Abstracts in the Garden

Yesterday afternoon I joined some friends in Cleveland where we attended the Orchid Mania exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  While there, I kept in mind Scott’s Assignment 18:  Abstract Photography.  If you’d like to participate, click on the link I just provided for the rundown on what, how, and when.  The deadline to submit your photo (or photos) is on or before midnight (your time zone), March 21, 2012.  Have fun!

I took a series of photos of some large leaves in the Costa Rica glasshouse garden.  My attempts at abstracts with the orchids (straight out of the camera) didn’t work nearly as well.

This is the third year I have gone to the Orchid Mania exhibit and the first year I used all manual settings for my photos.  It is amazing what a difference it makes.  I came home with more terrible photos than usual (and who knows?  I may turn those into abstracts), but I also learned a lot of lessons and managed to get a few good shots here and there.

(The shadow in the photo above reminds me of Yoda so I named this one “Yoda Leaf.”)  The Cleveland Botanical Garden does schedule a tripod day, when photographers can bring their tripods in to take photos.  I thought of going on that day, but found myself feeling a little intimidated about it, as if I am not a real photographer.  In truth, my camera is not the camera of a “real photographer,” and while I shouldn’t let that bother me (yes, we’ve all heard the saying “it’s the photographer, not the camera”), it does bum me out a little when I’m out and about with those who have big name (and big money) cameras.  But please don’t let my camera know I even think such thoughts as I do love my Kodak.  It takes some beautiful images.

I did have a great time, especially since I was spending time with people I care about.  There were very few people at the exhibit while we were there, something I really enjoyed because I didn’t have to wait for people to move out of a shot/scene before taking photos.

That’s it for the abstracts.  I’ll have some orchids for you soon.

View through the waterfall

In other news…

It’s a beautiful, chilly, blue-sky Saturday here in the Bogs.

The occasional puffy cloud floats by, but otherwise it’s mostly clear and blue up above.  Breezy Acres is living up to its name with a brisk wind a-blowing.

M and I spent a couple of hours cutting down willow trees.  (Gasp!!)  I don’t like doing it, but the willows were planted to shelter the hemlocks from the wind and now it is time to give the hemlocks room to grow and stretch out.  The hope is to grow a hemlock hedgerow (see the photo here for an example) to take over for the hedgerow the neighbor bulldozed.  We have been working on the hemlock hedgerow for a five years or so, learning early on that the hemlocks do not care for the breezy conditions if allowed to stand on their own while small.  The willows did their job well.  The hemlocks are growing, and it’s time to thin out the willows.  We will be planting more willows in the future woods.  Willows are easy.  Just take a branch, stick it in the ground, and make sure it gets plenty of water.  Eventually it will root and grow.

Sunlight on the pond

There is not much else going on in the Bogs today.  I’m going to bundle up and go sit on the deck for a little while.  The sunlight is too good to pass up (and I’m sure my body could use some vitamin D).  You’re welcome to join me.  We can warm up by the fire once the sun goes down.


68 Comments on “Abstracts in the Garden”

  1. QuoinMonkey says:

    I am fond of the green shots from your visit. Abstracts are fun. It’s strange, but I used to shoot all manual with film. I was just commenting recently how lazy I’ve become with digital — I hardly know how to use the manual settings on my digital camera. It’s one of my goals for the year. Remember though, tons of great photographs were taken on simple manuals or old automatic cameras. No good, no bad. The work goes on! Always enjoy your photographs.

  2. Kala says:

    Wonderful light and colors in those abstract images of the leaf, Robin!

  3. You’re a real photographer to me–at least, a lot more real than I am. I LOVE the green images–really, really love them.
    Happy weekend, my friend.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. 🙂

      Green is such a fun, lively color, isn’t it? I tend to take it for granted during the summer months, but in the early spring I welcome every sighting of green.

  4. Dana says:

    I always love seeing your natural abstraction photos, Robin. The Yoda Leaf shot is priceless! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Dana. 🙂

      I didn’t see the shadow when I was taking the photo so Yoda was a nice surprise when I uploaded the photos and saw him there.

  5. Sallyann says:

    Lovely pictures, I especially like the waterfall one and the moss covered stone.
    The Force is definitely with you and your Kodak. 😀

  6. Love the abstract leaves, Robin! I love going to the indoor conservatory this time of the year; warm air, flowers blooming, great things to photograph, a hint of the garden to come 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Lynn. 🙂

      Wonderful description of indoor conservatories this time year. I don’t enjoy them nearly as much during the warmer months of the year.

  7. I love using the manual feature on my camera. I’m afraid I’m still only using Aperture mode the most.. I think it’s time to take a class or two! Your abstract photos turned out lovely!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Smidge. 🙂

      I started with Aperture mode, and then moved on to the others. I did a lot of my play while reading the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I’d sit on the sofa in the evening with the book and my camera, and just play while sitting there, going back and forth between camera and book. It’s a great book.

  8. Dawn says:

    I’ve seen Scott’s assignment…just today…and have spent some time thinking about it. My ‘good’ camera is far away out of state with husband who is traveling..but I have my ‘little’ camera that takes fine pictures too…so I need to figure out a strategy. . . . . . .

  9. Your Kodak camera does an amazing job, Robin, and I’m convinced that it is the photographer and not the camera that is responsible for good or not so good photos. I especially love the photo taken through the waterfall.

    For some reason I had thought that hemlocks were dainty plants! The hedge in the link is massive though! You learn something new every day. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Joanne. 🙂

      There are different types of hemlocks, one of which is a lacy looking, poisonous plant. The hemlock tree is an evergreen (and not poisonous).

  10. Carla says:

    Yoda leaf! Really does look like his shadow! 🙂

  11. Star Bear says:

    Love the leaves, Robin! And Thank You for the link to Scott’s Abstract Challenge..

  12. Chloe says:

    lovely photos, i really like the leaf with the holes

  13. Thes are beautiful, Robin!

  14. Bo Mackison says:

    Lovely patterns in the foliage, Robin. And the light and shadows add even more dimension. Very nice!

  15. Karma says:

    I love your abstracts. Everyone is really jumping in on this assignment, and I just have no idea what I’m going to shoot.
    That’s pretty neat about the willow trees – I had no idea they were such easy-growers. My best friend had an enormous weeping willow at her house when we were kids and we all loved that tree.
    The sunlight on the pond is lovely. I’m hoping to get my vitamin D this week to – our forecast is unbelievable for the week: sunny and upper 60’s to 70 degrees! Woohoo! Hope yours is equally great!

  16. milkayphoto says:

    Nice abstracts. Hehehehe…Yoda leaf…priceless!

  17. nigel says:

    Very interesting shots… and a beautiful shade of green,.

  18. Kathy says:

    I think your camera turns out more photographs that look more amazing than a “real” photography camera. Honest to goodness. Cross my heart and hope to…why do we say “die”? Hope to take pics that amaze and enliven and connect and cause joy. Cuz that’s what you do, Robin.

    • Robin says:

      That’s a good question, Kathy? I don’t know why we say “die.” I suppose it’s because we think dying is the worst thing that can happen to us if we’re not telling the truth. I like your version better. 🙂

  19. Wow Robin… I never thought a selection of green leaves could ever be so appealing, but these are stunning…

  20. lucindalines says:

    Your pictures are so amazing. I could look at them all day. Thanks for sharing, and it really is the eye of the photographer not the camera that makes them amazing.

  21. ~mimo~ says:

    poetry in photos!! Great work Robin!

  22. aFrankAngle says:

    Gotta love those leaves!

    An FYI for you. Since it’s not all that far from you, Summerfair is an annual art show in Cincinnati. http://summerfair.org/summerfair-2012

  23. I love this kind of thing. I’m looking forward to slightly warmer weather and opportunities to get out for shooting.

  24. bearyweather says:

    It is definitely the photographer not the camera. A great photographer can make even a $10 camera take wonderful pictures. But, a horrible photographer can not get a good shot with a $1000 camera.
    Love the abstracts …

  25. hotlyspiced says:

    Great images. Lovely to see some wonderful photography. A Frank Angle recommended your blog to me.

  26. David Hall says:

    Superb colours and textures.

  27. sweetmother says:

    these are great pics. really great. i’m horrible with a camera. and you’ve taken off your socks! don’t think we haven’t noticed!

    • Robin says:

      lol! Yes, the socks have come off. The weather is too warm for heavy socks, and I was in the mood for my jazz feet.

      Thank you, SweetMother. 🙂 You may be horrible with a camera (I can’t say for sure — just taking your word for it), but you rock words.

  28. Gorgeous shapes and colors!

  29. Those are beautiful pictures, each single one of them, I love the texture and the light/shadow patterns. Congratulations !

  30. orples says:

    Your photographs are wonderful. Nothing like Mother Nature to keep us focused. 😉

  31. truels says:

    Those first four green photos of leaves are amazing and beautiful, and the first is outstanding!!!

  32. […] caught my eye in Robin’s abstract photos was the color and textures of the leafs she focused in on.  Green can be a shocking color after a winter of white (or drab browns) and her […]

  33. Gerry says:

    There should be a song about the Green, Green Leaves of Spring. Probably is. And you should have a fine, shimmering video of these leaves with the song playing merrily along. I hope you will “work up the nerve” to submit work to juried shows. That particular nerve jangles less when it gets regular workouts. 🙂

  34. Nye says:

    Robin, I love the colors and textures of the leaves, and view through the waterfall is my favorite.

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