Iris, Iris, Iris

Five years ago when I first came to Shriner’s Iris Garden, I was overwhelmed by the vast varieties of Iris there and did not know where to start. I often think Iris and Rhoderdendron are gorgeous flowers, but they are not my favorite macro subjects. I am glad that I decided to go back and seek new angles to photograph them.

Ruching (wrinkles), to me, is the most charming part of Iris. They look like dancing Flamingo with their beautiful skirts sweeping in the wind. The color combination in a flower is amazing and the delicate details are intriguing.  I have to admit that I have found my new love.

As much as I like the natural look, texturing flower images is one of my most favorite things to do, so I did. I cannot say I like one more than the other. They are attractive in their own way and I like them both. Nature presents her Original and we are here to offer our human touch.

Twisted

Ever since I began to experiment with Lensbaby, my visual world has been turned and twisted around. I am no longer an advocate of tack sharp images. To me, the beauty is in subtlety, in vagueness, and in obscurity.  Reality is usually not as pretty as fantasy.

Had a little fun with Lensbaby Twist 60 this morning. There are certainly many twisted hidden in this lens. I love it. Just to share with you couple of examples.

First Bloom

It has been a long wait to see some colors in the yard. Lantern Roses flowered in February, but they were distressed in the rainy and chilly weather. Happy to see Sun even for just a few days.

Hellebore grows with her face downwards. It’s a bit challenging to photograph right out of the plant. I cut the flowers from the stem and she became droopy not long after.

Ever since I began to use Lensbaby, I don’t see beauty in perfect sharpness anymore. These two images were taken with Macro lens and I intentionally toned them down with a bit of texture and filter.

Before and After

I took this picture five years ago at Butchart Garden, Victoria. It was the beginning of my photography adventure. I did not know much of anything. It is a sharp picture from a quick walk-by snap. Below is the original, completely unedited. I like the colors and contrast, but it is not my style, and it does not illustrate the cold and gloomy winter day.

And yet Winter does not need to be downcast and lifeless either. When all the bright colors are released, to me, the image does not lose its luster either. I can ‘smell’ the fresh ‘snow ‘, and the ‘wash-down’ exquisite details seem to be contrarily rejuvenating.

Art is created to play your mind, and so mine is played by myself, too.

 

Dancing Thistles

There has not been any snow or ice storm this winter, and the temperature seems to be climbing up. I had fun photographing iced and frosted vegetation last year, but chances of getting my dream scene are minimum this year.

Whenever I walk by this ‘path of thistles,’ they are mostly dark and dry. I’ve often challenged myself to create something out of nothing. But how can I make something lively from something so deadly?

With Lensbaby velvet lens with me, I discovered the world that I have not seen. I was dazzled by the soft glow. Sunlight was in the background, and I  found this small group of thistles glowing and dancing in the light.

I examined many single thistles and walked into the mud trying to shoot from various angles. Sunbeams on the thistle danced an array of radial glow.

I wish I could take a better picture to show you the virtual reality from the viewer of my camera. This is the first time I come to realize what GLOW really means.

The sensational light circles were hovering over the thistles. They caught me by surprise and filled me up with excitement. I was obsessed with the light circles and suddenly discovered a HEART light ring within!

The last image was taken last summer when the thistle was crowned with purple and adorned with green.  If we talk about colors, summer is their prime time.

Yesterday when I was on the path, I found the lavender flowers were green, a sign of spring, yes! I cannot wait for the plants and flowers to bud and to bloom.