A very fine (birth)day, indeed!

20 10 2008

On Sunday my friend Karen treated me to a day-before-my-birthday lunch and a matinee showing of The Secret Life of Bees. Michael and I read the book, written by Sue Monk Kidd, when it came out in 2002 and loved it! I vowed that if no one ever made a movie based on this story, I would scrape together enough money to buy the rights and make it myself (pipe dream, I know). Thank goodness I never had to do that. The screenplay writer, director, and actors did a superb job bringing this story to life.

Then this afternoon Michael and I spent several hours at one of my favorite places to photograph, Green Spring Gardens. Although Michael and I had grand plans this morning to hit the road on a day trip, I’m glad we spent the time rambling around this local garden instead. There was so much still in bloom and so many bugs and butterflies to photograph. The afternoon light was amazingly golden, too. I was happy to see two new butterflies I hadn’t seen before (don’t worry, I’ll identify them later—unless someone wants to beat me to it—consider it my birthday present!).

I started preparing these images when I got home. The doorbell rang and I was the recipient of the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from Elizabeth and Rob, proud new parents of baby Josie. Thanks to you both for such a lovely birthday gift! And it was pure pleasure to photograph Josie. (And you know I’ll be photographing the bouquet you sent as well, so stay tuned.)

View the sweet photos of Josie in the links below:




To top off my perfect day, I had dinner at Macaroni Grill with Michael, and dear friends Regina, Jeff, and Tom. I had the parmesan-crusted sole—it’s a new item on the menu and it was delicious!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



4 responses

21 10 2008


21 10 2008

What absolutely gorgeous photos of flowers, butterflies, and berries, Cindy. And love the one of the Praying Mantis too. Your pictures just get better and better!
I’m so glad that you had such a great birthday. Here’s wishing you a BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And many blessings for the future. G G

21 10 2008

How do you get so colorful images? Are these pictures photoshoped? I would like so much to improve my photography skills…

22 10 2008

Hi Marie,

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my photos.

The best time to photograph (just about anything—people and plants) is early morning or very late afternoon….and in slightly overcast skies. That alone will help saturate the color. Direct sunlight is the worst time to shoot! Second, I do bring the photos into Photoshop and do the normal requisite sharpening (not oversharpening, of course), and occasionally I will increase contrast if a color seems washed out. I only use Photoshop for light sharpening and fixing contrast when it’s necessary. I also compile my collages in Photoshop for presenting on my blog. I rarely do any color enhancing in Photoshop. What you see in the final result is what I photographed! Sometimes I will use fill flash in the shade, which not only helps with the sharpness, it will also help with the contrast (as long as you dial down the output of the flash). A great shot really is dependent on optimum lighting conditions….and the second thing would be composition. Getting down on the ground to photograph at different angles…isolating your subject to set it against the best background…keeping backgrounds very uncluttered so you subject can “sing.” So, keep your eyes open, shoot in the best light for your subject, use bounce flash or some kind of reflector when needed, and frame your subject well. Look for interesting angles. Try wider apertures to knock out the background so it goes softer than your subject. Now that I’m writing this, I think maybe I should start some online lessons for people who want to learn to shoot flowers and gardens better! Would you be interested in participating in such a scenario?

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