Repost: Photographs? Well, not technically.

28 01 2011

Originally posted 1.28.2010

A few years ago I dabbled in scanning flowers on my Epson flatbed scanner and got some pretty good results. The technique works best if you can cover the flower arrangement with a dark piece of fabric or black cardboard. While the original images were nice “record” shots of my flowers, I wanted to do something more with them. I ran the scanned images through some artsy Photoshop filters to give them a romantic, soft-focus glowy look. So there you have it…photographs without a camera!

Not long after I toyed with the process, I saw an exhibit of photographer Robert Creamer’s images at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. These large-scale works were amazing! He scanned all sorts of things—dead birds, flowers, fruit, bones, and more. You can read more about his Smithsonian exhibit here and see more of his work on his website here. Watch the video here for a demonstration of his setup.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





My GardenMuse blog has been Freshly Pressed today!

27 01 2011

Each weekday WordPress selects about ten new blog posts for the “Freshly Pressed” section of the WordPress.com homepage. According to WordPress: These posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire. Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed is a major traffic win because WordPress.com receives a high volume of page views. And, we have a feed set up so people can subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Why do we do all this? It’s our way of saying we like you. We really like you.

I awoke this morning to more than a dozen comments on my garden blog, http://www.gardenmuse.wordpress.com. Several of the lovely visitor comments ended with either, “congrats on the feature” or “congrats on being FP.” FP? What is an FP? Then I realized they were congratulating me on being “Freshly Pressed.” I went directly to the main WordPress.com homepage and voila! I had been Freshly Pressed. Thanks for making my day, WordPress!






Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’

27 01 2011

As I write this, our backyard is covered in several inches of snow. It began about 3:00 p.m. this afternoon and didn’t stop until this evening. The snow fell fast and heavy and all the tree branches are outlined in white (a feast for the eyes, but not so good for the trees). Photographic opportunities abound tomorrow morning! Until then, I offer up some color from my garden last spring to contrast the white on white wonderland out there now. Could the Farmer’s Almanac really be correct? It is really only 52 days until spring?

This ‘Nelly Moser’ Clematis has been growing over our tiny backyard pond for more than nine years. In the spring of 2008 it had its most prolific blooming period ever. I wrote about it on this blog here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

26 01 2011

Comfrey (also comphrey) is a perennial herb of the family Boraginaceae and is native to Europe. I photographed this flower at the Huntsville Botanical Garden in Huntsville, Alabama.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Skipper on Hyacinth Bean Vine (Dolichos lablab)

26 01 2011

I was looking through my garden photo archives and came across this little Skipper. I grow this pretty ornamental vine in a pot outside our front door each summer. The purple seed pods are known as lablab.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Yearning for blooms

24 01 2011

Originally posted January 26, 2009

Sigh. How much winter is left?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

pinkwaterlily-blog





Repost: Picture this. Miami. Christmas day. 1991.

24 01 2011

Originally posted January 2010

(FYI, the title borrows from the character Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls…”Picture this. Sicily. 1912.”)

With no plans to visit our respective families for Christmas that year (no particular reason not to either), we declared that Christmas must be spent in the Everglades National Park. We loaded up the car with cameras and camping equipment and embarked, with unbridled enthusiasm, on Great Adventure #17 (remember, this was early on in our courtship, so the adventures hadn’t stacked up just yet!) to the Everglades. What surprised us most is how close the park is to Miami. One minute you’re at the mall, the next minute you’re surrounded by alligators.

Camping + Nachos + Steve Martin = It Must Be Christmas!
Michael, master camper that he is, set up a fine tent. It was getting late and we were too impatient to cook over a campfire (okay, so I was the one who was too impatient), so we did what any camper would do if they were just a mile from a city—get in the car and drive to a Mexican restaurant, followed by a late showing of the newly-released movie, Father of the Bride. Mexican Food and a chick-flick. How Christmas-y is that?

Gators + Marshmallows + Open Boat = Are You Kidding Me?
One afternoon we booked a tour on an airboat that took us through the glades to spot alligators. At one point the guide spotted a rather large one, slowed the boat down, then tossed out a marshmallow in its direction. The guide then joked (insert Captain-Clint-from-Jaws voice here), “Aye…ya know…he could scamper onto dis boat in no time flat if he really wanted to…arghhh.” The group was so silent, you could have heard a marshmallow drop.

Mama?
One morning we were walking along the Anhinga Trail…camera in hand, I searched for something to record in the saw grass marsh. I came around a corner and there sat a miniature alligator…not more than a foot long…and a mere five feet away from me. I stopped and snapped a few shots. Then I kneeled down and shot a few more, moving very slowly so as not to frighten him away. Michael was a few feet behind me. I paused, then turned to him and asked, “umm…this is a baby alligator, right?” He nodded yes. “umm…so…where is its mother?” He replied, “in the tall grasses near this boardwalk, probably watching you.” We had seen several “mothers” sunning themselves on the banks when we entered the park. This little guy? I could take him, but I was no match for his mother. “Ummm…10 shots of this little guy is plenty, I do think. Oh, my, I think it’s time for lunch. Let’s go. Now.

Do You Get the Feeling We’re Being Watched?
I photographed these Black Vultures in a tree overlooking our campsite. In retrospect, I think these vultures must have seen our license plates, figured we were lost Yankees, and were just waiting for us to run out of prepackaged R.E.I. meals and simply perish…our bodies ripe for the picking. Little did they know that in town we had supplemented our MRE’s with refried beans, enchiladas, buttered popcorn and Nonpareils. We lived to tell the tale.

Vulture #2: “So, how long do you give ’em?”

Vulture #1, shrugging shoulders: “I dunno. Whaddya think? Two, three days, tops?”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.