Slideshows for 2021 Floral Fantasies

Video slideshows of some of this summer’s floral fantasies were fun to put together. I used iMovie, and I have not yet learned all the quirks and how to get around them. But I am working on it when life does not get in the way.

There is one video for color and one for black and white.

The collection can be viewed here.

Floral Fantasies in Color
Floral Fantasies In Black And White

More Floral Whimsies

These floral whimsies are creations made on a phone. The first step is photographing a flower. After that it is pure fun seeing what I can make of it on a phone.

Fire Breathers was created from a sunflower. It seemed so appropriate in this summer of drought and wildfires.

Floral whimsies

Women and Children was created from a cosmos bloom.

Floral whimsies

I don’t know how long this obsession with whimsies will last, but I have learned a lot about photo editing on a phone. I think that will helpful when I am taking ‘regular’ photographs with a phone camera.

I hope you find them interesting.

Tithonia

Tithonia is also known as “Mexican Sunflower.”

This is a fun flower to photograph. Its color is vivid. The blooms appear on gracefully curved stems. It attracts a variety of pollinators. It does make a few seeds for the birds, but not in the same quantity as regular sunflowers.

This is my first bloom of tithonia this year.

Tithonia
Tithonia, “Mexican Sunflower”

My Path, A Self Portrait

“My Path, a Self Portrait” is not typical of my portrait work, either for self or others. It started as a selfie on a cell phone and ended as a heavily edited portrait. It came into being as I was learning just what technologies for photo editing I had on my phone and how to use them. As it emerged I did not like it. I had planned to delete it when I was through playing with it. Fortunately, I got tired and went to bed that night.

Some of you are familiar with the Persephone Series a few years ago. A few of you may be familiar with the series, Pain Management 2020. When I create images like that from photographs I cannot always explain why I used a particular element and so forth. It “just seemed right” at the time I was doing it. I have come to believe that is the subconscious speaking, which may be why creating things is so therapeutic. Over time I often come to understand why I did something. I usually learn something about myself.

All of us share to some degree a universal trauma from the Covid-19 pandemic, even though our experiences have been different and unique. For each of us there are subplots to that story. For me, lockdown in 2020 made my life so much easier than it had been in 2019. All of 2019 was difficult, but especially from July through the remainder of the year. 2020 brought an improvement to my life, and a much needed rest. Both years had experiences that I consider transformative.

Now, in the summer of 2021, we continue to face unknowns about Covid and its variants. In spite of that, there are pressures to get back “to normal,” defined by some as what things were like in 2019. Although that is not want I want for my life, at times I still feel pressure.

I was feeling a lot of push and pull when I began playing with a selfie to learn some editing techniques available on my cell phone. I wasn’t creating an image to solve a problem; at least I did not think I was.

When I got up the next morning, the image didn’t seem quite as ugly as it had the night before. That is when I began to see the path, my path.

I created this image on July 3, 2021. It will be shown in Pennsylvania Center for Photography’s Transformations show in New Hope, PA August 13 – September 6, 2021.

My Path Self Portrait

Floral Whimsies

I created these floral whimsies from photographs of flowers in my garden using a cell phone camera. Many of you know I have used a variety of digital cameras to photograph flowers for almost two decades. However, I really did not use a cell phone camera to do that until I went back to FaceBook in 2020. The images were so easy to post there directly from the cell phone. I did basic editing on the phone and was okay with that.

Not until July 2021 did I realize that I had the technology on the phone to do a little more than basic editing. Once I stumbled into the capability, I have spent much of July just seeing what it was possible to do on a cell phone. These floral whimsies are one result.

Here are two composites, one in black and white and one in color, of photographs I have had fun creating this July of 2021.

floral whimsies
Floral Whimsies in Color

The color images, starting at top left and moving around clockwise are:
Shocked, Shocked I Say
What Happens in Vegas…
Sun Bird
Busy Bees
Two Frogs, a Cat, and Darth Vader (color)
Proud Parents

floral whimsies
Floral Whimsies in Black and White and one with Selective Color

The black and white images, starting at top left and moving around clockwise are:
A Penny for Your Thoughts
Old Woman and Face Mask
My, What Big Eyes You Have
Two Frogs, a Cat, and Darth Vader (black and white)
Out of Darkness
Fortune Tellers

Larger versions of individual images may be seen at my portfolio site.

Bosque in Autumn

bosque in autumn
Bosque in Autumn: Birthdays with Friends

Tim and I share a birthday. For years we have done something on that day. Yesterday was no exception. This year we opted for a quiet day in the bosque and along the banks of the Rio Grande. It was a spectacular, cloudless afternoon. We saw a lot of crows, some geese, and a couple of cranes. Over the next couple of weeks many more cranes will be arriving. Yesterday, above all, colors took center stage.

Bosque
Saturday afternoon in the bosque.
bosque
On the way to the Rio Grande.
dry river bed
The Rio Grande is quite low now, and the shoreline is parched and cracked.
bosque in autumn
Rio Grande, golden cottonwoods, Sandia Mountains
autumn
Tim studying the scene on a cloudless October afternoon.
desert autumn
Laurie along the Rio Grande
bosque cottonwood
Gloriously golden cottonwood branch.
bosque in autumn
Tim photographing a gloriously golden cottonwood branch.
bosque in autumn
“Is it time to eat yet?” Heading back to the house after an afternoon walk in the bosque.

Silver, one of the Price cats, seemed to be watching for his people’s return. As you can see, Tim had cameras with him.

cat
Silver was waiting for his people to return.

To see what happened next, check out Tim’s blog

Rio Grande
Layers of desert beauty.

Finally, thank you for visiting and sharing the beauty of the high desert in October. 🙂

Monsoon Rainbow

monsoon rainbow

Burquenos, did you catch last night’s monsoon rainbow? Parts of Albuquerque may have seen a full rainbow, but I did not. However, the brightness of one segment made up for that. Moreover, another bonus was watching this rainbow depart in a more exciting manner than merely “fading out.” The sky phenomena here never cease to amaze me.

monsoon rainbow

monsoon rainbo
“Dissolving” Monsoon Rainbow
monsoon rainbow
Almost Dissolved Monsoon Rainbow
After the Rainbow

This is the first rainbow of 2019 I have photographed. I have been too distracted by many of life’s little issues to be out most nights, just to love being out. But this rainbow reminded of 2009’s most fabulous monsoon season and skies. It appeared on Wednesday 🙂 ))))))). In 2009 I came to expect a rainbow on Wednesdays as I was preparing dinner. I don’t know why it happened that way; it just did. I enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too.

Up Close and Personal with a Roadrunner

Roadrunner

Roadrunners are abundant in Albuquerque. They have adapted to an urban environment, using the block walls in my neighborhood as superhighways. They also like sidewalks, rarely using streets except to cross.

Roadrunners are not afraid of people, but they tend to keep a bit of a distance. Yesterday was somewhat unusual. In the morning I saw a roadrunner sitting on my patio table! It was eyeing a hummingbird feeder, apparently hoping to grab a tasty bite. However, it left before catching anything, at least while I was watching.

In the afternoon I was having some trees trimmed. A roadrunner seemed to think it could find something to eat in one of the trees. Even though people were around, this roadrunner was in no hurry to leave. I used the opportunity to take some pictures.

Note the beak, which can crush instantly almost any prey. Also note its feet. Certainly roadrunners are not the funny creatures that have been portrayed in cartoons: they are much more interesting.

Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner with Ruffled Feathers
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Roadrunner

July Jewels

sunflower

As July 2019 comes to an end, I want to share a few images from the last few days. The flowers here will last through green chile season, which is about to begin. Colorful skies do not occur every day, but they occur frequently! Monsoon season will be with us into September, although thunderstorms may – or may not – be less frequent.

Colorful skies are always welcome.

sunrise
Sunrise July 28, 2019

My love of the Old Garden Rose ‘Mermaid’ is pretty well known. 🙂

It is also well known that sunflowers are among my favorites in late summer/autumn. I did not plant sunflowers this year – too many distractions – but volunteers are appearing. This one is from a cloudy morning when a light mist was falling.

Sunflower
Sunflower in Morning Mist

This sunflower is a volunteer from one of the hybrid sunflowers I have grown in other years. Makes me a little sorry I did not make time to plant more this year…

sunflower
Sunflower

Just as in previous years, crab spiders seem to gravitate to this particular kind of sunflower. Although tiny and kind of cute, these little guys are vicious. From other years I have images of them eating bees they have killed.

sunflower crab spider
Crab Spider on Sunflower

This is a closeup of the crab spider.

Crab Spider
Crab Spider Closeup

Thanks for visiting my world in late July.

Lawn Weed

weed

Lawn weeds…we may not like them in our yards, but they can be fun to photograph. Over the past week 1.5 inches of rain have fallen at my house. So, my yard has weeds popping up everywhere. As much as I dislike a lawn full of them, I enjoy photographing them. 🙂

weed
Lawn Weed