Filed under: Home, Photography | Tags: Butterflies, Flora, Home, Hummingbirds, Photography, Photoshop
(If this isn’t animating by itself, click on it.)
I’m not that much into photo gear. I’ve mostly been shooting with the convenient and versatile 18-135mm kit lens that came with my Nikon DSLR 3 years ago and occasionally with the nice 10mm fisheye Tony got me or my old 50mm lens from my film Nikon (that doesn’t meter). But, the other day, I stopped into the Ritz Camera close to my house (all the Ritz’s are going out of business ) and got a deal on a 55-200mm Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) lens.
I am into special effects, though, so forgive some of the possibly silly ones you will see here. I was just going to do a couple but it got out of control.
The new lens did make it a lot easier to sneak up on my little hummer friends from the cover of a nearby tree.
Strawberry Fields Forever…
I was at the nursery buying some pots and flowers yesterday and saw this cool plant. I don’t know what it is but these 2 guys that work there were riding around in a cart and started singing Strawberry Fields Forever when they saw me taking the photo.*
Okay, this one above may be the hokiest of the special effects here but I kinda like it. It’s a rare bird.
And, lastly, this tiny butterfly was no more than 1/2 an inch. Although 200mm was still not close enough to get a good shot, I wouldn’t have even attempted it with my 135mm. I can’t ID this butterfly, though…can you?
*Noelle, the AZ Plant Lady identified the strawberry fields as red gomphrena. Apparently they really are nicknamed Strawberry Fields.
Filed under: Phoenix, Photography | Tags: Downtown Phoenix, Niba DelCastillo, Phoenix, Photography, Photoshop, Prescott, Travels
I was out mural-shooting the other day and came upon this little building and it really appealed to me. It was partly cloudy and had rained a lot the night before so I “copied” the style of another local mural photographer, Niba DelCastillo, on the above shot. He does some awesome things with skies and angles sometimes. Update: see end of post*
It is being worked on now so I’m eager to see what it will become. In looking at Google maps, it looks like it was a house most recently with several additions that covered up most of this original building. It’s very small so they’ll have to add something to it, I think, but I hope they are preserving this structure.
These next photos were taken in Prescott a few weeks ago on Whiskey Row, their historic saloon-laden street. In May, one of the old bars, the Bird Cage, burned down, along with 2 other businesses.
This is not the sort of shot I normally take (and I was across the street so he was unaware) but a couple people who saw it elsewhere liked it so I included it here. I don’t think he needs work but he definitely needs some sort of help.
*Here is my original photo, edited by Niba himself in Dynamic Light and Snapseed (neither of which I have ever used). Thanks, Niba, it’s very cool!
What could this bouquet mean?
The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. This language was most commonly communicated through Tussie-Mussies, an art which has a following today. “Tussie-mussie” is a quaint, endearing term from the early 1400s for small, round bouquets of herbs and flowers with symbolic meanings (Wikipedia).
Apparently Kate Middleton chose her wedding flowers based on their symbolic meanings.
I’m currently reading a lovely novel called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, set in present-day San Francisco, where the main characters do communicate through floriography (and photography is also one of the elements).
Poppy: Oblivion ~ Red Poppy: Consolation ~ White Poppy: Sleep
Sunflower: pure and lofty thoughts
Pink Rose: friendship, grace ~ White Rose: I am worthy of you
Red Rose: true love
Who would think that delicious Basil represents hatred?
Gerbera Daisy: innocence and cheerfulness
Marigold: despair and grief
Stargazer Lily: youthfulness and beauty
I can’t remember what this flower is. Do you know? One of the problems with flower meanings (and the characters in the novel encounter this, too) is that there are many language of flowers dictionaries and the meanings are not always the same. Or the meanings can be entirely different depending on the color or subspecies. I’ve been looking online and the sources are endless and often contradictory. It’s a complicated and potentially dangerous art form.
If you’re going to communicate through flowers, you have to be cautious, I guess. Or just make sure they’re really pretty.
And, if you read and like The Language of Flowers, try this one, too: Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin; it relies on plant properties, too, and is very lush and fanciful.
Filed under: Arizona, Music | Tags: Arizona, imagine, Music, Photoshop, Travels, vacation
One of the original U.S. Highways, Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926—with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).
It was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it had been decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name Historic Route 66, which is returning to official maps and Google Maps (Wikipedia).
Maybe this 1937 Terraplane traveled on The Mother Road, its most enduring nickname, during its glory days.
And doesn’t this Vette make you want to hit the open road and have a few adventures?
It’s summer, the time for roadtrips…
I’m ready, let’s go…
The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
I read that quote today on Lesley Carter’s blog, Bucket List Publications. Lesley is always out searching for the next adventure and she also helps others’ dreams come true (check her blog out). But I sure don’t live life that way…wish I did, but I’m not much of a risk taker; it was ingrained into me during my childhood to be stable, cautious, secure. Therefore, I feel like a lot of life has passed me by and it’s my own fault.
Geez, how depressing, huh? Sorry…I do have fun and I like many things about my life but it’s more of a contentment than “living life to the fullest.” I have to trudge off to work everyday just to keep what I have and I don’t feel like I’m making the most of my time. It could be far worse I know, and I’m not complaining…I just wish I would take a few more chances.
Maybe it’s the gloomy weather that has me down but I know we need the rain really badly and we are getting some now. It’s rained a few times in the last couple days and I know it’s raining up in northern Arizona, too, so the spindly little pine trees I showed in my last post might be getting some needed relief now.
My next post will be more up …really.
*Kim Klassen textures on the first three photos (and they look better if you click on them).
Just added~rain in Phoenix for the 3rd time in the last few days…yay!