“Through Shadow Woods”

As we slowly approach spring. I have begun to process some images from last spring that I hadn’t had the chance to get around to.

This image is from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. In this particular area the trees are tall and straight. The sunlight streams through, leaving areas of shadow and either filtered light in summer when the trees are full, or bright light in spring when leaves are just starting their re-growth.

There is one area on Skyline Drive in this section of trees that has a small place to be able to pull over, get out and walk the trails, to feel the immense height and stunning beauty of the forest.

I never tire of this place, gazing at its grandeur, inhaling the scent of the earth, relishing the warmth of the sun as it rains down, and enjoying the shade when summer heat comes.

I took many images of the trees themselves, some while gazing straight up, some using a wide angle lens to get in as much of the scene as possible.

For this image I got down in the middle of the road, hearing nothing but silence all around me. No cars coming in any direction. I felt the beauty of the road within the woods. I embraced the shadows and light. I could feel how it must feel to be an automobile passing through this greatness. What a beautiful feeling that is!

I passed through this special place at least 10 times last spring, and each time I marveled at its wonders, and never tired of seeing it again and again!

I can only imagine what it would be like to experience this in autumn, with colors of every hue! For now I shall save that for another day, and another time. Instead I will enjoy the pure green beauty of spring. One that has yet to come to most of us. Elusive this year, but in the end I’m sure it will arrive.

I hope you can get a sense of the feelings that I described here! Enjoy your piece of spring!! 🙂

"Through Shadow Woods"
“Through Shadow Woods”

“The Scent of Spring”

Although I know that not everyone who reads this is in the deep endless cold, wind, and snow of winter. I can venture to guess that many of you are!

I am one of those who actually looks forward to, and loves winter. The season offers its own beauty and the fun of winter sports. This year though we seem to be having an extra large dose of the cold stuff. The Polar Vortex, and many clippers have given many of us some of the most difficult weather in a few decades!

To help you out of winter dreariness and blues I give you two of my recently processed images. Peonies! One in a vibrant flaming fuchsia, and the other a soft creamy white!

In early June here, depending on the weather these beauties burst forth in many varieties and colors. The blossoms only last for a couple of weeks, but it’s something myself and many others wait anxiously for! It is time I feel is well spent both enjoying and photographing these gifts of late spring!

I am not well versed on the exact varieties. I just enjoy them for what they are. Pure loveliness!

If anyone knows the specifics, feel free to let me know. If not, then just enjoy this pure peony love!

"Peony Flame"
“Peony Flame”
"Peonies in White"
“Peonies in White”

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

As you can see I am a little behind in my processing. In my last post you could see the last remnants of fall leaves on the ground with a little snow.

In contrast to that, this frame was taken in early October in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The areas closer to the coast still had abundant color, like in this image here, while the inland areas looked more like winter had already come.

I love this particular area. It is located not too far from Lake Superior, but in a slightly higher elevation. This back country dirt road goes on for about twenty miles. It’s very narrow, and can barely allow two cars to pass. The good thing is almost no one is around, so I had complete freedom to hike, walk, explore, and of course take photos!!

I spent quite a bit of time hiking around in the woods. Enjoying each step, as I walked on moist fallen leaves, drinking up all the golden color with my eyes, and listening to the sound of silence whenever I paused for a minute or so. To me it’s like being in a magical place. A place full of wonder and vibrant color everywhere I turned.

I hope you too can feel the exhilaration and excitement of this fall magic, just as I do!!

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

-Magical Autumn Mystery-

“Center of Attention”

What says autumn other than fall color change on the trees? Well, of course, the vast array of autumnal beauty at your very feet. A gorgeous carpet of joy!

As I walked through the woods on a very rainy day, I got to enjoy the sheer loveliness of what was beneath my feet! This area was filled with many varieties of Maple trees which created a very colorful bit of eye candy as I walked along.

Since this is such a simple shot, I decided to put the focus on the orange leaf in the center, and on the area directly around it. I used a bit of blur in the rest of the image. Take in the image a bit more by reading the description below.

Imagine standing here. Close your eyes for a minute. Breath in the fresh rain filled air, notice the earthy scent of the wet soil and leaves. Feel the chilly breeze on your skin, and the drizzle of rain as it lays a mist on your hair. Now open your eyes and take in colors. Vibrant yellow, orange, gold and red. Muted browns that have fallen earlier. Enjoy the contrast of colors and the depths of the leaves. Inhale every bit of beauty into your soul and remember this well for beauty like this comes but once a year!

Thank you all for stopping by for a bit of autumn joy! I wish you all a wonderful fall this year and every year!!

“Center of Attention”

-Center of Attention-
Carpet of gorgeous maple leaves in every color!!

“Free Form”

Going back to last spring, we had an abundance of beautiful flowers and blossoms. Thanks in part to plenty of snow in winter, and lots of rainfall in early spring. I have just finished processing all of my floral images from that time period! Finally! 😉

These two images are a Magnolia abstract. I first processed the color version, then decided it would do well as monochrome too.

I like them both equally. What do you think? Are the deep hues of pink and burgundy better with this subject, or does it take on a different quality in monochrome?

Enjoy! 🙂

-Free Form-  mono

-Free Form-

“Raindrops on Springtime”

As you can see, I’m still trying to get in some more spring images before fall arrives, and being that it is now September 1st, well it’s certainly on our doorstep!!

In May, I found large areas of beautiful bright pink Azaleas in Virginia. This day happened to be a rainy one, which played really nicely with the flowers.

For the most part I’ve been processing them in color, but I decided to do one in monochrome. This one was processed first in Lightroom, then in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

There isn’t a lot of contrast here, but I like the tone on tone look to it. When adding more contrast, it seemed to detract somehow from the flowers themselves.

Take a look, and see how you like it!! 🙂

-Raindrops on Springtime- mono

“Dogwood Curtain” 2

“Dogwood Curtain” 2

-Dogwood Curtain-  mono 2

A day of pink
Of blossoms fair.

Wind blows gently
Petals flare.

Distant thoughts
My soul to share.

Far off bench
Anyone there?

A day in spring
The world is new.

Among the blossoms
I’ll be with you.

~~ Rachel Cohen~~

“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

“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!