Yoga Tree Exhibit – vol. 3

Non-binary tree search

In the third  installment of images that I am considering for the upcoming Yoga Tree exhibit, here is your next opportunity to give some feedback on which ones you favor…

One that I’m likely to include, as a point of contrast, is the monochrome image of the Yoga Tree, as it shows real character.  If you’d like another look at the first or second installment of images, the can be found in Yoga Tree Exhibit – vol. 1 and Yoga Tree Exhibit – vol.2.

As always, I am very much looking forward to hearing your thoguths on these images.

Thank you for your help!

Sunday Morning – Photography

Learning opportunity

This weekend I am attending a photography workshop taught by Boston-based, freelance photographer Rick Friedman.  Besides being an accomplished photographer who has captured many celebrities across the spectrum, Rick is a great teacher, who is eager to share his accumulated knowledge and makes it fun to learn.

So, I am definitely having a good time and learning along the way about working speedlight flashes into lots of great lighting configurations to solve the challenges presented by location lighting.


This is a quick look at one of the shots from Saturday.  This shot of Brittany was done outside using flash to offset the bright light of a warm Saturday afternoon in Boston.  Both Brittany and Morgan, who were the models for the entire day, were a pleasure despite the long day for them working with 8 different photographers.  My goal here was to create warmth with the colors and a sense of fairy tale darkness.

One of the interesting things in doing a workshop of this kind is that it gives me the opportunity to recognize the areas where I need to pay more attention; as I went over the images from today, I picked up on numerous little details or technical glitches that made images less than perfect.  My challenge for today is to see, if I can work on improving my overall results.

Ancient Aliens

Not snakes on a plane

Sometimes when we look at the world around us, we notice patterns around us that make us wonder where they came from.  Entire television series have been dedicated to this topic, such as ‘Ancient Aliens’ on the History Channel.  Of course, for these shows it does help to have an interesting haircut that makes the viewer wonder what might be going on under that hair…

Alien Snake Tracks?

Well…I’m not going for the unusual hair style to increase interest in my images, but there are moments when my mind leaves the planet and comes up with some alternate explanations for what I see.  Such are these Alien Snake tracks; silicon-based life forms settled on the beach and made their getaway before we could track them down…

Not exactly Ancient Aliens, but rather modern, recent arrivals from an exo-planet in the Hydra system…

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II with an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were f/10 at 1/125 second and 400 ISO.

Saturday’s Sunrise – pt. 3

Golden morning

On this beautiful morning, I’d like to take a moment to look back to one of my favorite Yoga Tree sunrise images.

The Wise Tree

This image goes back to 2013 in the late Autumn, as a few leaves stubbornly hang on to the wise Yoga Tree.  A gentle sky provides a backdrop with golden tones.

This is one image that is certain to be included in the exhibit.  I print this limited edition on paper with a slight gold tone in it, to lift the gold in the image.

Hope you enjoy your day!

Technical Detail

This image was captured with an iPhone 4S using the standard Camera app.

Weather Is Coming

Dark clouds

Despite all of humanity’s advances, there is still an element of dependence on the weather, that is inescapable even in today’s high-technology age.

As a significant portion of our food supply comes from agriculture, it is important to reduce our adverse impact on weather patterns as much as possible; the ability of future generations to feed themselves may depend on it.

Waiting for the weather.

The tractor sits quietly to see what the morning will bring: will it clear up and be ideal for mowing or will these clouds bring heavy rain, thus stalling progress.

Time will tell…

Technical Details

This image was taken with an iPhone 4S using the standard Camera app; some adjustments were made in Instagram.


Inspired by Daily Prompt – Sky.

Flower on Friday

My kingdom for a tulip!

As this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge has the them of flowers, I thought it might be nice to share another flower image on this lovely Friday.

This particular image is a rather straightforward one that looks to simply highlight the main subject in an uncluttered manner; sometimes that is all it takes to get  a pleasing image of a single flower, such as this tulip.

Simple Beauty

Of course, tulips are an interesting subject to anyone who grew up in the Netherlands.  All of us are likely to connect the tulip to the Netherlands and the Tulip Mania of the 17th century when speculation drove the price of single tulip bulbs up to the equivalent of a herd of cattle and beyond.  But did you know…


Islamic World

Cultivation of the tulip began in Persia, probably in the 10th century.  Early cultivars must have emerged from hybridization in gardens from wild collected plants, which were then favored, possibly due to flower size or growth vigor. The tulip is not mentioned by any writer from antiquity, therefore it seems probable that tulips were introduced into Anatolia only with the advance of the Seljuks.  In the Ottoman Empire, numerous types of tulips were cultivated and bred, and today, 14 species can still be found in Turkey.  Tulips are mentioned by Omar Kayam and Celaleddin Rûmi.

In 1574, Sultan Selim II. ordered the Kadi of A‘azāz in Syria to send him 50,000 tulip bulbs. However, Harvey points out several problems with this source, and there is also the possibility that tulips and hyacinth (sümbüll, originally Indian spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) have been confused.  Sultan Selim also imported 300,000 bulbs of Kefe Lale (also known as Cafe-Lale, from the medieval name Kaffa, probably Tulipa schrenkii) from Kefe for his gardens in the Topkapı Sarayı in Istanbul.  Sultan Ahmet III maintained famous tulip gardens in the summer highland pastures (Yayla) at Spil Dağı above the town of Manisa.  They seem to have consisted of wild tulips. However, from the 14 tulip species known from Turkey, only four are considered to be of local origin, so wild tulips from Iran and Central Asia may have been brought into Turkey during the Seljuk and especially Ottoman periods. Sultan Ahmet also imported domestic tulip bulbs from the Netherlands.

The gardening book Revnak’ı Bostan (Beauty of the Garden) by Sahibül Reis ülhaç Ibrahim Ibn ülhaç Mehmet, written in 1660 does not mention the tulip at all, but contains advice on growing hyacinths and lilies.  However, there is considerable confusion of terminology, and tulips may have been subsumed under hyacinth, a mistake several European botanists were to perpetuate. In 1515, the scholar Qasim from Herat in contrast had identified both wild and garden tulips (lale) as anemones (shaqayq al-nu’man), but described the crown imperial as laleh kakli.

In a Turkic text written before 1495, the Chagatay Husayn Bayqarah mentions tulips (lale).  Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, also names tulips in the Baburnama.  He may actually have introduced them from Afghanistan to the plains of India, as he did with other plants like melons and grapes.

In Moorish Andalus, a “Makedonian bulb” (basal al-maqdunis) or “bucket-Narcissus” (naryis qadusi) was cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. It was supposed to have come from Alexandria and may have been Tulipa sylvestris, but the identification is not wholly secure.

Introduction to Western Europe

Although it is unknown who first brought the tulip to Northwestern Europe, the most widely accepted story is that it was Oghier Ghislain de Busbecq, an ambassador forEmperor Ferdinand I to Suleyman the Magnificent. According to a letter, he saw “an abundance of flowers everywhere; Narcissus, hyacinths and those in Turkish called Lale, much to our astonishment because it was almost midwinter, a season unfriendly to flowers.”

However, in 1559, an account by Conrad Gessner describes tulips flowering in Augsburg, Swabia in the garden of Councillor Heinrich Herwart. In Central and Northern Europe, tulip bulbs are generally removed from the ground in June and must be replanted by September for the winter. It is doubtful that Busbecq could have had the tulip bulbs harvested, shipped to Germany and replanted between March 1558 and Gessner’s description the following year. Pietro Andrea Mattioli illustrated a tulip in 1565 but identified it as a narcissus, however.

Carolus Clusius planted tulips at the Vienna Imperial Botanical Gardens in 1573. After he was appointed director of the Leiden University’s newly established Hortus Botanicus, he planted some of his tulip bulbs here in late 1593. Thus, 1594 is considered the date of the tulip’s first flowering in the Netherlands, despite reports of the cultivation of tulips in private gardens in Antwerp and Amsterdam two or three decades earlier. These tulips at Leiden would eventually lead to both the Tulip mania and the tulip industry in the Netherlands.

Carolus Clusius is largely responsible for the spread of tulip bulbs in the final years of the sixteenth century. He finished the first major work on tulips in 1592, and made note of the variations in colour. While a faculty member in the school of medicine at the University of Leiden, Clusius planted both a teaching garden and his private garden with tulips. In 1596 and 1598, over a hundred bulbs were stolen from his garden in a single raid.

Between 1634 and 1637, the enthusiasm for the new flowers triggered a speculative frenzy now known as the tulip mania. Tulip bulbs became so expensive that they were treated as a form of currency, or rather, as futures. Around this time, the ceramic tulipiere was devised for the display of cut flowers stem by stem. Vases and bouquets, usually including tulips, often appeared in Dutch still-life painting. To this day, tulips are associated with the Netherlands, and the cultivated forms of the tulip are often called “Dutch tulips.” The Netherlands have the world’s largest permanent display of tulips at the Keukenhof.

Technical Details

This image was captured using a Canon EOS 5D MkII using an EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.  Exposure settings were at 1/125 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Friday Mystery Place – vol 16

Cheesy location

Last week’s entry was on the easy side, as the location was mentioned pretty quickly, which may have had something to do with the fact that it was the closing scene in the recent Star Wars movie (episode VII?), where Luke Skywalker was given back his light sabre.

Let’s see how this week challenges everyone…

Cheese Anyone?

Where are we?  This one shouldn’t be too difficult…

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/50 second at f/10 and 1600 ISO.