10/16/17
Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Monday morning is not quite as big a deal to me now that I am retired. Flexibility in schedule is the key to that. However, I do have scheduled activities, but I tend to take Sundays “off.” So, in some ways, Monday still rolls around in a slightly different way from other days. I made this for those of you who may feel Monday a little differently also:

Monday Morning

Rough Monday Morning

I photographed the very wet bee on cosmos in the morning after three nights of rain several weeks ago. I’m not sure it could fly until it dried out a bit. It was a rough morning for that little guy. But, all’s well that ends well…

Monday Morning Reminder for Rose Friends

The deadline for entry in the ARS Digital Photography Contest is November 5, now less than three weeks away.

ARS Digital Contest

2017 ARS Digital Contest

Details and rules are at rose.org > member resources > contests.

——————————–

So, here it is, Monday again. Wishing all of you a good one…

09/25/17
miniature rose

Autumn Roses

Autumn Roses

Autumn roses seem especially sweet. Maybe that is because they will soon disappear until Spring. This past spring I had too many distractions and demands to take good care of the roses then. But, the monsoon season was good to my yard. That inspired me to get out and work to get a few things in better shape. I was happily surprised with the roses available to photograph this weekend. Also, I’m playing with a new program, so I feel a bit like a kid with a new set of finger paints. Thank you for indulging me.

autumn roses

Irresistible

autumn roses

Distant Drums

autumn roses

Foolish Pleasure

We are supposed to get more rain in the middle of the week. I put a few pansies out this weekend, and rain would be good for them as well as for the long-standing roses.

ARS Rose Notes

For my rose friends who read here, the final ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography includes a National Challenge Class that will first be offered at the ARS Spring 2018 Convention. This is a heads-up, because photographing bloom cycles requires some planning. I do think this is a worthy national challenge class.

roses

Nat’l Challenge Class

Monday Morning Thoughts, a Long Digression

I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ The Viet Nam War. Throughout, I have thought about people I’ve known, and where they are in life and in their heads today (for those still alive). Last night was a little different. The episode covered the Tet Offensive to the assassination of Robert Kennedy. That is, Spring 1968, when Martin Luther King was also assassinated. I remember watching Lyndon Johnson’s speech, and many other things that had slipped into the deep recesses of my mind.

I was a student at the University of Chicago in the Spring of 1968. The University is on the south side of Chicago. I had come from a university that might consider tearing down a library if necessary to expand football. The University of Chicago had torn down the football field and was in the process of building a new library. I lived in a 12th floor apartment, that looked south. I could see Rockefeller Chapel, the Museum of Science and Industry, and a tiny glimpse of Lake Michigan. The university had its own bus for students, a bus that continually circled through Hyde Park to shuttle students to and from classes and back home. Most days I had the same bus driver.

Chicago When Martin Luther King Was Assassinated

Martin Luther King was assassinated on a Thursday. Friday morning was calm on the south side of Chicago. By the end of classes Friday afternoon, the tension was palpable. I caught the bus to go home. I was the last person off. The driver, who had gotten to know me over the year, said, “I’m going to drop you off at the door to your building today (instead of about 1/2 block away). Don’t go out tonight. Stay in your apartment.”

That weekend, first of all, and for days, I could look out and see the south side of Chicago burning. As a result, the heavily armed Military, not just police and National Guard, were patrolling the streets. Most of all, I remember looking out and seeing the Army camped on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry. Military tents completely covered those grounds. Maybe that is what I have remembered most of all.

I watched the helicopters hover over the meeting between the Blackstone Rangers and police, as they tried to work out a truce.

I have not thought about these things in a long time. What stood out to me from last night’s episode was the Marine, who had fought in Viet Nam, who was ordered to go to one of the cities with civil unrest. He refused an order to go, which essentially ended his military career. He said in essence, “I thought we would be sent for regular police work, protecting buildings, that kind of thing. Then they started issuing the same equipment we had had in Viet Nam: flak jackets, the same bullets, all the same things. I said I was not going.”

That was 49 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I half-apologize for the digression.

09/19/17
ars rose photography

ARS Rose Photography Update

ARS Rose Photography Update

ARS Rose Photography Update: the American Rose Society’s Board of Directors has approved the final version of the First Edition of Guidelines and Rules for Judging Rose Photography. Editors are completing the final editorial review. The text will appear shortly on the website of the American Rose Society. Members will be able to access it by going to “Resources”and scrolling down. In the meantime, members may see and download six PowerPoint programs explaining use of the Guidelines. The PowerPoints appear alphabetically rather than by topic, so be sure to scroll through.

ars rose photography

2017 ARS Photography Guidelines and PowerPoints Explaining Use Are Now Available

Because some readers may not be ARS members but still interested in the PowerPoints, I’m posting links here. Click on the links to view.

The current six are:

Creative Interpretation

Floral Arrangements

Shrubs, Old Garden Roses, etc.

Rose Sprays

Fully Open, Stamens Showing

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

While those are the current six, watch for additional ones in the future. In addition to these, planned are One Bloom, Macro Photography, The Enhanced Sections, What’s New in the 2017 Guidelines, and People, Not Cameras, Create Images.

You may view the current ones, as well as new ones as they appear, at a PowerPoint Library at Southwest Desert Gardening.

One does not have to be a member of any rose society to enter roses, arrangements, or photographs in ARS sanctioned rose shows. Anyone can enter!

09/1/17
monsoon rains

Monsoon Rain and Roses

Monsoon Rain and Roses

Monsoon rain and roses have been outstanding this year!

Monsoon Rain

In July, I showed the first real rain at my house of the 2017 monsoon season. It was unusual, dropping 2.5 inches of rain in 40 minutes. Overall, I’ve gotten almost 7 inches of rain this monsoon season. The transformational power of rain in the desert is remarkable.

July 17, 2017:

monsoon rain

Monsoon Rain and Pond

August 21, 2017:

monsoon rain

Back Yard, A Month Later

Roses

The roses have responded in like manner.

The hybrid tea ‘Gemini’ has put out many sprays, which will appear at a later time. The one-to-a-stem blooms have had the perfect form for which this particular rose is known. This image is from the other night, after a brief monsoon shower. The new ARS guidelines that will be coming out later this month strongly suggest avoiding images with water droplets on the petals. I agree with avoiding such images if the light is wrong and the droplets light up as blank, a real distraction. But raindrops on roses after a gentle life-giving rain in the desert? I will photograph and show such images, happily. ‘Gemini’ is one of my favorite hybrid tea roses to grow in Albuquerque. “Raindrops on roses…” The stucco of my house, against which most of my hybrid teas grow, is the background.

monsoon rain and roses

Raindrops on Roses – ‘Gemini’

Another of my favorite hybrid tea roses in the desert is ‘Veterans’ Honor.’ It has also responded to the monsoon rains. While I frequently get sprays on ‘Gemini,’ most ‘Veterans’ Honor’ blooms for me are one-to-a-stem. However, it produced a spray this year. This is not any kind of classic spray form by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, I kind of like the almost ‘golden spiral’ effect of this spray, the always-gorgeous color, and healthy foliage seen here.

monsoon rain and roses

Spray of Hybrid Tea Rose, ‘Veterans’ Honor’

Although Albuquerque will see some additional rain this year, the monsoon season is rapidly drawing to a close. From my perspective, as well as that of my yard and flowers, this has been a great – and much needed – monsoon year!

07/3/17
rose sprays

Rose Sprays

Rose Sprays

Rose sprays – the appearance of two or more blooms on a single stem – have been exceptionally abundant in my yard this year. After doing one draft of a PowerPoint presentation about photographing them, I decided I really needed to create two or three separate but related presentations. These would be for rosarians planning to enter their photographs in rose shows. But many of my photographs of roses do not meet the new ARS Guidelines (even though I helped write them, at least at the beginning), but would be quite acceptable in other venues. Sometimes I enjoy putting quotations with my images. That is what I felt like doing today. 🙂

This is a spray of the shrub rose, ‘Distant Drums.’ Those of you who know this rose know that these blooms are long past their prime, and lack many of the defining characteristics of the variety. But, the light was so glorious, illuminating them at early dawn.

And, I thought of this quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera:

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.”

rose sprays

Faded ‘Distant Drums’ Rose Spray

Several years ago I developed a habit of photographing a rose from “the back” as well as from “the front.” Those of you who aren’t into roses know that is really a meaningless distinction. In roses, “the front” most usually refers to what you would see in a rose catalog. That is because the American Rose Society was founded by rose hybridizers to encourage the sale of roses. Photographers, in contrast, look for interesting angles.

This image is of two different views of a spray of the hybrid tea rose, ‘Gemini’ with three florets. Visually, I prefer the one that would not be seen in a rose catalog.

rose sprays

Two Views of the Same Spray of the Rose ‘Gemini’

rose sprays

‘Gemini’ Spray with Coreopsis

I have enjoyed photographing the abundant rose sprays this year! 🙂 You can expect to see more over time. 😉

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.

04/17/16

Toss Those PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Showing Photographs at Rose Shows

Rose Photography Has New Guidelines, The ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

When the Board of the American Rose Society (ARS) approved the new Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography in Syracuse in September 2015, the PSWD Guidelines became obsolete. When I wrote the PSWD Guidelines, with considerable input from Sally Long, the goal was to ultimately have standardized, national guidelines. The new guidelines, written by the ARS Photography Committee, chaired by Curtis Aumiller, have been officially approved and replace everything that came before. This will not be an issue for Districts that have never had guidelines for photography, but it could be confusing for anyone who continues to use the now-outdated PSWD Guidelines. They are as outdated as rotary phones and party lines in this era of cell phones.

Some people are confused by the fact the ARS guidelines were approved as “temporary” and think that means “optional.” The Committee requested temporary approval so that the guidelines could be used and feedback obtained about changes people would like to see. A show committee never has to use ARS rules unless ARS awards are going to be given. This includes even the little ribbons for 1st-4th places. Show committees are used to this when writing schedules for Horticulture and Arrangements. Now the new Guidelines for Photography need to be followed in the same manner if ARS awards are to be given. ARS members may download the Guidelines here.

If your District has now appointed a District Chairman for Photography, feel free to address your photography schedule questions to that person, as well as to the ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller (caumiller[at]yahoo.com). The current PSWD Chairman of Photography is Sally Long. If your District does not have a Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller and the ARS Photography Committee are ready to assist you with your schedule and other questions.

A transition from one set of guidelines to the new ARS guidelines will not be a problem for people who have never had guidelines. The PSWD Guidelines are ubiquitous in that district, and are found elsewhere when people have seen what was done here. It is for people who have used the old guidelines and know them well that I am doing a series, of which this is the first post, that explains what is the same, what is different, what is new.

The Score Card in the ARS Guidelines is unchanged. 🙂

Subsequent posts will address some new additions and some very important changes that judges and exhibitors alike need to know. Stay tuned.

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

11/23/14
Gemini

Rose Photography

Rose Photography Winners from the 2014 Albuquerque Rose Show

Rose photography winners from the 2014 Albuquerque Rose Show are available in a calendar for 2015 from the Albuquerque Rose Society. I am pleased to have had five images selected as winners in the 2014 show and included in the 2015 calendar.

rose photography Gemini

Gemini, from The Postcard Series
Best of Show, Best of Rose Art

rose photography Leonidas

Leonidas
Best of Black and White (Challenge Class)
Silver Medal Award for Photographer Grown Rose

rose photography Distant Drums

Distant Drums
Winner Best of Theme (The Artistic Rose) and Bronze Medal Award for Photographer Grown Rose

rose photography Gemini

Best of Class and Best of Section, The Rose
Gold Medal Award for Photographer Grown Rose

rose photography Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver
Best of Class, Rose Sprays

Beginning in 2008, I began to work on some standardization for judging of photographs in rose shows in the Pacific Southwest District of the American Rose Society. In 2009, I was appointed the first Chairman for Photography in the PSWD, and held that post for the next three years. As an ARS Accredited Rose Horticulture and Rose Arrangement Judge, I wanted to work to develop guidelines for a third division in our rose shows, Photography. I appointed the working committee, with that goal in mind.
I have been very happy to see Photography added to many rose shows, and also to see many of those use the guidelines and score card developed under my Chairmanship. You may read a history of my work as Chairman of the PSWD Photography Committee at this link.

I did enjoy entering images in the 2014 Albuquerque Rose Show, however. I was happy to donate these images to the Albuquerque Rose Society for their 2015 Calendar, one of their projects for raising money for the Society.