Expect the Unexpected

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Since last week I have been exploring black and white images, and they are growing in me. I started to check out the black and white version of all the images I downloaded. It is amazing to see how different they are, and how far I can go with a completely different prospective. Digital camera gives us freedom to shoot in quantities and we can eliminate them in second if we don’t like the outcome. I have tendency to delete a lot when I go through them the first time. This experimental and learning process have taught me to be more objective to the images I took. View once, leave them alone for couple days and come back with fresh mind to review.  I also tried to leave the images in my Trash for a while before I emptied it in case I change my mind. Art is abstract. You just never know.
I joined an evening outdoor shooting event with my photography group last Friday.  It is a long exposure photography with fireworks display created using steel wool as media. Put steel wool inside a whisk and attach the whisk to a chain with consider length. Light steel wool and quickly swing the chain in circular motion.  Steel wool lights easily and burns fast. When the chain swings, it is like a fire calligraphy, beautiful and stunning. Night deep blue sky, black background with golden firework and sparks. It is quite spectacular. If you are interested to try, get the step-by-step safety instructions from website. This can only be performed in a large open space and safety is priority.
This kind of shot needs to use Bulb mold for long exposure. This shot was taken using F6.3, ISO100, and 8 second exposure. Exposure time depends on the length of the firework display. Original firework is in gold color. It is dramatic, but gold makes me think of fire and danger. I changed it to a black and white images, and I like it better. The silver tone looks artistic and peaceful while it maintains its glamour.
“Should I use this image colored or black and white?” I have this question in my mind throughout the entire week. I am not kidding.  Out of about 12 images I am happy with, I like 7 of them in black and white.  Here are some of them. Completely unexpected, I am liking simple black and white images. They are appealing to me because they seem to be more profound and mysterious.  And, that ancient, authentic and strange old Asian feel keep coming up on me…
A beautiful spring so far, but most of my flowers have not bloomed or the buds opened. I grabbed my camera and tripod and walked up the hill in my neighborhood. Other than wild Iris, there were nothing along the path. I came across this dandelion and thought, why not give it a shot. But before I was ready, I knocked out part of its fragile ball with my tripod. An ouch was barely over, I burst out a wow.  Check out the intricate details! Can you believe that God even gives His attention to this weed that people often ignored along the road?

Taking a walk by bike path, I walked by Owen Rose Garden. There were no roses, not even one. I am not a rose fan, so I still strolled down the path anyway just to see if anything else was there. I ran into a local artist and she told me that she was looking for poppies in that garden. There were some poppies, but they were barely open. Poppy has a very dramatic center 
if the flower is wide open.  I don’t have my macro lens with me, so I chose to shoot the flowers in a different angle with my 200mm. The flowers are yellow and they don’t look very attractive to me, and, you may have guessed… I changed it into a black and white image. Nothing spectacular, but I seemed to be drawn to it again and again.
I say this is the magic of embracing all the possibilities and being open-minded to the impossibles. Expect the unexpected and be objective at all times.  Close-up photography has trained me to monitor micro details and not to overlook the neglected.

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