Fascinating Orchids

23 02 2008

I photographed these orchids last year at the annual orchid show as the U.S. Botanic Garden (http://www.usbg.gov/) in Washington, D.C. The show this year runs from Feb. 2 through April 13, and I plan on getting over there one sunny day to add to my archives!

Information on growing orchids:



© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Gina’s Delphinium

23 02 2008

Can you tell I’m growing a bit impatient for gardening season with all the recent botanical postings? I shot this image awhile back in Gina’s garden. This particular Delphinium might be the “Magic Fountain Larkspur.” The flower usually grows much more upright than Gina’s specimen did, but it’s beautiful regardless.

Delphinium, or larkspur, derives its genus’ name from the Greek word for “dolphin” and is suggested by the shape of a gland in the blossoms that secretes nectar. Warning: all part of this plant are poisonous.

Growing information: http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/delphinium.htm

How gorgeous that shock of red lilies, and larkspur cleaving
All with a flash of blue! when will she be leaving
Her room, where the night still hangs like a half-folded bat,
And passion unbearable seethes in the darkness, like must in a vat.

— D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)


© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Happy birthday to me!

23 02 2008

Okay, it’s not really my birthday, but I did shoot this image of a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) with fruit on a birthday getaway with my Dad. This cactus was on the grounds of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona (http://www.nps.gov/cagr/).

To learn more about this edible plant, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prickly_pear

This image is a scan from a 35mm slide (pre-digital camera days, if you can imagine that time); one of several I entered in American Photo‘s 2nd annual contest of reader’s images. It was published in the nature category. I also placed in the fashion/portrait category with a photo of my friend Nicole (I have to find that slide and scan it). Getting published in one of my favorite magazines (twice!) was a highlight in my photography career. I was also one of seven follow-up interviewees for the following year’s competition in their “where are the winners now?” article. A neat twist—Nicole, the model in my winning fashion/portrait entry—photographed my head shot for the follow-up profile.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


A little bit more action…

23 02 2008

…playing with the b&w actions

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Getting some action…

21 02 2008

Now that I have your attention…but it’s Photoshop Actions I’m getting. I just bought “Totally Rad Actions” from Doug Boutwell at http://boutwellstudio.com/totallyrad/

If you don’t know what a “Photoshop action” is, here’s a good description/tutorial on the subject:


Doug has a funny and insightful personal blog as well. I enjoyed his “Rants” category.


I found his product on another photographer’s site and after previewing the effects of his Totally Rad Actions set, I knew I had to add them to my arsenal of Photoshop tricks. Here’s my first attempt at using a few of the actions on a portrait I shot recently.


© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Chocoholic Party 2008

20 02 2008

Here are some images from our Chocoholics 2008 party. It’s a bit hard to hostess, do sweetheart portraits, and also remember to get party ambience shots, too; hence why there are so few snapshots of the event, decorations, and all the chocolate, chili, and appetizers that were consumed. I think next year I’ll assign that task to a budding photographer in lieu of them bringing an appetizer!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Speaking of appetizers, Karen made these delicious cheese straws and shared the recipe:



20 02 2008

While I was shooting the “snow on birdhouses” photo (below), I heard a creaking sound behind me. I turned to see the bird feeder swinging wildly back and forth. I thought to myself, “hmmm…but there’s no wind….” and then I looked up and saw this little guy scampering off. There’s no such thing as a squirrel-proof bird feeder.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.