Tag Archives: flower

What does Pinwheel Flower Mean?

Most people played with pinwheels as a child. It’s a whimsical toy consisting of a windmill type device pinned loosely to the end of a small stick.   As the wind blows, the multi-colored paper or plastic spins creating a mesmerizing display of colors and movement. It’s simply captivating to a child or adult.

Pinwheel Flower
Pinwheel Flower

Perhaps that toy is the orchestrated result of some influential pinwheel flowers viewed by some forgotten toy maker in history.  The long powerful floral petals form curvasive fingers out from the center as if to catch an imaginary wind and perform some impossible bouqueted ballet.   Drawn to these whimsical yet vibrant shapes, a sublime reminder of childhood reaches back from the echoes of our half remembered past.  Can you imagine the petals spinning like a toy of your youth?

Only now, as adults, with greater experience and perhaps a more cynical eye, we understandably view the pure white petals as a quantitative measure of purity in our lives. A view of grandest desire and design.  For who does not like to think themselves pure?  Yet this view is not without it’s own danger.

The exciting glowing petals suddenly take on an air of smallness. The blackness surrounding each petal pure and full of vibrant life represents our own bleak mortality. Indeed, aware that these pinwheels will not spin with the cheerful abandon of our youth, we wishfully attempt to view them with the hopeful ideal of mobility.

However, the persistent lack of motion results in our metaphoric experience that as we become older we indeed become more fixated and inflexible in our ideals. A view soon encroaches portraying each of us as pinwheels no longer able to spin with the winds of passing time. Yet each of us remains a flower. Our capable beauty exists in a dignified and artfully desirous form, if only for those briefest of moments that make up our lives.

 

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The Potential of This Photograph is Awesome

Last week we started off with a picture of a strange-looking flower blooming off the side of a palm tree. The starting unfiltered picture is typical of what you find on the Internet. It’s certainly not a bad picture per se, but it does have issues that we will need to contend with before one can look at it and unabashedly call it a work of art.

What is the potential?
What is the potential?

One of the biggest difficulties in the picture is the heavy dose of sunlight affecting the overall image and is robbing us of detail that would enhance the picture. This has everything to do with the time day I took the picture.  In this case it’s a trade-off between technique and artistic imagery.  If I were to take the picture at an earlier or later time so that the lighting is perfect, the sun would not be at an angle in the sky to flow directly on the flower. Lighting is what gives an image its dramatic power.

So, one of the first things to do is to rebalance the image reduce the sunlight glare from blowing out our image. Once we mange that, both on the camera through a lens filter and then again in Photoshop, we pull out more detail and move on to any color issues.

The picture is green predominately green and white. It’s a plant so that is to be expected, but I want to enhance that drama we were talking about earlier. I do this by simply changing the image to a black and white one. The advantage is that the white will remain but the greens will turn into varying shades of blacks and grays thus not only preserving our drama but enhancing it.

After this transformation I work with the contrast and brightness and make sure that there is an area of pure white and pure black in the image for aesthetic reasons.

I then move on towards working with a modern day version of dodging and burning the picture to further enhance both the dark areas and the dramatic white. The last step is to make sure that no digital noise has crept in the photograph robbing the image of a silky smooth look. So I use a denoise filter designed to take the noise out .

You may ask why I’m not giving specific details about the exact settings I use in Photoshop or how many filters I may apply. It’s not that my answers are full of trade secrets. Rather, the reason is that there are no set hard fast rules for applying filters and using dodge and burn on your images. Some images may require 3 filters, some 13. It is dependent upon your artistic eye and the individual image.

Thus I am left with the enhanced image below.

 

Palm Flower
Palm Flower

Hope you enjoyed this look at a simplified version of taking and image and working it step by step and filter by filter into a work of art.

 

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The Draw of Red Hibiscus

Visiting the tropical gardens of Florida are among one of my favorite places to go to. The endless carousing up and down long corridors of tropical greenery provides ample opportunity for a person to get back to nature.

Between one such corridor of tangled shrubs and brilliant flashes of floral thunder stood this exquisite hibiscus.   In full bloom this flower assaulted the air with both fragrance and a wonderful red hue.

Instantly,  the artist in me became delighted at capturing the image of this fragrant beauty. As pretty as this flower was, I still felt that perhaps it lacked something. Oh it was a stunning picture in its own right and processing it was a joy. But, I wasn’t happy with the total feel of the picture.

Red Hibiscus
Red Hibiscus

The color of the red flower on a deep-sea of leafy green sent an idea into my head. Why look at this botanical beauty through traditional black and white? So, I placed a deep red filter over the image and the results were magical.

The deep red punches through the various isolating influences of the green leaves and really pushes the actual flower to the limit of our visual acceptance. The petals of the red colored flower suddenly turn a red tinged highway of visible lines bursting forth from the center maw of the open flower.

The flower became a true apiary sign post inviting the delicate caresses of petals and pollen. A hidden beauty in it’s own right waiting for the right discovery.

The Secret of Red Tulip

This is our latest offering in our ever-expanding artwork dealing with flowers. Red Tulip is a portrait of a bright red tulip found in the flower garden one spring morning.   The main motivation for the work revolves around the lighting and the detail of the dew on the petals of the flower.

 

Black and White photography allows for you to see pieces of the flower that you would otherwise be unable to view due to the bright colors. The challenge in creating a piece like this is twofold. The first, and probably the hardest, is taking the shot. But to do that it is necessary to mentally sift through hundreds of tulips and lighting angles to find the right one. The fact that I only use natural lighting conditions when taking a picture really pushes my creativity when searching for my subject.

 

Another trick is that you have to be there early to get this shot. Most photographers preferring natural light will tell you that as the day progresses the light from the sun becomes more and more harsh. But there are other reasons for getting to the flower garden before the sun becomes your enemy. Early morning is the best time to capture the morning dew. The random droplets of dew on enhance our attention to detail when viewing a flower. It just naturally appears fresher.

Red Tulip
Red Tulip

 

The second challenge in this shot is the use of filters.   Because I do not use artificial light, I use various colored filters to create a darker or lighter image among the colors when converted into a black and white image.   These filters only do part of the job however, as it is then necessary to use dodge and burning techniques to enrich areas of the flower that will enhance the natural lighting or darken the background as my creativity inspires me to do.   While this is consumes a great deal of time, the result is worth it.

 

As usual, the hardest part of any artwork is the naming. I decided that since the main reason any flower attracts our attention for so long is definitely the color. So, I decided that I was going to name it according to the color of the original tulip. Thus Red Tulip was born.

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Tea Rose: Most Popular Rose in the World

Tea Rose Morning is an example of the most popular rose flower in the world. Long the staple of florists, the tea rose produces the signature buds and flowers that people often reference when thinking of rose flowers.

The many petal wonders of a tea rose also produce a light scented fragrance that carries on the spring and summer air. These roses are known to bud and bloom singularly on a stem and not in a cluster like other roses. Gardeners and florists love them for their ability to produce flowers throughout the length of the growing season.

Often a rose will bloom, add its beauty to the world, and then die and be replaced by another on the same bush.   This allow for the greatest enjoyment of these rose bushed for the length of the season.

These roses do need some care though. Monitoring for disease on their leaves and watered regularly is Tea Rose Morningnecessary. Careful pruning of the plants before they bloom is also needed to keep the most air circulation around the leafs and buds to make sure a full harvest of flowers.

Further, in hot locations such as areas of Texas and the south, these flowers usually require mulch around its base to help make sure that the roots keep moisture and are kept cooler than the rest of the plant.

What fascinated me about this particular rose was the blending of the orange and light pinks in the petals.   It’s as if they took an orange and pink rose and blended them together to create a colorful start to a walk through the local rose garden. Truly this picture is a fashionable addition to your day.

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