Flowers of Spring Have Finally Arrived

Iris in Bloom in Auburn
Iris in Bloom in Auburn

I took a break from my blog for a while, which always seems to be the case during the cold dark months of the year. Now that Spring is in full bloom here in Auburn things look so full of life and so colorful it just brings new inspiration to everything. Even though I took a few months off from my blog I still kept writing throughout the winter, but for some reason it always seems to be a little different. I wish I could find a way to better merge my offline writing with my writing here, but it would probably change how I write offline. Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying their springtime colors as much as we are down here in the south.

A Good Friday Feet on the Farm with John Deere

Friday Feet on the John Deere Tractor

This is a very late version of Friday Feet today, but it’s technically still Friday. This late post is because We had an incredible, very humbling, Good Friday service today-tonight, (a post which will have to wait until tomorrow when I can get to the images). After finishing up a book review for Liberty this morning, my Friday-day-off became a mow as much grass as can be mowed in one afternoon. That’s not as bad as it sounds, I actually like getting out on the tractor, it gives me an escape of sorts to be able to listen to a book or something like that.

I know many people who do their thinking while they run, or ride, but I do mine while I’m on the tractor. It takes just about as long (that’s a good thing) to ride 30-40 miles, or run 10-15 miles, as it does to mow acres of grass. All that and I have less of a chance to get run over by a passing car too. It’s hard not to think about Holy Week, and the significance of it all, but I’ll elaborate on tonight’s service in the next post.

For now, the grass is green and growing fast, and the garden is about to be washed in purple. Our purple Iris’ (photo below), are about to bloom surrounding our red Double Knockout Roses. You may not look for the symbolic among creation, but I do, and I love the fact that we have purple flowers about to bloom, the day before Easter, surrounding blood red roses… royalty of a King, surrounded by the blood shed for me and you, all displayed in a tiny little flower garden in south Alabama. The larger version taking place on Auburn’s campus is seen just below, but then again, all of creation proclaims the Glory of God (Romans 1:20 and others).

Purple Iris About to Bloom

Azaleas on Auburn University Campus

Cutting the Pasture on the John Deere Tractor

Most Beautiful Dogwood Blooms of any Recent Spring in Auburn

Dogwood Flower Bloom in Spring

OK, so this will probably be the last post of the Spring showing our Dogwood bloom or our Wisteria, but I just love the colors so today it’s my Photo of the Day and my P365 :2012 photo [Day 114]. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we got over the winter or that I’m just another year older, but this Spring has been the most beautiful I can remember in a long time. The Dogwood blooms around Auburn were, and still are spectacular this year. The one pictured above is from our yard and is just screaming of the beauty of creation.

This photo was taken handheld, and is seen basically straight out of my Nikon D7000 camera body, with a little added saturation processing from Adobe Lightroom. You can see the full exif data from over on my Flickr site. The background blur comes from the lens I was using, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G version (a very fast and inexpensive prime lens), shot almost wide open (i.e. f/1.4) so the depth of field was very shallow. The purple and green, two incredible contrasting colors for a white flower, come from our purple Wisteria blooms and the trees in the background. This wouldn’t necessarily be considered macro photography (see my previous examples here), but it was shot at the lens’ minimum focal distance.

Hope you have been able to get out and smell the roses this Spring, even if they are in the form of Wisteria and Dogwood blooms.

Testing the Old Oil and Water Theory Close Up :: Photos

Something totally different for today. I thought I would try a little abstract photography last weekend. No special post-processing or photoshop on these images, just a simple mix of oil and water on a red and green flag. I always wanted to try some super closeup shots like this and I could have gotten in even closer but was limited to my one extension tube where normally you would stack them. All it takes is some water, a little cooking oil, put it in a bread pan and wait. The shot was done was with a 100mm macro lens and a 27.5mm extension tube (something that just puts space between your lens and the sensor for closer focus), sitting on a tripod of course. I love the colors but I could have shot with just about any color, I just tried to find two highly contrasting colors to make the oil moving through the water stand out. I have seen this done with a tidied shirt or something like that, and that works well too, I just didn’t have one. The exact shot metadata is over on Flickr if you are interested.

Saturday Morning Macro Flowers Before the Heat Arrives

I think I spent an hour or longer last night looking for a single wildflower to shoot and found nothing. We have had so little rain here this summer that nothing wild is blooming, until I woke up this morning and looked right outside my window. I always forget about these tiny little violet wildflowers. They open every single morning and are gone by about 9am. Of course they get more water than the rest of the scorched earth around here since they are close to the house. Ebby unwillingly sat among the flowers for me, so patiently. She can be like stone when you just place her somewhere, poor thing. If you want to see the EXIF metadata for the macro shots above go here or here. They were taken at “life-size” or a 1:1 macro. I love the reflection in the water droplet (and no I didn’t place that there, God provided a nice bit of dew on the flowers just for me this morning). You can actually see the house and my camera if you look close enough. Hope everyone has an enjoyable Saturday, and has someplace to stay cool.

Purple Iris Blooms and Double Knockout Roses Today :: Friday Feet

Today is Friday again, can’t believe how fast these weeks are going by. Today the Friday Feet post comes from my garden just about 50 feet from where I am typing out this blog post. The cool thing about a flower garden is having plants that bloom at different times all throughout the year, and as Spring moves on, the next in line is the Iris. They just started blooming in these magnificent purple blooms (although they come in a huge variety of colors). These flowers below were shot using my wife’s Nikon D90 and basically this is how they came right out of the camera. I did very little post processing editing with these particular flowers, they really didn’t need it, the colors were incredible.

This week has been, thankfully, a week of getting back to the routine of things, a week without a doctors appointments, which we were both thankful for immensely, and a week that flew by in a blink of an eye. I had so many blog posts I either started or wanted to get started this week and just never got back to them. I do have several book reviews that I want to get out but they will just have to wait for another day. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Purple Wisteria Blooms are Everywhere in Auburn :: Photos

I love Wisteria Blooms in the Spring. They grow like weeds down here in the south but we actually planted one a few years ago. It has grown into this huge vine that wants to eat the house, but right now, it is totally covered in beautiful purple blooms and smells incredible. Every year I take photos of this plant and every year the blooms are better and better but my photos end up all looking the same. This year I tried something totally different, shooting Wisteria blooms from the ground using the skylit sun as a background, creating some massive backlit conditions. I love the way they turned out and they aren’t your typical shoot the flower shot.

For a little contrast I posted some “normal” shots below as well but I love how the backlit conditions adds something totally different to this particular bloom, and today, it’s the photo of the day.