Trying Something New

After I most certainly did not win the Washington Gardener photo contest with my submissions, I talked to a photographer friend about what makes a good photograph. For now, I have my Fujifilm F60fd--it has some good automatic settings, but there's no manual focus, so taking photographs of something other than what is at the centre of the viewfinder is difficult. My friend suggested focusing on an object of interest and then moving the camera so the object is still in focus, but not in the centre. That's what I'm going for with most of these photos. It takes a little more effort to get them in focus, but it's hard not to pull back or rock forward when you're adjusting left, right, up, or down. Until I can afford a nice camera with a lens or two that can take good macro shots... Well, this is what I have!

I have previously photographed these tulips on the same block as my apartment. This time, however, it wasn't with my camera phone!

My more artistic shot. The stamens look almost as if they are legs with little anther-booties on them. Like tiny synchronized swimmers diving into a colourful black hole head-first.

This is just some yellow-flowering bush-type thing.

This Corylus avellana is a beautiful specimen near Mt. Pleasant Street and Park Road, where I catch the bus to go to Dungeons & Dragons on the weekend. It was only slightly damaged by the Snowpocalypses. I want one of these!

Walking under it while it is in bloom is like stepping into a fairytale world for just a second.

These Scilla siberica on the left seem almost to be floating, keeping an eye on the ones in the background who are doing gods know what. Something bad, probably. Rebellious Siberian squills!

This fallen tree may be down, but it's not out! It's still growing, and although the focal point may be the burst of leaves and flowers in the centre of the photograph, the mossy trunk provides a secondary focus, seeming to wrap around and protect the tender new growth in the picture.

I just thought this was pretty.

A magnolia bursting from hibernation, aided by the heat of the bright setting sun.

"No, don't mind me, I'm just an innocent little hellebore," says Helen as she quickly stuffs the bload-stained rag into her back pocket. The cops, however, are not fooled, and she is thrown behind bars for the premeditated slaughter of her husband's mistress, Daffy Dill. They're pretty bars, however, and her inmates enjoy her company, brief though it will be.

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7 Responses to Trying Something New

  1. I like the yellow type bush thing, magnolia and fallen tree the best. I should try this!

  2. I think your photos are wonderful! My camera is lame, and the gardener behind the lens is even "lamer" LOL... check out this blog for some amazing photos also, I don't know how you guys do it!

  3. I like the species tulip one the most. Maybe because after your description all I could think about was how they look like those sychronized swimmers in old movies and NuvaRing commercials.

  4. My guess is Cornus mas for the yellow flowered shrub. Love that second tulip picture!

  5. Nice pics! Check out my garden photo tips in this month's Takoma/SilverSoring/Kensington Voice newspapers. I posted my column here:

  6. Those are awesome shots. I can't wait till the bulbs bloom and trees start leafing out here! So jealous.

    One trick that really helped me with taking clear close-up photos is to turn on the time delay. It's that thing meant to be for when you want to take a group photo AND be in the photo. I turn it on and then I don't have to worry about rocking the camera (and blurring the image) as I press the button.

    If you don't like the composition of having your subject in the center of the image - try widening your shot, and crop it how you like later.

  7. Guys, thanks for your compliments and suggestions! I'll try out your trick, Erin the Second--my camera has a two-second delay that could do the trick without making me impatient. :D

    Andrew, from having seen that shrub every other weekend for about two years, yeah, I think you're right on the ID. And just from a flower! I think I could spend years with plant identification books and teachers without learning enough just to walk around DC and identify everything.

    MrBrownThumb... I haven't watched TV since 2001, and I'm not sure if I want to look up NuvaRing on YouTube. I will remain very pleasantly ignorant. LOL But... How about the synchronized nunnery during the Spanish Inquisition in The History of the World Part 1?

    I submitted the magnolia and tulip pics to WashingtonGardener (see the link provided) for a newspaper photo contest. Let's see if I get in that one!



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