“Illuminate”

This image is part of my set of images from the flowering Quince Bonsai tree that I have posted on 500px, and my site. The day that I was shooting the Bonsai trees the sun happened to be shining really brightly, coming in at a strong mid afternoon angle.
After I had already done many other shots, I decided to just go with the flow of light, and let it totally surround and embrace the subject, the Quince Blossoms.
In the end I’m glad that I did. I feel it adds a light and beautiful air to the image. So bright that it feels like a summer’s day! Enjoy!

 Quince Blossoms
Quince Blossoms

“Cascading White” B&W

While doing some botanical photography recently I took a quick stop at the orchid section of the conservatory before heading to the desert climate area for some succulent images.
I thought I’d like to process these orchids in a strictly black and white form, giving them more of a contrast. They really came out with what I feel is a contrast of darkness and light in a very literal sense!
On 500px I uploaded a very similar image, although not the same one, but in color if you’d like to take a look at that.
So if you’re having a dark and rainy today like we are, and want some some black and white drama, here’s the image for you. All we need is a little thunder and lightening to go with it! 😉

 Orchids in monochrome

Orchids in monochrome

“Summer’s Snowflakes”

In today’s post I thought I’d take us back to a little bit of summer delight ( I know, summer seems a lifetime ago for some of us) LOL! Enjoy a lovely and delicate image of the humble Garlic Chive in bloom!

Quite a large patch of this beautiful flower that I call the snowflake of summer was growing on the outskirts of a an herb garden last summer. I grabbed a couple of shots back then. This image is the color version , but I also created a monochrome version, which while beautiful, didn’t seem quite right for today’s post.

As I gaze out my window while writing this, I see a single sign of spring. The grass is getting greener, but other that that, the north winds are blowing quite strong, and a cold front is here! Our temperatures have dropped like a rock! Who knows, there might even be a stray snowflake or two later in the night.

But for me, I can always look at a snowflake of a different kind. One that evokes the scents and feelings of a light and warm summer’s day. Maybe you might also be in need of a little bit of soft and beautiful summer feelings! If so take a look at this image, then close your eyes and imagine the scent of green plants, a field of delicate white flowers. The sound of birds chirping, and butterflies flitting from one flower to another. Take a deep breath, then exhale slowly.

Are you relaxed now? If not, then try it again. Just remember summer isn’t far off……… oh yea, I forgot, we have to get to spring first! 😉

Anyway, It will be here soon enough, for now though I’m wishing everyone a warm (even if only on the inside) , safe, and wonderful spring weekend!! 🙂

-Summer's Snowflakes-

“Bridging the Huron”

During the day today, I spent many hours, as a lot of you have, watching the news about the tragedy that happened at the Boston Marathon. Following the news events on twitter which come out even faster, and watching in horror as more and more images, and information of this sad day evolved!

I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to all those people, their families, and their friends that have been affected by this days horrific events! I want to send you my best wishes, hope for better days to come, and healing to begin!

I thought I’d also take the time to express some other thoughts that I have in my mind. The way I see it, all of us on this big beautiful planet are brothers and sisters of each other. We are here to take care of each other, and to take care of this amazing planet earth and everything on it, that has been given to us as a trust.

Today’s tragic event in Boston is another one in a long line of so many injustices that have happened or are happening in cities and towns around this nation, and also around the entire world.

There have been so many recent horrific events in our own country that have happened to totally innocent people, like what happened today in Boston. This is a very sad fact!

What many people don’t realize or even think much about though, is that there are so many people around the world in other countries that are suffering beyond anything we can possibly imagine. They are being tortured and killed by their own governments. People in countries that are completely oppressed by outside forces. Whole nations of human beings that are held hostage by the raving madness of one man in charge, or by their own countries government officials.

My wish for all of us here in this country and for everyone in the entire world is to bridge the gaps we have between each other. Join together for the sake of humanity. Be brothers and sisters to each other. No matter the continent, the nation, the language, the religion, nor the color of our skin.

Extend our hands out to each other, cross the bridges and come together as human beings to help overcome the injustices that abound both here in this country, and around the world.

I see this image below of a bridge across a river as the bridge we can use to cross and join forces with each other, for the good of all mankind!

I see the reflections in the water as the reflections of life. Reflections of different people’s lives from all around the world.

The colors of the foliage in the many trees represents the colors of skin, the different religions, the beauty of the worlds languages, and all other differences you can think of.

We are the world. We are beautiful! We can work together to help solve the problems of humanity, even if it be as little as one leaf at a time. One word of comfort, one hug, one beautiful photo, one kindness.

We are not lost, it is not too late! With each adversity we have the ability to become stronger and closer, but we have to also try to bridge the gap of ignorance that exists, and embrace the beauty of the people and countries in this wonderful world around us!

I extend my hand, my heart, my prayers and my thoughts to all those who are suffering both here, and around the world tonight, and in the future!

This image is called “Bridging the Huron”, but for tonight I think it shall be called “Bridging the Gap”

Bridge across the Huron River during autumn!
Bridge across the Huron River during autumn!

“Lights Camera Action”

Well my friends,tonight I thought I’d bring us back to the bright lights, the large crowds, and the full fledged action of the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS)!

For those of you out there that have a love of all things Corvette, muscle cars, fast cars, luxury sports cars, etc. Well here you have a pretty nice perspective of the awesome 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

There was a lot of attention that was on this car as in turned around! Cameras were clicking everywhere, lights were coming from all directions, and people were admiring, talking, and going nuts for this brand new Corvette! It made for a pretty wild time!

From this vantage point I think you can get a good idea of both the car itself and the atmosphere surrounding it!!

I hope you enjoyed tonight’s post. If so please feel free to leave me a comment!!

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

“Above the Forest”

I love to go to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at least once a year. Actually I would love to live up there. It’s truly a wonderful place to be.

I’ve traveled all over the UP, but this image is from just on the outskirts of Saint Ignace, which is the first town you come to after you cross the Mackinac Bridge.

It doesn’t matter what time of year I go. I always have to make a visit to Castle Rock. An historic place with a great view of extensive forests and Lake Huron depending on the direction you’re looking in.

For all photographers and historians make sure you take the time to talk with the family that owns and has operated it for so many years. The walls in the gift shop are filled with wonderful historical images from the humble beginnings of Castle Rock and the family that kept it going from the start till the present day.

A definite treat for everyone, not to mention children who need to run off their energy by climbing the many stairs to reach the top!

Enjoy the view!

The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!
The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!

“Sunlit Fern”

Quite often as many of you also probably do. I process an image in more than one way. Sometimes it may be variations of clarity, vibrance, removal of noise, etc. Other times, as in the case of this image, it was a conversion from color, to monochrome, than back to color again. I started with a very sunlit fern with quite direct overhead lighting, which was pretty harsh.

When I decided to process it, after messing around in color, I felt it really worked better in monochrome. I played around with it using solarization, but decided against that. I processed using settings in Lightroom, Nik Color Efex Pro, and then Nik Silver Efex Pro with a final toning in selenium for the first image.

At first I was going to leave well enough alone and have just the monochrome version, but then I got a hankering to go back and re-process the original color one also. I again used a combination of Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro. What I came out with is a very vibrant and leafy green bit of fern fronds.

I like both versions equally as well, but in different ways. Which one do you like better? Which one gives you the feeling you’d like to see when thinking about ferns? Feel free to let me know your thoughts! 🙂

A Fern in monochrome.
A Fern in monochrome.
A Fern in full color.
A Fern in full color.

“Salt”

When you look at the title of this image, then actually take a look at the photo. You may wonder why such a title? Well I’ll explain. First of all let me tell you that it was a cold late winter”s day when I took this. I was on the same architectural photo hunt that I mentioned to you in my previous post.

After going around the main part of the central campus of The University of Michigan, I headed off towards the direction of the hospital, which is still part of the school. There are plenty of medical school buildings there as well.

After turning onto a side street I happened upon the building you see here. I really wanted to get out of the car and take in the whole of the building, but I wasn’t able to, I searched everywhere for some place to park. I knew I just had to have an image of this place although I had no idea even what it was from the vantage point I was in.

Being that it was in the middle of the day, on a busy week day. There were cars, and people everywhere, and no way for me to actually park and roam around. So I did the only thing I could.

I put my car in park, put on my flashers, right in front of the building and took a few photos of the entrance area. I loved the style of architecture, looking like that of something from the U.K.!

In the color version of this image you can see all the embellishment and the crest above the doorway really standing out in on the brick. You can see it here too, but not quite the same.

You may also notice bunches of snow still piled up along the stairs and entry area. Well this is where the title comes in.

When I was processing this photo, I noticed there was quite a bit of salt that had been put down on the stairs and walkway. The salt was blue in color, so of course it was not plain salt, but one mixed with additives to melt ice. This didn’t look very nice, but it also wasn’t very practical to take it out of the photo either.

So I opted to leave it in, and do a monochrome version, and then title it “Salt”. Since I didn’t know the name of the structure, I had to search it up. I came to know that it is the Kinesiology Building. Part of the U of M, and also has a sign on another area that says Observatory Lodge. I’ll find out more about it in the future.

I’m planning on going back there again. Probably in the warm weather, when I’m able to get out of the car, find an actual parking space, and get a full view of this lovely piece of architecture. I know you’ll love seeing the complete structure too!

For now, I leave you with “Salt” in monochrome!

Kinesiology Building
Kinesiology Building