Today's photo is the backside of a dandelion head that has gone to seed. I took this shot because I thought it would be interesting to see a photo from a different perspective and I wasn't disappointed. I also liked the white seed umbrellas against the grey background, enhancing its soft, fluffy appearance.
Dandelion seeds are designed for wind dispersal. The tiny seeds in the center of the puffy ball are attached to the base of the flower. A thin, umbrella-like structure connects the seed to the fluffy hairs on the end. When a gust of wind contacts the seed head the tiny hairs work like an parachute and take flight carrying the dandelion seed with them. They float in the wind until they touchdown and germinate to create a new dandelion plant.
The dandelion seed head is also known as a dandelion clock. It got this name from the ancient legend that if you blow on the seed head to blow away the seeds the number of seeds that remain represent the number of years you have left to live.
Today's photo is a bee on Lupines. I originally thought it was a honey bee until I saw the backside of the abdomen. It appears this bee is actually a species of cellophane or polyester bee. To learn more about these amazing bees, check out my post on Maine Garden Ideas.
This photo was edited in Lightroom and Photoshop to bring out the colors of both the flowers and the bee. It is a little different than some of my photos, like my wildflower photos, because I was more interested in bringing out the beauty of the image than highlighting the details of the bee and the flowers. It gave this a softer look that I really like.
As a photographer, I find myself walking a thin line when it comes to editing nature photos. For some, accuracy in color and detail is vital, while at other times creating an aesthetically pleasing image is more important. Although I did not drastically change the color of either the Lupine or the bee, I did use highlights and shadows to emphasize the areas I found most interesting.
Here's the same image with some textures added and given a Museum frame. If you are an aspiring photographer, don't be afraid to play with different programs and try different styles until you find something you like. The textures and frame in the above photo were done with a free online program called ipiccy. You can also create some interesting effects with the free online photo editing program Lunapic. (Check out the famous artworks filters, but don't forget to slide the slider to the left to decrease the effect and hit "adjust" before saving the image.)
I've never given minimalist photography much thought before, mainly because I wasn't aware there was actually such a thing. I stumbled upon the term recently when I shared this photo in an online group and jokingly referred to it as minimalist photography. I quickly became aware that much of my photography falls within the realm of minimalist photography, as I often photograph dewdrops, raindrops, snowflakes and other macro images.
Simply put, minimalist photography focuses on a simple, isolated image making use of negative space, color and texture to highlight the subject. Basically it follows the rule of "less is more" and can create a striking image that is free of competing elements or distracting backgrounds. I find minimalist photography effective for highlighting the beauty and intricacy of nature.
From what I have read, this technique is controversial and viewers tend to either love or hate it.
Which camp are you in? Love or Hate?
Today's photo is a wild New England Aster. These flowers range in color from shades of blue, purple and lavender to pink with shades of purple and blue being the most common in my area. I found this gorgeous pink specimen along the roadside last summer.
Asters blanket roadsides and ditches with bright color in late summer and early fall and provide an important source of nectar for bees and migrating butterflies. They are typically abuzz with insect activity.
Today's photo is a shot of the center of a purple coneflower after the rain. I took this photo last summer. I love the variety of sizes in the perfectly-round spheres of water. I also like the variation in color from green in the center to nearly red on the outer spikes. If you look closely, you can also see that each droplet contains a reflection of the surrounding spikes in the center.
Today's photo is a blade of grass with raindrops. The images inside the drops are from the flowers in the background. Although you can't tell in this photo, the images inside the drops are reversed. The drop of water act as a lens and refracts (bends) the light causing an object just out of the focal length of the camera to appear upside down and backwards inside the raindrop.
Today's photo is a blue moon. The color isn't real, of course, but there is something about the possibility that tickles the imagination and brings out the child in all of us. Most of you are probably aware that we will experience the first blue moon of 2018 on January 31.
A blue moon has nothing to do with color. It is the term used to refer to the second full moon in a month. Originally it referred to the third of four full moons in a season. Either way, a blue moon is rare, giving rise to the phrase "Once in a blue moon" meaning something occurs very rarely, but is not impossible.
Even though the astronomical blue moon is not actually blue, it is possible for the moon to appear blue. This can (and has) happened when ash, dust or smoke fills the air and causes the moon to appear blue-colored. This can happen with a forest fire, but most commonly happens from a large volcanic eruption. Because the dust particles must be very small, and atmospheric conditions just right, it is rare to see a blue-colored moon.
Teatime with Butterflies is not a photo. It is digital art created from several different images. I've wanted to learn to create this type of image for a long time. It has taken months of practice with Photoshop to learn the techniques to combine images in a meaningful way. I'm not sure of the destination for this image, but I think it will find a home in a children's book someday.
Today's photo is more digital art than photo. The subject is a purple iris with some texture and color added. The background was created using the colors of the original photo. I love the softness of the background in contrast with the textured flower.
Today's photo is a winter sunset shot through a crystal ball. When light goes through the crystal ball it refracts and causes an inverted image inside the ball. Some photographers use the ball and then invert it in a photo editing program so the image in the ball is upright, but I liked this one the way it was. If you are interested in trying crystal ball photography, you can purchase the ball on Amazon for a few dollars. It may be listed as a crystal ball, a lens ball or a photography ball. They are all the same thing. You don't need any special equipment, other than the crystal ball.