06/25/17
Gladiolus

Gladiolus and Sunday Thoughts

Gladiolus and Some Sunday Thoughts

Gladiolus flowers come in a very wide variety of colors and hardiness, much like many other flowers. This one is especially colorful, hardy, and reliable.

Gladiolus

Back Yard Gladiolus

Several years ago, during a total fireworks ban (I wouldn’t mind that again!), this gladiolus first bloomed on July 4. It has done so since. I’ve come to think of it as “the fireworks flower.” This year it has bloomed early, as have most of my flowers. (For rosarians, the exception was ‘Mermaid,’ that bloomed right on time!) I photograph it every year. I was happy that I managed to give this one a bit more of a three dimensional appearance than I have in the past.

For as beautiful as this gladiolus is, it is tough. It recurs without special care. It was here when I bought the house many years ago, but only when I retired did I come to really appreciate it.

I’m not sure why, but it reminded me of a Mark Twain quote:

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

I have certainly found that to be true in my life. Fortunately, I have encountered more of the latter than the former, and I hope you have, too.

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An Aside
For my rose friends who read here but not at Southwest Desert Gardening, I include a link to a PowerPoint presentation on examples of “open bloom, stamens showing” under the 2016 ARS Photography Guidelines. For the blog, I converted it to a pdf file, but it is available as a PowerPoint. I will be doing a series of these to promote interest in photography of roses for the 2018 ARS National Convention and Rose Show in San Diego. The link may be shared.

Photographing Open Bloom Roses

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03/27/17
2017 ANMPAS

Fruit of Ancient Myths

Fruit of Ancient Myths – Pomegranate

“Fruit of Ancient Myths” as a photographic image can be seen in two major venues this spring: 2017 ANMPAS and the March/April ssue of Shadow and Light Magazine.

fruit of ancient yths

Fruit of Ancient Myths

Regular readers here know that in the fall of 2015 I photographed many pomegranates for possible use in composites in the Persephone series. In the fall of 2016 I revisited and reworked some of those images. I looked simply at the beauty of the pomegranates themselves, not as perfect specimens, but as living things with beauty and grace as they approached the end of life. The seeds they contain, the hope of rebirth and new life, are clear and distinct. This image is one in a series.

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show, opens April 2 and runs for three weeks. It will once again be held in the Fine Arts building at EXPO New Mexico. All images are framed and mounted, and are for sale.

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS. Image by Sandra Corless

The show itself is free, although at times, especially on weekends, EXPO NM may charge a parking fee.

Shadow and Light Magazine

This image, “Fruit of Ancient Myths,” also appears on the cover and also within the March/April 2017 issue of Shadow and Light Magazine. Thanks to the jurists of this year’s Color It Red competition, I was selected as the Grand Prize winner. In addition to images related to the pomegranate/Persephone/myth work, the editor, much to my surprise, requested some of my rose photographs to include.

fruit of ancient myths

Editor Tim Anderson of Shadow and Light Magazine was kind enough to allow me to share a pdf of my portfolio (click to see all of my images included) in the March/April issue of the magazine. The entire issue can be purchased for $3.50, and I recommend it for interesting articles as well as great photography.

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09/14/16

Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale 2016

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Persephone's Choice

Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale 2016 and 4th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography

Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale 2016 is something those of you who also read on Face Book know about, but many of you who are loyal readers here may not know about. The show runs in Berlin, Germany from October 6 -30, 2016, at the Palazzo Italia

“My Fate, By Choice,” from the series, “Persephone’s Choice: Every Woman’s Dilemma” is my image for this large photography show. “Emotions and Commotions” is the show theme.

Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale

My Fate, By Choice

I was surprised when I received an invitation right after Christmas to participate. I did not remember entering any competitions that would qualify for this exhibition. But, I checked my records and followed the links. I had indeed entered some things in January 2015, right after I got back from Texas to be with my son. Brain fog consumed me at that point. I am surprised I entered things at all.

Almost as surprising to me was the variety of the three images invited to be exhibited.

The Three Invited Images

Many of you here are familiar with “The Road Less Traveled.” This is in the Rio Grande Valley a little south of Albuquerque. It was a serendipitous view discovered when I missed the turn, and after driving for a bit, turned around to see if I could find the correct turn. This view appeared when I turned around. The trip was one of the “photographic excursions” on the birthday Tim Price and I share. The photograph has special meaning.

New Mexico

The Road Less Traveled

This floral is certainly typical of my florals. As such, I was very pleased to be invited to show it in Berlin.

Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower

The third invited image surprised me a lot! Photographers know their work, even when people take the images, cut off the watermarks, and try to cram them into nodes with different aspect ratios. We see it, we frame it, we snap it, we process it. When I saw the third invited image, I thought “oh, that must be mislabeled and belong to someone else.” It certainly is not typical for me. After looking at it for a bit, I realized I made the photograph as part of a workshop taught by LeRoy Perea and Dennis Chamberlain. I hope they are pleased that an image from that workshop was selected to be shown in Berlin.

marilyn  monroe

New Mexico Marilyn

This is a tee shirt display at a flea market. Most of the images are of Marilyn Monroe, with a distinct New Mexico twist. There is Day of the Dead Marilyn, a variety of Our Lady of Guadalupe Marilyns, and a couple of her famous poses not given New Mexico flavor. I think the choice of this image speaks to the universal appeal of Marilyn Monroe.

Choosing Persephone

In 2012, I had displayed three images at the 2nd Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography, held that year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I thought about that show, and I thought about these three new images chosen for the 2016 show. At the time the invitation came, I was still working on processing and interpreting the Persephone images. I knew that work was different from anything I had done before. That was the work I wanted to show in Berlin, and this was the one image I wanted to show: Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale 2016.

The curators were very helpful when I explained what I would like to do. I’m really delighted and honored to have the opportunity to show this image in Berlin in the 4th Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography.

By the end of May all the details that had to be taken care of at my end for Persephone at Berlin Foto Biennale 2016 were done.

The Steve McCurry Controversy

Some of you may know Steve McCurry as the photographer of “Afghan Girl,” a National Geographic cover. He is an extremely well known photographer. Kodak gave him the last roll of Kodachrome produced, because the company thought he would make good use of it.

In the spring of 2016, he became embroiled in something of a scandal when it was discovered he had photoshopped not only one but several images. Photographic artists make extensive use of photo editing and photo enhancing, photojournalists do not. Sometimes a thin line separates the two.

I did not know until sometime in August that part of this show would be a Retrospective by Steve McCurry. Additionally, he will be giving the dinner speech and participating in some of the press conferences. I personally doubt he would be participating to this extent without the controversy, but it works for me. It should be a well attended show.

The Exhibition Catalog

Press Release

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06/5/16

Rose Photography

Rose Photography – Judges Class Winner in the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Competition

Rose photography – what led me to study and learn digital photography in 2008. I was an ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangement Judge when I wrote about adding photography to our rose shows for the ARS 2010 ARS Rose Annual.

My interests in photography have certainly led me, and will continue to lead me, to explore many more aspects of my world and life through photography.

I would like to thank the members of special committee who selected this image, “Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Butterfly,” as the winner of the Judges Class of the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest.

ARS 2015 Photo Contest Winner rose photography

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ and Hair Streak Butterfly
Winner, Judges Class, 2015 ARS Digital Photography Contest

This image has special meaning to me. The ‘Gold Medal’ was grown by my mother, and it is one of her favorite roses. It was photographed near sunset in her garden. The hair streak butterfly is a macro shot taken in the garden of my friends Tim and Laurie on a glorious afternoon in Corrales. I have so many pleasant memories of both gardens, and I wanted to unite them in one image. On a personal level, that is what was behind the creation of this image.

On a rose photography level, I wanted to create an image that used a lot of photo editing and photo enhancements but ended with an image of a beautiful rose and a feeling of a presence in a beautiful garden. One of my pet peeves is the use of Photoshop filters to create with one click of a mouse an image that smashes a rose beyond all recognition. The uninitiated seem to find those impressive, but they do not know that it is one click of a mouse. Did I ever make images like that? Yes, I did indeed. But I would like to see us encourage images that are a bit more creative and that show the beauty of the rose. Do I expect them to be as complex in creation as this image that appears so simple was? No, of course not. But I recently saw a gorgeous image of a rose on fallen leaves of autumn, creatively arranged, magnificent in color, that was passed over for a one-click abstract. I’d like to see our judges – and photographers – begin to rethink the approach to “rose art” to go beyond the one-click Photoshop filters.

Once again, I thank the people who selected this as the winner in the Judges Class, 2015. It is an honor.

I leave you with a brief slideshow of some of my rose images from the past.

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04/19/16

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Showing Photographs at Rose Shows

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

Since September 2015 the ARS has had national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. Although I am writing this series to help make the transition from the old and outdated PSWD Guidelines easier for those who are used to using them, if others find this useful, so much the better.

Starting at the beginning, National Chairman Curtis Aumiller states

This first edition is not meant to be an ending point, but rather a starting point for
those who judge rose photographs. The standards agreed upon in this manual will grow and
evolve in future manuals, just as our roses grow and evolve over time. This manual is meant
as a way to find common ground when judging photography of roses for those who already
judge roses for horticulture or arrangements. As with the other guidelines, the most important
aspect to any judging is to enjoy the beauty of the roses displayed while fairly applying
standards to all exhibits. This book will help the seasoned rose judge, the student judge, the
apprentice judge, and most of all, the exhibitor to frame the beauty of America’s flower!

Like the Guidelines for Judging Horticulture and Judging Arrangements, these guidelines are for exhibitors of rose photographs in shows that give ARS awards, and for judges who “already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements.” This, of course, is not surprising to anyone who has done the work to become an accredited judge. The people to judge rose photographs are the people who have prepared themselves to judge roses in rose shows. That was always the intent under my chairmanship in the PSWD, strongly supported by Bruce Monroe who at that time was the National Chairman of Horticulture Judges. My last official act as PSWD photography chair was in June 2012, when I organized a day long seminar and workshop on judging rose photography, taught by myself, Sally Long, and photographer Pat Berrett. Because Bruce Monroe so strongly supported photography in our shows, horticulture judges who attended were given four hours of credit, which is what they needed for that cycle of accreditation. Additionally, Arrangement judges received two hours of credit.

The 40 available spaces for that seminar filled fast. The day was a lot of fun, people felt they learned a lot, and left excited about the possibilities for photography in our shows. Click here for a few images from that seminar.

Photography in the PSWD took a sharp turn with a new district director and photography chairman, but Sally Long, the third PSWD photography chairman is working to revive the interest in rose photography present in that district at the end of my tenure.

The challenge for photography at the National level now that official Guidelines have been adopted will be to provide educational programs for both exhibitors and judges on their use. This can be done in a variety of ways. I do believe one important component will be the addition of a segment on judging rose photographs to Horticulture and Arrangement judging schools and seminars. At the present time the ARS has no plans for separate accreditation of Photography judges, so it becomes especially important that our judges are presented with opportunities to learn some of the specifics of the new ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. They will certainly be called upon to judge rose photographs in our shows.

RESPECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Chapter 2 in the new Guidelines is “Intellectual Property.” This was definitely a needed addition, and in the past few months I have been reminded just how needed this new chapter is. It may surprise some of you who know me when I say I had nothing to do with this chapter. It appeared one day in the Committee’s discussions, and I was delighted! From Chapter 2 of the ARS Guidelines:

All photographs entered into an ARS show, from local shows to national shows, are the property
of the photographer and are protected as intellectual property…The information about intellectual property
should be in the show schedule; however, failure to include this information in the schedule does not negate
the legal precedence, and the show must still follow this rule…

The following should be included in any schedule for photography:
All rights to the submitted photographs are retained by the owners of the photographs. However, by submitting
a photograph to the contest, the exhibitor (1) warrants that he or she owns the copyright of the submitted
photograph and is not legally prohibited from submitting it to the contest, and (2) agrees to allow the
[name of the rose society sponsoring the show] to display the photo at the [name of the show] show [optionally
time and place of the show], [if applicable] and publish the photograph in [name of newsletter or newsletters,
optionally specify the issue].

The chapter on Intellectual Property is a new addition, a much needed one. Any questions may be directed to ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller.

That is enough to both write and absorb for one day. Stay tuned for Breaking It Down Part II at a later time. If you have read this far, thank you for your interest.

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04/12/16
showing rose photographs

Showing Rose Photographs

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Showing Photographs at Rose Shows

Showing Rose Photographs in Rose Shows – Cost Effective Mounting and Matting How-To

Especially for my friends in roses: those who already show photographs in rose shows, and especially those who would like to but haven’t yet because they think it is too expensive.

FREE pdf that you may download, share, print, link to, etc. I wrote this to be freely shared:

HOW TO MOUNT AND MAT_for new pdf 04102016

For those who would prefer the information in a Kindle format, readable on any device with the free Kindle app, it is $0.99, the minimum price Amazon allows:

Many readers here know that while my interests have grown in many directions, digital photography for me began with roses. I purchased my first digital camera, a little Nikon Coolpix, in 2004 to have a light weight camera that would fit in my purse to take to rose shows that I judged. When that camera died – I wore it out! – in 2008, I bought a Canon G9, a compact digital with many manual controls and RAW capabilities. I had to take a class, “How to Use Your Digital Camera,” to learn how to use that camera and also the software necessary to process RAW files. One thing led to another, and in the end, I did the entire photography program and also picked up a certificate in Web Design. When I outgrew the G9, I got a Canon 5D. I now use a Canon 5D Mark II.

In the spring of 2008, I began thinking about and working on photography in rose shows. In 2009 I was appointed the first Photography Chair of the PSWD of the American Rose Society, and in my three-year tenure wrote Guidelines for Judging Rose Photographs for shows in the District. I was intimately familiar with “growing pains” in this district with respect to the new discipline in rose shows.

In 2012, Curtis Aumiller was appointed the first Photography Chairman for the American Rose Society, and I have been honored to work with him and the wonderful committee he put together to develop rose photography at the national level. With a lot of hard work, national guidelines were approved by the ARS Board in September of 2015. It felt like birthing a baby. As any parent knows, the really hard work lies in nurturing and raising that baby to maturity. That’s where we are now, in my opinion. I’ve gotten the sense that one obstacle to be overcome is a perception that showing photographs in rose shows is very expensive because of the mounting and matting specifications. While it is true that dry mounting and double matting a photograph can be expensive, that is not what is required for rose shows. Photos need to be mounted in some manner to a backing board and then matted. Specified dimensions are 11×14 in on the outside, with images ranging between 5×7 to 8×10.

Shows last a day or two. These images are not intended for sale. They are lovely images, but not intended for gallery shows. The purpose of the mounting and matting requirement is to standardize the display; to make it possible to display the images; and to separate one image from another by the use of mat to give focus and visual weight to the separate images. Here in the PSWD, the last time I judged photographs laid on a table and unmatted was in 2008. Once people saw the beautiful displays that mounting and matting gave, that approach is what was used. But nationally, this is something of a new concept.

The first rose show season after adoption of the national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography is just getting underway. The anthropologist in me sees this first year as a critical time. The Ob/Gyn in me asks, “What does this baby need to thrive?” The answer, of course, is, like all newborns, “a lot of things.” I am seeing those things come from many people, including ARS President Pat Shanley and the wonderful photography committee members. Our Chairman is the one who “gets paid the big bucks” – not true; totally voluntary job, often with little thanks – to handle the growing pains of this new discipline in our shows. I have a very positive feeling it is all going to work!

I woke up this past Friday morning wondering what I could be contributing. I decided to do a Power Point presentation showing how easily and inexpensively rose photographs could be mounted and matted to meet the specifications of the Guidelines. Once I finished that, I decided to also convert it to a pdf so it could easily be shared. Some of you saw that version on Facebook. There was such a good response, I decided I really needed to do a cleaner version in Word and then convert that to a pdf. I got that done by early Sunday afternoon. That version is the link posted just below, as well as at the beginning of this post. That pdf may be downloaded and shared. The link may be posted on websites and in newsletters. I want people to know that displaying their rose images in a rose show is not complicated and it need not be expensive. This is how I show my rose images in rose shows.

HOW TO MOUNT AND MAT_for new pdf 04102016

By the time I got to that point, my three day weekend had pretty much been consumed. I’m familiar with how to publish Kindle e-books, and given the work I had already done, I knew it would not be hard.

The pdf information will be gotten out and around to a variety of places this year. What about next year, or the year after? I decided Amazon is a pretty good repository for information, easily accessible by anyone anywhere. Amazon requires a minimum list price of $0.99 USD for an e-book, so the Kindle version is not free as the pdf is, but it is as close to free as I could make it on a Kindle platform at Amazon.
The result is this:

How to Mount and Mat an 8×10 Photo for Rose Shows

I hope this information will be helpful to people who already show rose photographs, and especially to those who have considered showing rose photographs in our shows but who need a little encouragement and an explanation and guide of “how to.”

Wishing you good light and beautiful roses ~ Susan

showing rose photographs

Rose ‘Gemini’

Slideshow of Some Rose Photographs

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10/29/15

2015 ANMPAS

2015 ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show

2015 ANMPAS, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show, will once again be held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPO NM. It is open to the public December 6 through December 27, 10:00am – 5:00pm, except December 24 and 25. The show is free to the public throughout. Some days, particularly the weekends, EXPO may charge a parking fee. The opening reception is December 5, from 2:00-4:00pm.

This is a juried show, and artists participating must be residents of New Mexico. All artwork is for sale, and may be taken by the buyer at the time of sale.

I have enjoyed participating in ANMPAS and the related InSight shows over the years. These are the brainchild of organizer LeRoy Perea, who has watched the submitted entries grow in both quantity and quality over the years.

I am thrilled that for 2015 ANMPAS, the jurors selected three images from my series, Persephone.

Those of you who have followed me very long know that sunflowers are frequent photographic subjects for me, as are butterflies. I grew these sunflowers, and they are from the second crop of 2015. I really liked the structure of the sunflower plant in the “Heart of the Matter.” My son appreciates structure, especially in black and white images, and I converted the image immediately.

2015 ANMPAS

Sunflower in Black and White

My son liked it as much as I had hoped.

I showed that image to a friend, Jim Stallings, with whom I have corresponded over the past couple of years and whose input has influenced some other photographic work, such as “The Observer/The Observed,” which I decided to show after Jim wrote a short poem. He wrote in the context of activities of autumn, after seeing the sunflower image:

…it is that ancient mythic time for the daughter Persephone of the Earth Goddess Demeter to return to the Underworld and stay there until the return for Spring. So all that feeds into the unconscious…the separation of between life on the surface of the world of fall and winter and waning and yet returning light and another go at renewal and new life. It must be motivating in your photographic subjects as well.

It is true that my fall images, even of bright flowers, tend to be dark.

I had not read mythology in a long time. As I read some of the stories of Persephone, I was struck by the fact that she did not seem to be constantly miserable in her months in the dark Underworld with her husband, Hades, who had first abducted Persephone with the permission of her father, Zeus. Mythology is full of plots and subplots, but I decided to create this particular series using some of my favorite subjects – flowers and butterflies – around the theme of hope in a dark spot.

Butterflies have multiple meanings to me. They are a symbol for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – “lupus” – an autoimmune chronic disease with multiple manifestations, with treatments but no known cure. One of the manifestations for some people is the so-called “butterfly rash,” and thus, the butterfly as a symbol.

The particular butterflies I chose to use in this series have special meaning to me. The butterfly in “Heart of the Matter” is a tiny hair streak butterfly photographed at the Corrales home of friends Tim and Laurie Price: special friends, special place, special day. People who have brought hope to some of my dark places… The butterfly in “Awakening” is a glass wing butterfly photographed at the Albuquerque BioPark. The butterfly in “Emerged” is a red lacewing photographed at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

I was asked to write a brief description of “Heart of the Matter:”

Persephone, goddess of Spring, was abducted by Hades to become his wife in the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the Earth and of the Harvest, in her anger and grief, caused the earth to go barren in her daughter’s absence, our dark winter months, and to bloom again upon her return in spring. This series is about the annual descent into the underworld of the darkness of Winter and rebirth into the light of Spring. “Heart of the Matter” represents the potential for rebirth – from any dark situation – in the developing bud (the heart) of the sunflower, and in the butterfly (with its heart shape), showing the strength, delicacy, and light of hope.

2015 ANMPAS

Heart of the Matter, from the series, Persephone

2015 ANMPAS

Awakening, from the series, Persephone

2015 ANMPAS

Emerged, from the series, Persephone

I have been asked whether there will be more in this series. Persephone’s story is one full of plots and subplots, all very stimulating for this photographer. These particular three, tell one of the stories I wanted to tell. There are many more I look forward to telling visually, but I do not anticipate black and white sunflowers with colorful butterflies as the vehicles of the next set or sets.

The Persephone series that will be shown at 2015 ANMPAS means much to me on a very personal level, and I thank LeRoy Perea and the 2015 jurors for selecting these three images for the 2015 show. I hope those of you in the Albuquerque area will come out for the show in December.

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05/18/15

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, Now Through the End of July

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, arranged by the Digital Arts Program on the Continuing Education Campus, is up and open to the public from now through the end of July. It is in the Conference Center, the North Building.

Participants in the UNM Digital Photography Exhibit include the digital photography instructors, advanced students in the program, and graduates of the program (that would be me, 2009).

The UNM Digital Photography Exhibit is not a juried exhibit. Participants were invited to bring whatever pieces of their work they wanted to show.

The three pieces of mine that I chose have all been in juried shows. Although not intentional at the time of selection, I realized later the pieces represent a sort of developmental scheme.

‘Lily’

UNM digital photography exhibit

Lily; printed on fine art water color paper

This image was made in 2009 with a Canon G9, a somewhat advanced but still a point-and-shoot camera. To date, this is my most awarded image. It was juried into the International Biennial Exhibition of Fine Art and Documentary Photography at The Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from January 19th through February 27th, 2010. It was also juried into the Corrales Fine Arts Show here in New Mexico. It was awarded “1st Place – Outstanding Achievement” in Still Life at the 8th Annual Black and White Spider Awards. It was awarded the Bronze Medal, 3rd Place in Nature-Flowers at the 2012 Paris Photo Prize, along with 3rd place for People’s Choice Award. Again, this was an early piece done with a point-and-shoot camera. The piece has special meaning because my mother grew the lily, and held a white background for me as the light was quickly fading in her garden.

‘Gathering Storm’

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

‘Gathering Storm,’ printed on true Black and White paper

This image is from a trip to the Jemez Mountains here in New Mexico over Autumnal Equinox weekend in 2013. Everything about that entire weekend was full of the magic for which New Mexico is known. This was at the very beginning of the trip. I had planned to photograph this church before I even left home. My traveling companions could not understand why I would even bother to stop to photograph it! I just wanted to! By this time I had moved up to a Canon full frame dSLR. This image was juried into the Corrales Fine Arts Show as well as the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show.

‘The Observer/The Observed’

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

‘The Observer/The Observed,’ giclee print on fine art canvas

This image was created this year, and of the ones in this post, has the most meaning to me. Many of you know my son was diagnosed with leukemia over Thanksgiving weekend (he is now in remission and doing quite well, I’m happy to say), and this was done as I was trying to make sense of all that was happening. In mythology of some Native Americans, Crow is a messenger between worlds, as well as a trickster who can steal light from the sky (the sun) and carry it to people who need it. I rarely see crows in my yard, and this one stayed just long enough for this image. Editing it to show what I wanted to show took a long time; it also took my mind off a lot of things; and was the most creative thing I had done after my son was diagnosed. I had not intended to show it; I did the work strictly for me. But Jim Stallings, fellow anthropologist, writer, and friend wrote a poem about it as a gift to me and my family in those dark days of winter:

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

Jim’s poem encouraged me to enter the image, and it was juried into the 2015 InSight New Mexico show, “Through Her Eyes,” held in April. (It has also been juried into another show, to be held in July – more about that in a different post).

I invite my friends in the Albuquerque area, as well as friends who will be passing through Albuquerque between now and the end of July, to stop by the Conference Center on the UNM CE campus (Indian School and University) and see the UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, with works by the digital photography instructors, advanced students, and graduates of the digital photography program.

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01/25/15
through her eyes

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a beloved bulb that blooms indoors in the winter and out of doors in spring and summer in warm climates. Amaryllis can be flashy, bringing bright colors during dismal winter weather.

amaryllis

Brightly colored amaryllis in the middle of winter

At this time of the year here in Albuquerque, ground covers and lawns tend to be brown, and the trees are leafless. Today the sun is shining brightly, and the sky is the deep turquoise for which New Mexico is known (and loved!), but it will be weeks yet before there are colorful blooms in the landscape.

Flowering bulbs are frequently given as Christmas gifts, bringing as they do indoor cheer in the middle of winter. The cheery red of this one shows why they are loved as indoor plants.

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01/21/15
roses Dr Huey

More Roses

Rose Photograph Blue Ribbon Winners from ARS 2014 Fall National Convention

Roses are the focus of American Rose Society conventions: rose specimens, rose arrangements, and increasingly, rose photographs. The 2014 Fall National Convention featured a competition of rose photography. The results of the competition have recently been posted on the website of the ARS.

I had known that my photograph of ‘Dream Weaver’ had won Queen (equivalent of Best of Show) and that my Creative Interpretation image of ‘Gemini’ had won King (equivalent of Runner Up to Best in Show). Until I received the ribbons in the mail last week, I did not know that ‘Child’s Play’ had been awarded best in section for Fully Open Roses, nor that my image of hips of ‘YoYo’ had been awarded best in section for Rose Potpourri. I will show those images in a later post.

I was surprised and pleased with how many of my images had been awarded Blue Ribbons. The images in this post are the Blue Ribbon winners.

roses Gemini

‘Gemini’
Hybrid tea, exhibition form

roses Glowing Amber

Miniature Rose Glowing Amber
Exhibition Form


‘Glowing Amber’ is an interesting little rose. It has distinctive reflex petals, with a red upper and yellow reverse. There are stories that the hybridizer complained that photographers never captured the brilliant colors of this little gem. I did not hear any complaints about the color in this image. 🙂

roses child's play

Miniature Rose ‘Child’s Play’
Exhibition form

roses foolish pleasure

Spray of Miniature Rose, ‘Foolish Pleasure’

roses gemini

Fully Open, Stamens Showing
Hybrid tea, ‘Gemini’

roses mermaid

Old Garden Rose 1918
Hybrid bracteata, ‘Mermaid’

This image of ‘Mermaid,’ one of my favorite roses, appeared on the cover of the 2014 Rose Annual:

roses Mermaid

‘Mermaid’ on Front Cover of 2014 Rose Annual

roses Dr Huey

Rose ‘Dr. Huey’ in Rose Potpourri. Photo taken on the First Annual Dr. Huey Tour of the Corrales Rose Society

Dr. Huey is often used as the root stock onto which to graft other roses grown for their blooms. It can get very, very large!

My image of ‘Gemini’ entered in Creative Interpretation was awarded King of the show, but I had two additional Blue Ribbons in that class.

roses Leonidas

Hybrid tea, ‘Leonidas,’ in Black and White.

roses veterans honor

Hybrid tea, ‘Veterans’ Honor’

With Albuquerque under a Winter Storm Watch from this evening through tomorrow evening, and with this morning dawning dark and gray, this seemed like a good time to enjoy the beautiful roses and colors of summer. Please enjoy!

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