrant and fashionable city, alive 24/7, and in the countryside it’s so historical, so beautiful. Koreans cherish their distinct culture. They ache because of their separation from the North. It was one country until the powers that be slashed it into two in 1945. Families are still separated, and so there is still very much the longing for reunification of the peninsula and the people who live there.

The copper colored item with the gold crescent moon and etched wildflowers is a sort of planter. It’s heavy and handmade and I’d no more think of putting anything damp like soil or a plant into it (and do love soil and plants!) than… well, I just wouldn’t do it! It’s such a lovely piece of handmade art and I love metal and texture and the clean lines in its design. Picked it up in Insadong. The minute I spotted it, I knew.

I hope to see Korea again, and this time, visit the lovely Cheju Island, off the tip of the southernmost part of Korean. It’s known as the Korean Hawaii. Cheju Beachlife: what do you think?

(Photo borrowed from a Korean tourism website. Kamsahamnida!)

Macro Monday 2011

The only way to do this is to challenge one’s self. One of these weeks I’ll have something to post that really moves me from deep within. You just know it when you see it because you feel it, first. Until the visceral, I’ll post the visual.

I adore the mini orchids I pick up occasionally from a fav little home/garden shop in Jax Beach.

The raindrops came too quickly to consider staying out on the 11th Street beach access in Atlantic Beach and seek some better shots. I skipped back to the dry car with the precious lens and camera still attached to the tripod, to avoid wet, that can ruin equipment.

And so, it was. Er, it is. Macro Monday. Underwhelming, but posted.

Macro Monday Around the Yard

She’s still hard at work with the macro lens.  It’s what draws her: if she has extra time, it’s on with the macro lens and outside she goes.  She’s drawn to nature and has learned, perhaps stupidly, as  she ought to have realized that nature moves, and therefore it’s harder to photograph.  She needs a low-to-the-ground tripod.

She also needs new venues.  How many times can she photograph that Agapanthus, anyway?  Well, she’s certainly documented its journey, from bud to seed, and after today, she probably won’t bore you with any more shots of that plant until it begins to grow next spring.

The Agapanthus, fading.

Her pretty Pumpkin, a Calico, has the loveliest coat.  She’s very difficult to photograph but she came up and stood right beside her when she was composing the shot: the acorn. She loves that Pumpkin “ruined” the shot!

Perfect example of why she needs a low-to-ground tripod.  Still, she loves this shot.

Redundant, she knows.

Redundancy, redux.  But the focal point is different!

A mushroom in her favorite color.  Including her nail polish. Ask anyone.

Had enough?  So has she, so now she’ll wash her hands of this post.  But if a certain photo catches your interest, she hopes you’ll click it to enlarge.  Macro photography is best appreciated in its largest rendition.

Scouting for better locations and more interesting subjects, this mediocre photographer isn’t giving up.  You’ll see. Some day.

The end.

Macro Monday October 25

Challenging one’s self photographically is a challenge and sometimes, a frustration.  However, I’ll continue to show these macro photos because I’m committed to personally stretch myself creatively, to work on effectively composing and capturing the the things that catch my eye.  Not altogether pleased with this week’s offerings, I’m carrying on with Macro Mondays because I know that one of these weeks, someone will look, and see pure magic, even if that someone is only me. I’ve shot one or two of those utterly perfect photos in my nascent photographic career; my lens is certainly capable of doing so, and  therefore, as in most every endeavor, doesn’t practice make for perfect?  Every striving, I present this week’s images.

Caveat: if you like an image well enough, click on it to enlarge it so that it occupies your entire screen if possible. In macro photography, we’re honing in on the details, and the smaller images that fit within the blog’s format don’t do macro photography justice.  Even the mediocre ones are enhanced by a closer look!

Macro Monday

Inspiration:  Not found, not so much.  Effort:  A for trying.  Photographer: undaunted.
Here are pictures that limped to the finish line:
Ooops! This beachlifer is officially OUT of free Blogger storage and has had to purchase more so that she can continue to regale you with minutiae and mediocrity with the occasional brilliant photo or post thrown in.  So… Macro Monday is being delayed until payments can be confirmed; please stand by.  Your wait time may be up to twenty-four hours.  So please, don’t hold your breath.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about creative inspiration.  It’s no surprise I’ve exceeded my allotted space here on Blogger.  I’ve already filled my hard drive and have had to buy a second external hard drive, all filled with images.  I might not buy the kids’ requisite, overpriced school pics every year (please consult your yearbooks to see what you looked liked in your second grade uniform, kids.) For a girl who has more than 25,000 jpegs on her hard drive I’m just a bit insulted that the photo studio who  shall remain unnamed (but seems to have a monopoly on all the area schools, both public and private) doesn’t even give us a choice of this picture or that one, and then bundles it into some exorbitantly priced “package” making me feel like Their Bad Mother when I let months go by without making the buy – but look!  I have 19,000 pictures of them on this external, or the other.  There’s certainly no shortage of pictures of my kids, and backed up well.

I even offer them their own photo shoots, but they eschew that (who  wants their mom taking their photo again) and even when I resort to forcing them to be my practice subjects, naturally the attitude seeps through the lens and while I have captured plenty of lovely pictures, I’m building my portfolio by shooting other people; children or adults.  I have one model in particular who stares right through the lens with that blank but pleasant look on her face; a face that I could never pull off without someone asking me, “Are you all right? Is something wrong?”  I think it just comes naturally to some people, certainly models have it, and if you have it, you can learn to work it.

I photographed a lovely family on Saturday afternoon, collecting hundreds of images they’ll enjoy choosing from.  Each time I do this I get new ideas on how to  engage small children in photo shoots; with very small children who can’t sit and pose, candids are the way to go.  I was very happy with the outcome of the family photo shoot.   The subjects were wonderful to work with; the venues, perfect.  Howell Park drenched them in a saturated green backdrop, while the beach provided that magical mixture golden afternoon light, and an azure sea and sky, the surf breaking with just enough white foam to provide the perfect horizontal contrast.  I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

I love nature photography in macro.  A good macro / portrait lens has been the best addition to my camera bag and every time I pull the camera out my heart lures me in search of small images worthy of that extreme close up.  Today, it was just breezy enough to keep moving my subjects and therefore my results were merely fine, but not spectacular. I want to feel that catch in my throat, that internal leap of excitement when I view my uploaded photos, and lately, in macro, it hasn’t happened.      I hesitate to post them,  but post I will, for it’s the only way to keep myself challenged; although I do hit the ‘publish’ button with less enthusiasm than I did that first time I published a set of macro shots from the garden.  It had rained; there wasn’t any wind; the raindrops were hanging like a single tear was shed from the nascent bud of a June agapanthus.

That’s what keeps me coming back for more.  The memory of that picture.  That’s why I know I can do it.

Macro Monday