Tulips at the Frick

The Frick Collection in Pittsburgh is exhibiting Paul and Bunny’s Mellon’s art collection, which normally hangs in the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond. Most of the paintings are from the Impressionist period, including works of Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Sisley, Pissaro, Redon and Morissot, but there are also some equestrian paintings and some post Impressionists like Matisse and Picasso. It’s a fantastic exhibit!

At the same site, you can visit the historic Frick home called “Clayton,” see the late Whitney Snyder’s collection of antique cars and have lunch at the Cafe. Just outside the Cafe, I also enjoyed these tulips in the garden — living, breathing works of art.

#tulip, #spring, #may, #pittsburgh, #frick
The best way to photograph a flower is to keep it simple. Shallow depth of field isolates the subject in the frame. Yes, I was down on the ground, kneeling in the mulch.
#tulips, #redwhiteandblue, #pittsburgh, #frick, #flowers
I liked the contrast between the red and white petals and the bed of tiny blue flowers behind them.
#tulip, #redandwhite, #spring, #may, #pittsburgh, #frick, #macro, #flower
Even though this tulip was past its peak, the texture, colors and detail were inviting.

Luminous Cactus Flowers

As we take a close look at this blooming cactus, we first notice the spikes and the complimentary colors of the red flowers emerging from the green cactus body. The sunlight and shallow depth of field give us excellent clarity.

#cactus, #flowers, #redandgreen, #spikes, #sunlit, #cobweb, #web, #spider
A close look at the sunlit blooms on the cactus. Those spikes look sharp!

But then we notice the delicate spider web illuminated by the sun. Where is the spider, who lives in symbiosis with the cactus, not at all discouraged by the sharp spikes?

Holiday gifts

I enjoy making notecards and ceramic tiles that feature my nature photographs, and I’m starting to work on some orders for the holidays. Today I processed a sunflower image I shot three years ago in the Denver Botanical Garden, and I will be making 6, 8 and 12″square tiles that feature this image.

#sunflower, #green, #yellow, #denver, #texture, #macro
The soft green background sets off this sunflower, which is a beauty even from the back. This image is a study in textures and a two colors, yellow and green.

Hawaiian lizard

lizard-7201-lr
The colorful Hawaiian Anole lizard licks a bird of paradise with a purple tongue

On September 7, this lizard made my day. I captured several good photos of him on this choice orange flower, showing the sticky toes, the blue eyebrow, the color streaked back and the purple tongue. I highly recommend a stop at the Hawaiian Botanical Garden if you are visiting the Big Island of Hawaii. It is located in the rainforest just north of Hilo, off Route 19 on the “scenic route.”

A Close Look at a Peony

Macro photography lets you take a careful look at a flower’s center. I also find that the irregularity in a flower makes it special. I was attracted to the darker pink streaks on the petal in the back. In this image, I find my eye is first drawn to the delicate yellow tendrils of the flower’s center. In the asymmetrical composition, that yellow center needs a counter weight, which the fascia-streaked petal provides. Does your eye move the same way? Is your vision attracted to color changes, defined detail and edges?

#peony, #spring, #flower, #macro, #nikond800, #pink, #backyard, #irregularities
Today I found something very delicate and beautiful in my own back yard.

Dogwood in My Own Backyard

Admiring some beautiful photos of the dogwood blooming in Yosemite, I realized there was an opportunity for me to photograph dogwood blooms in my own backyard — for my two white and two pink dogwood trees are now in bloom.

#dogwood, #backyard, #spring, #pink, #sigma, #macro, #bokeh
You can even find a flower within the flower in this macro image of the dogwood.

My photography practice was taking a break during the month of April, as my attention was focused on my father’s failing health, his hospice care, his death, mourning and support of my surviving mother. As you may know from experience, these events can be overwhelming.

Mother’s Day gave me a reason to pause and give myself the time to think about photography again. I sent myself to the garden in the late afternoon to look for some compositions. It’s a challenge to find a composition amid a tree full of blooms and a low vantage point on the ground, but I found a perch on my back porch and the lens to create just the right background bokeh, the 105mm Sigma macro lens.

It’s nice to be reminded that photo opportunities are right there in your own backyard.