A Taste of Spring

As winter is nearing its end I am looking forward to spring wholeheartedly! I thought I’d bring you just a little taste of late spring from last year. These images were all made in and around The Royal Botanical Gardens near Hamilton, Ontario. Honestly I could spend hours a day in each of the many garden areas they have! These images are just a few to give you a jump start on your spring. I hope they give you a feeling of happiness!

“Rock Garden Peace and Beauty”
"Follow the Reflections"
“Follow the Reflections”
“Finding Our Way”
“Orange Poppy Twirl”
“Light Pink Peonies in Sunlight”
“Pink Peony Cluster”

I wish you all a very happy end of winter as we head into warmer and more colorful times!

“Garden Blooms”

Spring seems to start of pretty slowly here in SE. Michigan, but once the temperatures warm a bit, which they did to a very large degree this year, the garden blooms begin to appear quickly!

These are some of the first flowers to bloom in the garden this spring, after the initial daffodils and crocus.

The lovely light purple Iris basking in the warm light of the morning sun makes a lovely image!

 

"Dahlia Darling" Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!
“Dahlia Darling”
Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!

The Dahlia were especially beautiful with their large blossoms, and stunning colors!

"Iris abstract" I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!
“Iris abstract”
I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!

 

The small details in this purple Iris was one that was perfect for a macro shot!

"Peony in Peachy Pink" A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!
“Peony in Peachy Pink”
A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!

 

The peonies are still blooming, but this one was the absolute first to blossoms this spring. The hue was a bit different this year, with more of a peachy hue. I think it makes a beautiful macro!

As spring draws to an end, I’ll be photographing all the many blossoms that pop up, and sharing more garden photos here on my blog.

I hope that you too are enjoying whatever is blooming in your area, and your garden! You just gotta love those garden blooms!

 

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“Spring Finds”

Well, now that spring is fully here in Michigan, I have been thoroughly enjoying our warmer weather, and taking the time to go out in search of what is blooming. I had been afraid with a couple of late freezes we had that some early bloomers would have been affected. Thankfully most everything came through unscathed!

The daffodils this year got pelted with a bit of spring snow early on, but as you can see from these images, they rebounded nicely and we had some really beautiful blooms!

"Daffodils in Sunlight" Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!
“Daffodils in Sunlight”
Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!

 

I have been out nearly daily in the last week or so in search of blossoming crab-apples of various kinds, as well as cherry and apple trees. I have found many beauties, but this one is the first one I have processed of the flowering tree blossoms. A lovely white crab-apple with a bokeh-licious background in raspberry pink!

"White Blossoms on Raspberry" Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.
“White Blossoms on Raspberry”
Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.

 

Another beautiful daffodil enjoying the warmth of the sun!

"Daffodils within a Dream" Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!
“Daffodils within a Dream” Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!

 

 

For some reason, I usually miss the hellebore coming into bloom each year, but this year was different! I actually got to witness several different varieties in bloom!
These were beautiful in a pinkish purple hue!

"Hellebore in Deep Pink" Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.
“Hellebore in Deep Pink”
Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.

Spring seems to pass by so quickly, and in no time at all it will soon be summer, but I will be outdoors as much as possible while the air is still a bit cooler, the rain more frequent, and the mosquitoes not out in force yet, enjoying all the spring finds that I can!

I hope that wherever you live, you make sure and take plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor environment too! 🙂

 

“Digital Painting or Not?”

Well, I’ve been having some fun recently with my processing. I don’t know if I’ve been just feeling winter blahs or is it that I just feel the need to do something new, but whatever it is, I found some new inspiration by trying something different in my processing.

My first go to, in my workflow is always Lightroom, and quite often after that, OnOne Software as well. In the past week or so, I’ve been having a whole lot of enjoyment experimenting with many of the Topaz Plugins, like Topaz Impression, and Topaz ReStyle. In this post I used Topaz Impression.

I have created special galleries for my “Photographic Art”  and “digital Painting”  here in these links. I have just a few images at the moment, but am adding to them pretty quickly.  You can check out these here too for more Photographic art . It’s not that I plan to be doing this form of processing all of the time, I don’t. It will never replace my normal processing of my photographs, but it did give me a change to have some fun, look at things from a new perspective and have a new creative outlet, especially during this winter.

In this first image you’ll see the lovely Charlevoix Michigan Marina,  it’s a very peaceful image in my opinion. I love it as a simple photograph, it has a nice soothing blue color and  quiet mood. If you’d like to see other images of Charlevoix as well as other Small Town images you can find them here in  The Small Town .

I decided to take that same photograph and do something different with it. I brought into Topaz Impression, and chose one of the oil painting presets in order to give me a starting point. After that, I used sliders to make a lot of adjustments, including those to paint saturation, type of brush used, brush stroke sizes, paper or canvas texture, vignette, and many more.

My final product was this beautiful digital oil painting! I kept the blue tones, the shimmer of light on the water, and the feeling of motion on the water as well. I added lots of texture, brush strokes and a slightly fanciful feeling.

 

"Blue Hour Oil Painting" The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Blue Hour Oil Painting”
The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

 

I had also been doing a lot of processing of spring buds, blossoms and flowers recently. These were images from last year when we had an abundance of blossoms!

In this first image a simple photograph of crab-apple blossoms of varying hues, and stages of blooming, with a lovely bokeh in the background, I first processed this ever so slightly, in Lightroom. It didn’t really need much work in my opinion, it was a beautiful floral in pink.

 

On the spur of the moment one evening, I decided to turn it into a digital oil painting. Again, I used Topaz Impression and one of the Oil Painting presets as a starting point. I did a lot of experimenting with the sliders until I came up with what I feel is a lovely image that has a lot of color, depth, and a  feeling of movement.

 

I know many of you have tried this type of processing before, and there are also some of you would never try it, as it feels to be untrue to the original photograph.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your processing forays and journeys.

In the end it is up to each of us to find new ways to keep inspired, to get our groove back, or maybe just try something purely for fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and might even be inspired to try something new yourself! 🙂

 

"Pink Bling" Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.
“Pink Bling”
Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.

 

"Pink Floral Oil Painting" The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Pink Floral Oil Painting”
The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

“Think Spring”

We may still be in the thick of winter but my thoughts are now of spring! I have been going back over some of my spring photographs from last year and really enjoying the beautiful colors and delicate blossoms. I decided to process a few images for everyone else to enjoy also.

If you’re stuck indoors on a cold and dull winter day, just have a look at what awaits us in just a few months! Think spring!

 

"Fresh as Morning Air"  Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!
“Fresh as Morning Air”
Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!

 

"Foggy Spring Morning" Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!
“Foggy Spring Morning”
Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!

 

"Feel the Love" Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!
“Feel the Love”
Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!

 

"Floating Raindrops in Spring"  One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils.  Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful  spring morning it was!
“Floating Raindrops in Spring”
One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils. Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful spring morning it was!

“2015 My Year in Review”

Here we are at the end of 2015, and what a year it’s been! As I’ve done for the past four years in a row, I am posting my favorite images of this past year. Not necessarily the best, but my personal faves. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I finally did after a lot of going back and forth. These are not in any particular order and are of several different subjects. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like to look at my 2014 year in review you can check that out here. Best of 2014

Jim Goldstein in his Blog Project has hosted the year in review or top 10 images on his blog for a number of years, and I always look forward to it!  There are photographers from all around the world with amazing images! I hope you’ll check out his blog and take a look at the wonderful array of photographers and gather inspiration from their images! His post should be up in the early part of January 2016!

"Kayaking at Miners Falls" Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!
“Kayaking at Miners Falls”
Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!

 

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves" A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”
A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!

 

"One Very Fine Day" This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!
“One Very Fine Day”
This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!

 

"Life is But a Dream" This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!
“Life is But a Dream”
This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!

 

 

"My Sweet Lady" This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!
“My Sweet Lady”
This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!

 

"Grape Hyacinth"2 One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!
“Grape Hyacinth”2
One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!

 

"Beautiful Cedar Falls" I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!
“Beautiful Cedar Falls”
I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!

 

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray" This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”
This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!
“Sweet Potato Mash”
I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!

 

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh- nature abstracts this year!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh-licious abstracts this year!

 

As we end this year and head into 2016, I’d like to wish everyone and their families all the best in the New Year. I wish you all good health, good times, plenty of adventures and family to enjoy it with!

I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  ~ Edward Abbey ~

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

 

 

“In the Morning Light”

These images speak for themselves. What more can me said about gorgeous morning sunlight! Pure happiness!

"Sun Drenched Orchids" Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!
“Sun Drenched Orchids”
Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!

"Morning When I Rise" Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!
“Morning When I Rise”
Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!

“Spring Happenings”

With spring in full swing here I thought I’d bring you a few of the recent images from what seems to be about peak for our spring happenings, at least as far as tree blossoms go!

The crabapple blossoms were amazing this year, so here is just one variety in beautiful soft sunlight!

"Crabapple Blossoms"
“Crabapple Blossoms”

We had a robin nesting in a magnolia tree. I wasn’t able to get close to the nest for three reasons. Firstly I didn’t want to disturb the nesting process. Second the nest happened to be higher up than I could see into, and thirdly the robins were so protective that even coming withing twenty feet or so, they’d start swooping down on me! I took this image as the robin perched in a nearby crabapple tree as the blossoms were just starting to come out.
I never got to see it but the Robin’s eggs did hatch and the baby birds were born and eventually flew away without me being able to see more than a peak of a baby beak!

"Robin in Spring"
“Robin in Spring”

I love Hostas and they came up pretty quickly this year. I went out after a spring rain one day and made a few nature-abstract images with these beautiful plants. Here is just one example.

"Hosta in the Rain"
“Hosta in the Rain”

I hope you enjoyed a bit of my local spring happenings, and I hope whether your area of the world is in spring or fall, that you are experiencing a beautiful season!