Saturday, February 27, 2010

Red Amaryllis

The amaryllis just has to be among the most awesome flower blossoms!

The form, the sweeping lines, not to mention the size of the blooms, are all quite spectacular.  What I like about this one, that just bloomed within the past few days, is the color.  The deep red is amazing.  And when the sun shone through the back of it this morning … well, it was a serious photo op.

I published a post a while ago about photographing red flowers, and the difficulty the sensors in digital cameras have with rendering the color red so that it is what we see.  Sometimes it’s necessary to adjust the color in photoshop or some other photo editing software.  However, in this photo it wasn’t necessary.  This is straight off the camera, and only resized for web display.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Signs of Spring

OK, the snow hasn’t exactly started to melt.  But the days are getting longer and the sun is shining more brightly.

And the redpolls arrived in the garden today!



“Hey, this feeder looks familiar.”



“Well, look at that! Filled with my favorite – nyger seed.”



“Just like the gardeners, we have to ‘weed out’ the seeds we don’t want – like this canary seed, or whatever it is. Yuck!”

Friday, February 5, 2010

Macro Flower Photography

We’ve all admired those awesome closeup shots of flower blossoms.  In fact, I spend a good deal of time in the garden crouched over the camera on a tripod trying to get that perfect image of a blossom with fresh raindrops.  Or, taking a macrophoto of a bloom that presents it in a different perspective, such as this one of a cosmos:


But , I would like to introduce you to a photographer who has taken macrophotography to a whole new level.

Brian Valentine, of Worthing W. Sussex, UK, uses a technique called ‘stacked focusing’ to achieve incredible detail of a flower blossom perfectly refracted in a dew drop.  Here’s an example of his work:

dewdrop Photo by Brian Valentine

Thanks to digital photography, getting a shot like this is now possible with the help of stacked focusing software.  Here’s how it works, according to Brian’s tutorial on Flickr: The camera takes a series of shots with precise focusing through the depth of the object being photographed – the dewdrop, in this case.  The resulting images are then fed into the computer software program where they are ‘stacked’, and a single image is produced with the entire dewdrop in perfect focus.  And so is the image of the blossom within the dewdrop.  In the photo above you can see the out-of-focus bloom that is being refracted in the dewdrop.

For some more eye-popping images like this, visit Brian’s web site.  It’s incredible!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dreaming of Summer – Part II

It snowed today.  At least another month to go before signs of spring will replace this Yukon winter weather.

We just got the weather statistics in for the month of January.  The mean temperature was about 4 degrees Celcius milder than the average for January.  The lowest temperature during the month was –22 degrees C., but most days have seen temps between -5 and -15 C. And this has been the case for the winter months so far.  If this continues for February (fingers are crossed), it will have been a very good winter indeed.  Our shrubs and perennial will think they’re in zone 4.  That should give us a great overwintering survival rate.

Now, that’s something to look forward to!