The Orphaned Images Project: Family portrait

31 01 2011

Several observations came to my mind when I saw this photo:

1) My first thought was of one of the Damien: Omen movies. Remember when Jennings, the photographer, begins noticing that in his photographs there are things that foretell the deaths of the nanny and the priest (such as a line crossing through their back or head)? The photographer’s death is also foretold in his photograph. The first thing I noticed in this photo was the “dagger” headed toward the head of the woman second from left. Ominous!

2) The woman in the center—talk about a wasp waist! And her head appears to be a apparition—not quite all there because of the film’s exposure.

3) Someone has sketched in an outline of the man’s sleeve with pencil. Now there’s retouching in its most primitive form. Hey, we photographers try to work with what we’ve got!

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The Orphaned Images Project: Picnics

31 01 2011





Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus)

31 01 2011

I force paperwhite bulbs every year and always forget about their scent—when they begin to bloom and I haven’t noticed yet, I walk around the kitchen and living room and ask myself, “what is that smell?” You’d think I’d learn! I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the smell. It’s okay when you get the first whiff of it, but I made the mistake of moving them from their usual place in the kitchen (which I rarely inhabit) to a table in the living room (where you’ll find me if I’m not in my studio). And I’ve had a mild headache ever since doing so. Wonder why? I’m tempted to call it a day (or a bloom) and pitch them, but some blooms haven’t opened yet and I just can’t bring myself to interrupt the blooming process, obsessive gardener that I am.

I just read a post on Margaret Roach’s blog, awaytogarden.com, about paperwhites and the trick to keeping them from flopping over (gin, vodka or rubbing alcohol). She also mentions that adding a few drops of bleach might limit the strong scent (if you find the scent offensive, that is). Margaret was the first garden editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine. Go check out her blog—it’s wonderful!

I also learned something from the reader comments: Brent of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs says that the Israeli hybrids are the ones that “stink.” Most likely mine are the ‘Ziva’ hybrid that dominate the market for forced bulbs. He recommends one of the newer Israeli introductions, ‘Inbal,’ which has a nice fragrance. I’ll look for that hybrid in their catalog—but it’s still so convenient to get my $5-after-Christmas-sale-deal at Target, complete with the pot and growing mix—despite the stinkiness. I’ll just keep them in the kitchen again next year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The Orphaned Images Project: Party of six

29 01 2011

The card this photo is mounted on reads “Hegemann, San Antonio, Tex.” With a little bit of research, I discovered there was a photographer named Otto Hegemann located on 104 1-2 E. Houston Street around 1914. Further research reveals an Otto H. Hegemann was born March 12, 1904 and passed away September 2, 1993 at the age of 89 in San Antonio. I found an Otto Hegemann, photographer, listed as a member of the Scientific Society of San Antonio. This photo is very likely to be his handiwork, although if Otto donated photography services to the Society in 1914, and he was born in 1904, he would have only been 10 at the time! It’s possible there’s an Otto Sr. and an Otto Jr.

Take a close look at the little girl on the left, sitting in her father’s lap. She has been photographed separately and (crudely) inserted into the photo, with a little bit of painting work done to blend her in. Can you imagine what Otto would say if he saw this done in Photoshop today?!





The Orphaned Images Project: Texas bride

29 01 2011





Bleeding Hearts at Brookside Gardens

28 01 2011

Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis)—I photographed this plant at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD on a photo trip with my friend Jeff in April 2008. I posted it as part of a collage for my original posting but decided today that it needs its own spotlight!

Something I didn’t know—it’s a member of the poppy family! This hardy perennial grows well in Zones 2-9 and blooms from April through June. It can do well in full sun or partial shade, although I mostly see it thriving in partial shade in woodland gardens. It has been grown for centuries in Korea, China and Japan. German botanist J.G. Gmelin first brought the plant to Russia for the botanical garden where he was employed. In 1947 Robert Fortune brought the plant to Western Europe through a sponsored trip by the Royal Horticulture Society.

I also learned the “bleeding heart story,” which I hadn’t heard before. I found this excerpt on www.veseys.com:

It is said that a prince loved a princess who took no notice of him. To try to get the princess’s attention and prove his love, he brought her exquisite and amazing gifts from far and wide. One day he came across two magical pink bunnies and offered them both to the princess. At this point, the story teller pulls off the two outer pink petals and sets each on it sides to show the animals. The princess was unmoved by the rabbits so, he tried again and presented her with beautiful dangly earrings. The next two inner white petals are separated and held up next to the narrator’s ears for display. Still, the princess paid him no attention. The prince was so distraught over being spurned that he took a dagger and stabbed himself. The remaining centre of the flower is shaped like an outline of a heart with a line down the centre. The heart is held up, the dagger-like line is removed, and the story teller plunges the “knife” through the heart’s centre. The princess, realizing too late that she did love the prince, cried out, “My heart shall bleed for my prince forever more!” and her heart bleeds to this day.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Name that flower!

28 01 2011

I photographed this lovely plant in August when Carmen and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I couldn’t find an identification label, so I have no idea what it is and I hadn’t seen it before. Any of you plantaholics out there want to give this challenge a whirl?

IDENTIFICATION UPDATE: Fellow blogger and landscape designer extraordinaire John Black suggested it is Clematis armandii. I took a look at various sources on the web and he’s right! (Thanks, John) John is principal of Verdance Fine Garden Design in Palo Alta, CA. His work has been featured on HGTV’s Landscape Smart and Landscaper’s Challenge series. I interviewed John back in May 2010 about what it takes to be a landscape designer. Read his insightful, witty and inspirational answers here.

Check out his wonderful blog too: http://www.averdantlife.com/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.