Today's image was/is Easter inspired. Although we don't have daffodils in bloom here in Maine, yet, I used my photos from last spring to create the heart of daffodils. Which started me thinking about why daffodils are so common in Easter photos and on Easter cards. I assumed it was because they are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and are usually in bloom for Easter. With a little digging, I discovered there is more to the story.
Sunny yellow daffodils have long been a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings since ancient times as they typically bloom near the Spring Equinox. This leads to their association with Easter, the Christian celebration of new life in Christ.
Legend has it that the daffodil bloomed for the first time during the Last Supper to bring comfort to Christ. Some churches associate the daffodil with the 40 Days of Lent. Many in the UK refer to the daffodil as a Lent or Lenten Lily.
Whatever you call them, daffodils bring a splash of color to the landscape after months of ice and snow. They are thought to bring good luck and symbolize love, respect and high regards.
Today's image is a composite of photos done in Photoshop. Each flower, fern and leaf was taken from one of my photos (except for the borrowed blue flowers and butterfly) and added individually to the image.
Here is the same image given a little texture using the online photo editor Lunapic. I hope you enjoyed my work today.
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.
What Makes the Fluffy Seed Head?
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.
How Did It Get the Name Dandelion Clock?
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.