Look at each element…


Beauty and wonder can be found if everything, every part. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Study each level of detail, the near and the far, the center and the edge to discover nature’s awesomeness. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Meticulous particulars…


These Iris twins were potted alongside a storefront. Different focus points reveal nature’s in-depth consideration to details and design.

Twin Iris in bloom showing their same amazingly detailed patterning. The white wall makes for a unconfusing background, keeping the attention to the Iris. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Detail of the Iris’ stamen are in focus. The out-of-focus petals force attention to the flower’s center. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Close-up focus on the inner petal portions. The stamen is out-of-focus sufficiently to keep the viewer’s eyes on the petals. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Subtle reminders…


The fuzzy seed heads are Goldenrod, whose flowers were a short while ago bright golden yellow. The background is the golden flowers of Jerusalem Artichoke, unintentionally reminding us of the recent blaze that was Goldenrod.

Goldenrod in seed, Lincoln Park, Chicago. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The long lens allowed for a short depth of field making the Goldenrod in focus and the background Jerusalem Artichoke to fade in detail. Despite the strong yellow color in a large portion of the image, the contrast in focus makes it clear to the viewer that the attention belongs to the seed heads in this image.

Establishing roots…


Coreopsis, aka Tickseed, is known to be a happy garden member; a no-fail perennial. My experience has been the opposite, leaving me to wonder how I could improve my hosting abilities. This year two clusters have returned without my need to “begin again”. I cannot boast that they are thriving; but their delicate beauty is a bright spot in my garden, seeming to award my greening thumb.

Coreopsis is so named from a combination of Greek words for bug and seed, as its’ seeds resemble bug. Tickseed derives its’ name from having seeds that look like ticks; perhaps a more specific identification of the “bug”. One can understand why both names have been used for a variety of flowers.

I have planted so many Coreopsis in my garden over my 28 years of care that I no longer record specific varieties into my gardening journal. So unfortunately, I cannot share the specific name for this survivor. The garden catalogs offer quite a few similar looking species, each with a clever, attention-grabbing name.

Photography note: When photographing small things, such as a flower, close-up, it is usual that the depth of focus is very shallow. These blooms were close together, yet only the center one is crisply in focus. This can help the viewer clearly understand your intended subject in a crowded scene. Focus is a photographer’s tool, mastered over time with trial and error and patience.

Coreopsis copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg

Coreopsis copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg

swiftly catching calm…


Hosta buds copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Hosta buds copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Ah, the thrill of a new toy, which for me is a new camera. These images were taken with a Nikon AW110 using the macro setting. Reading the manual, yes, I’m one of those people, I couldn’t resist testing out their claim that it could focus as close as 1cm.

Geranium (annual) flower copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Geranium (annual) flower copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

My subject choice today was a variety of three-dimensional flowers, resulting in an overall soft effect except for one sharp focal point. Macro photography often creates images with shallow depth of field. Of course it was breezy outside as our 95 degree heat wave began to be pushed eastward by a cold (less warm) front. Patience and timing were required to allow the camera time to focus on such close range subjects.

No-wind is rarer than one realizes until one tries to photograph a flower or grass. My preference for hand-held image creations along with nature’s continual animation provide continual challenges in creating crisply sharp, artistically lit and composed images. This just means I must spend more time outdoors which for any nature photographer is an appreciated gift.

Hydrangea flowers copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Hydrangea flowers copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Perfect winds…


 

Common Milkweed in seed copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg


    Not the “perfect storm” that many are suffering through today in this country. Instead the early morning saw the perfect winds needed to spread seeds that depend on gusts to break open pods and send their silky skirted seeds dancing through the air. Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.)
seeds floating through the air always remind me of Disney’s Fantasia scene, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers.

 

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    The dancing Milkweed seeds begin about 2 minutes into the dance.

    Common Milkweed seed pod copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

The prairie is known for its wind; even on still days I find it a game of patience to capture a plant’s likeness. The prairie plants are never still for more than a brief moment at a time. This morning was windy, so a challenge for portrait photography of a subject. What I enjoy is finding a subject that somehow is relatively still while surrounded by a blur of motion. The Milkweed is relatively sturdy compared to surrounding grasses so it appears there is more depth of field in the image than usual from my use of a long lens. The background yields a more out-of-focus appearance because of the plants’ continuous movements. The Goldenrod seed heads are also relatively sturdy so they appear more in focus in the background.