Farewell to Summer

September steps in fall, but the weather is still gorgeous. I however started to feel the chill early in the mornings. My flowers are pretty much past their prime period and the immigrated birds are ready to head south soon. I think it is about the time that I send summer off. Time to forgo flower close-ups and bird shots.  A bit forlorn and a bit reluctant to let go, but the season changes and our life goes on.
Bright and vivid summer colors are stunning and exciting. I also think that I should not let season changes impact my good spirits and therefore I decided to shoot and show a few black and white images. Although I have not done many B&W pictures, I do have a special liking for them. Black and White images appear to be simple but their impact seems contrarily deeper.For colored images, I found my attention is on colors. And, for black and white images, I am drawn to details and in some cases, emotion.

This cornflower (Double Scoop Bubble Gum) is one of my favorite additions this year. The color is beautiful and the blooming time is long. The original color image is striking and I like its dainty pedals.When there is no color distinction between the upper scoop section and the lower long pedals, I begin to see a bride’s bouquet or an award ribbon. Instead of glamour, I see elegance.

White Corals
If not for the simple tonality, this Lantana would not look like the white corals adorned with diamonds. They are originally yellow and creme two-tone flowers that look like buttered popcorns. I am not using the best resolution pictures for web posting; otherwise, you would enjoy the crystal clear ‘diamonds’ even better. Between popcorn and diamond, what is your pick?
the Tradition
As I just mentioned in my last blog, Chinese tea set designs look more subtle and understated. With the colors removed, I think the image fits even better to portray that old traditional and solemn look.
It reminds me of a traditional living room with a pair of honored and wealthy parents as well as their sons and their wives. The seatings are in a U shape. Parents sit in front followed by two rows of next-generation who all carefully follow their tradition: tea to be served to the older first and parents have absolute power over the children.There are authority, ranking, respect, and rituals involved in the scene. You surely would not hear any loud laughter or see kids running around. It is a very disciplined and controlled environment.  Want to know why Asians tend to be more well-mannered and quieter? There is a long and hard tradition going around for thousand of years.

cottonwood seed pod
Claradendrum is a fast-growing flowering tree. We were given a starter by a precious friend. In just about 6 months period, it has grown to 7-8 feet high. Not only that, this tree has been putting out lots of babies. Flowers are small but a whole cluster of them. A multitude of anything cause distraction. I originally aimed for this single flower, but the tiny cottonwood seed pod suddenly flew into the scene and became my subject. If not for the black and white, it would be buried in the colors.
Bathed in Sun and Drew

I cannot identify this flower anymore after it has been growing in my yard for 16 years. Just like Claradendrum, its roots grow aggressively and expand speedily. The deep peach color is quite dramatic in fall, but I seem to enjoy it, even more, when they are secretly hidden under the maple tree and quietly sucking in the morning dew. 

I have taken quite a few shots of Great Gray Herons, but they have always been too far away from me and too sensitive to my existence. But not this morning at Delta Pond, he was waiting to fetch his prey in the pond. Very slowly and cautiously I walked toward him, but he did not make any move.  To play safe, I started to shoot from distance and moved in closer till it was about 30 feet away. There was no more foot room and this is the best I could do.  To my surprise, I did capture his eyes, clear and vivid. And, I see he has no fear. 

If it is a color image, the gray heron will blend in with the murky pond water and ‘disappeared’ in the scene.  Besides, the black and white presentation makes the image resemble an impeccable pencil drawing. It conveys ancient and more traditional Chinese heron paintings that I used to see. This image concludes a great summer for me and I am looking forward to the next one and the next.

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