Tag Archives: tree

Introducing 2 New Palm Tree Works

Since last Sunday was Palm Sunday and we are almost at Easter, I thought I’d introduce two of our brand new offerings to our online gallery.

The first is Palm Frond.  A unique shot of a new palm leaf still unwrapping as it slowly opens from the tree.  This work is all about lines and shading.   The unique linear structure of the frond gives sense of climbing  to an unseen  focal point just above the viewable picture.

Palm Frond
Palm Frond

I hid the focal point of the frond to add a sense of mystery and increase the feeling of texture in the work.

 

Our second work is Palm Leaf Dew.   The morning dew slowly descended the ingrained channels in the palm fronds to rest at the very tips.   As the drops of water slowly accumulate into larger and larger drops, the force of gravity will soon take over and allow them to fall to the ground.

Palm Leaf Dew
Palm Leaf Dew

Using a series of dodge and burning techniques I brought out the lines of the channels and produced the reflective nature of the water droplets.  Meanwhile the background remains blurred allowing the focus to be on the fronds themselves.

Have a Happy Easter!

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Happy Thanksgiving

 

Well the holidays are once again upon us.  We’d like to send a warm Happy Thanksgiving to all of our patrons.  Thanks for your support.

The picture above is an example of a faux lomographic effect.  It uses a vignette type oval style to highlight the middle of the picture while the edges are slightly blurred.  In lomography the main idea is to bring out Fall Yellow Treethe contrast of colors or shapes found in the picture. We hope you enjoy it and have a  safe holiday.

Speaking of holidays!  Remember to download your Christmas card catalog today!  Time is running out on your chance to order these fine cards.

You can view the cards from here.

Or

Download the PDF from here…

Free Christmas Card Catalog

 

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The Secret Behind Red-Faced Lizard

Our Red-Faced Lizard friend is actually a Caiman lizard from South America. Sitting quietly in a tree, this lizard watches the world pass by with little interest. These gorgeous reptiles also go by the name tegu or more scientifically,  Dracaena guianensis.

The name Caiman stems from the fact that they have a similar appearance to the caiman crocodile and so borrowed their name. The Dracaena is from the Latin word for female dragon. Overall it’s a very prestigious name for a large colorful lizard.

This particular lizard was in a large public enclosure at a place they wouldn’t let me name in this article due to strange legalities and the personal wishes of their public relations department.

The Caiman lizard spends most of the time either in the water or up in low-lying trees sunning itself on the branches. They eat a diet mostly of snails and clams but have been known to eat a tasty rodent or insect now and then.   Usually, they capture the snail or clam with their mouth, tilt their head back and crush the shell with their back teeth. The meal is quickly swallowed and any remaining shell is conveniently spit out.

Being in an enclosure with a large glass window caused some major headaches when trying to get his picture. Red Faced LizardThe enclosure was kept dark and only a single heating lamp above the cage provided light.   The other issue was the large glass window.

The window was very good at providing an excellent reflection of any flash or light source that was behind me. This is definitely not what we wanted. So, I spent a great deal of time  finding a suitable angle that provided for the is particular shot, while minimizing the risk of bothering the lizard, not using a flash or tripod and still getting the shot without any background reflections in the window.

Surprisingly, it only took about 20 shots in these low light conditions to get the picture I wanted. I had to stand with a foot resting on a concrete window sill under the enclosure so I could prop my elbow to give some stability. I then opened my aperture setting  to about an  f/6 and held my breath as I clicked the shutter.   Perseverance and the lack of coffee served me well that day. I hope you enjoy it.

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For more information:

“Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.” Jacksonville Zoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org/animals/reptiles/caiman_lizard/

This Tree is Better Than A Cold Shower

Ouch is a recent photographic work of the Floss Silk Tree. This tree naturally grows spikes along its trunk to protect itself from foraging animals.

I imagine it’s a very effective defense.   These peculiar trees grow in tropical and subtropical climates and reach heights of 40 ft.  They love to grow in the full sun and produce large pink or red flowers in the late summer or early fall.

Usually these trees are often grown in the United States only for the purpose of ornamentation of garden paths and some arboretums. However, in some parts of the tropics ranchers and farmers use this type of tree as a form of living fence post to hang barbed wire between and keep livestock from wandering.

This particular tree I captivated me by the way the tropical sunlight created a distinct pattern of contrast. OuchThe sunlight and shadow played off of each sharp tip spike in perfect harmony.

It does not take a lot of imagination to realize the level of pain caused by an unintentional collision with this monster would be. Trying to imagine why anyone would want to climb such a thing reminded me of a Thai and Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist legend from Southeast Asia.   Each culture has it’s own way of promoting certain values among its members and Asian culture is no different.

As with most the cultures in the world, Thai culture has a very negative outlook on the practice of adultery. As with most cultures, the Thai reinforce the notion that adultery is taboo and costs the offender greatly.

The legends state that upon death, an adulterer will face the servants of Yamaraja the Demigod of Death in hell. These demonic servants will force the adulterer to climb spiked trees using spears and knives into the waiting jaws of razor beaked eagles in the upper branches.

Not exactly what I would call a pleasant image. In fact, I think you’d agree with me that the imagery of that punishment works better than a seriously cold shower on the libido, if you know what I mean.   Yikes…

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Sitting with the Roots of Buddha

I shot the photograph Roots of Buddha on a warm day with a cooling breeze coming off the ocean nearby.

It was a complete delight to stand under a tree with such a mystical quality. The thick roots branched in all directions away from the thick round trunk of this massive fig tree. The small leaves shooting from the thousands of branches in the canopy above letting the sun drift down to the exposed ground at its base.

The small patches of lichen, moss and mold growing on the exposed gray roots fascinated me. It was at this point I discovered that this tree is a Bodhi tree.

The old story of Siddhārtha Gautama, that esteemed teacher from the depths of Indian history flashed into my mind. He saw the world differently than most, and his reaction to the suffering he discovered both to the people around him and in his own heart drove him to try some ways to understand why the world was in such a mess.

The legends say that he finally sat under a tree like this one for seven days and meditated. The imagery of a learned man sitting under the branches of a fig tree with the cool breeze and leaves offering refreshment Roots of Buddhafrom the elements is invigorating. Imagine his back nestled between the branching roots created a force of living protection and inspiring peacefulness.

Siddhartha’s impressive internal discipline forced a need to challenge himself to the meditation on the interesting impermanence of the world around him led to his enlightenment as the Buddha. His unique understanding and cultivation of the noble truths inspire and continue to influence the world today.

All of this made possible by just sitting quietly under the roots of a fig tree, sitting under the Roots of Buddha.

Like what you read about Roots of the Buddha?

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