Closeup of Globe Artichoke

31 07 2010

The Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a perennial thistle. If the buds or “globes” aren’t harvested, six-inch bluish-purple thistle-like flowers will form. This is an abstract closeup shot of two unopened buds and one flowering bud. Bees are especially drawn to the flowers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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DIY overcast sky

10 07 2009

As promised, I have new photos for you!

Picture this: Today. Green Spring Gardens. High noon. Not the best time to photograph flowers, but ventured out anyway. And I brought my own overcast sky. I carried my trusty Interfit 5 in 1 collapsible reflector (translucent portion only) to block the mid-day sun and get more saturated color. Amazon sells the 32-inch version for just $38.99. And, of course, you can use it as a regular reflector once you zip on the double-sided covers that utilize four other colors—gold, silver, opaque white and black. I just noticed that there is an even larger one (43″) for just $29.95, made by Opteka. These handy little contraptions fold down to an easy-to-carry size, so I would recommend buying the larger one for almost ten bucks less. You can find that one here on Amazon. If you don’t already have one—run and get one! They are invaluable in and out of the studio and for virtually every subject, from portraits to plants to products. I especially like the 5-in-1 products. Just don’t lose the zip-on cover (I speak from experience)! And you’ll most likely need to use your tripod to use it. I set the camera up, focus on my subject, then hold the reflector over my head with my left hand to block the sun (doubles as protection from the sun on you, too!). This leaves my right hand free to focus and shoot. Yes, you’ll look silly, but you’ll also look like a pro and intimidate people passing by. You can purchase an arm-and-stand holder for these reflectors, but that means more equipment to carry—who needs that? If you can convince your significant other or a friend to hold the reflector in exchange for a free lunch, good on ya (again, I speak from experience)!

Today’s photo challenge: Can you spot the little bug playing peek-a-boo in “Kilroy was here” fashion in the Cleome flower—the first image? I didn’t notice him at the time I was shooting this image. He popped out at me when I opened the image in Photoshop. Here’s a clue: he has black and white striped antennae with an orange-ish colored head.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Check out my garden gallery here: http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

GreenSprings7102009





I will be the gladdest thing

21 07 2008

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”

I ventured out to Green Spring Gardens this morning at about 9:30. Even at that time, it was already getting too hot to stay out long, so I shot less than 50 images total (and that’s quite low for me). There were some really beautiful flowers in bloom this morning, particularly the thistle flowers, which were humming with bees.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The color purple

16 07 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.com/GardenPhotos