Patches of blue…

Chicory and Bee. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The blue blooms of Chicory easily draw attention against the neutral grays of concrete. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.

Concrete barrier along Lake Michigan serves as a flood wall and walking path in Lincoln Park. Chicory blooms appear frequently along side this pathway. 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

Wandering attention…

Driftwood resting temporarily on the shore. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Sunrise is blocked by thick clouds while father and son share quality time. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Rules can be broken. Artists, including photographers, know that light objects draw the most attention in a scene. Careful composition makes sure that subjects are either the lightest item in a scene or they are placed inside the lightest area to insure the viewer clearly knows who/what is most important. These two images break that rule; both images have the subject very dark with lighter areas away from the subject.

The effect of placing the subject outside the brightest area forces the viewer to look at the entire image. Eyes will wander through the image and finally rest on the dark subject. These both are complicated scenes, with multiple interest areas to be viewed and enjoyed. Despite these complicated scenes, the primary subject in each image is clearly evident.

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.

Attention please…

Photographing the same scene but choosing a different composition guides one to select a different focal point; the main subject matter is changed by the composition choice. The image with the bridge centered leads the eye to the skyscrapers. The image with less skyline reveals that there is a person on the bridge. They are in the first image; but the composition didn’t “lead you” to notice them before.

View of downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park's South Pond. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

View of downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park’s South Pond. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Lincoln Park’s South Pond in Chicago with reflection of skyscrapers in water. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

More context…

Side view of Jerusalem Artichoke. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Side view of Jerusalem Artichoke. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

I first became aware of Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) when I toured a perennial farm outside of Racine Wisconsin. They recommended it as dependable, colorful addition to any perennial Midwest garden. The native plants in this image adjoin the migratory bird preserve in Lincoln Park, along Lake Michigan. Their presence, just a few blocks from our new condo, makes me feel more at home in this bustling urban neighborhood.

These images show more context of Jerusalem Artichoke to their environment and stages of bloom than the previous single image with the spider and dangling petal. Jerusalem Artichokes are one of a multitude of late-summer, early fall, sunflowers.

For those that like to eat what they grow, check out the following site:

Close up of the back of the Jerusalem Artichoke

Lake Michigan wild blooms. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Changing to seed head. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg