C.P. #5: Something Different

In focus, glowing brightly!

In any creative endeavor, we can find ourselves in a proverbial rut sometimes. This has happened a number of times during all the years that I have dabbled in the photographic arts; across nearly 50 years of photography, one looks to learn and improve. When I struggle to see improvement in my work, I tend to question the why behind my photography, which might lead down a couple of rabbit holes!

Luckily, photography is not a one-dimensional means of expression, as there are lots of choices to make to get that image you might be after. Aperture, shutter speed and composition are starting points. Of course, the equipment we use for a particular shot matters, as it did in this image from 2009…

Zone Plate Yellow no. 1

At first glance, you might ask what is so unusual about an image that is out of focus? The catch is that this image is not out of focus. It was captured with a Lensbaby Composer using a zone plate lens. You may ask what all this means, unless you too have dabbled with this kind of lens.

A zone plate lens is effectively a series of rings surrounding a center hole with each of the clear zones of these rings equalling the area of the center hole; thus each zone gets thinner as you move away from the center of the zone plate. You may still be scratching your head, and I could tell you that the zone plate uses diffraction for focusing rather than refraction, the way a standard lens works. Based on analysis by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, the lens was constructed with the spacing of zones to create constructive interference of the diffracted light, thus producing the image.

This might still sound a bit odd, so let me share that one of the effects is that the detail of the image is given a surrounding glow, as you can see in the above shot. This might be an effect that one tries to achieve in post-processing; for me, it is enjoyable to capture this intent right in camera. The post-processing that I applied consisted mostly of raising contrast and bumping up saturation to create a more vibrant image. There also was a bit of retouching of dust spots on the sensor, as the zone plate has an effective aperture of f/22.

I’m curious to hear what type of photography equipment options you use to boost your creative juices. Let me know.

Sunday Snapshot

Simple objects made into art!

For this Sunday, I thought I’d share another snap from our visit to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, Massachusetts.

Jellyfish Afloat

The artful displays for the Night Lights event were everywhere and one of the indoor areas had us walking through an ocean of beauty, including this gorgeous creation.

What caught my eye is that most of the displays were made from everyday objects, including this one. Many recyclables were used to show how our simplest items can be turned into an imaginative display.

Goodbye to 2022

Happy New Year!

As we started this year, 364 days ago now, we knew that it couldn’t be as bad as the year(s) we lost to COVID; we held out hope and a conviction that things were looking up!

Guess what? 2022 turned out pretty good, and I, for one, am even more optimistic about 2023, as we turn over the next leaf…

B&W Leaf under Red Light

Like this leaf, life started looking a lot better over the past year, as we started traveling again (Iceland and river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for personal travel). Inspiration started coming back with a more positive outlook, which turned to creating more images. Work, albeit insanely busy, allowed me to take an entirely new look on how to organize a modern software development organization (looking forward to the rollout of this in 2023).

I feel that the momentum is there once again, and I plan to keep moving things forward!

Oh yes, the image… I photographed this leaf during the Night Lights event at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill; the lighting on this leaf was red, which led me to take the black&white direction.

Happy New Year to one and all and I look forward to sharing our future explorations!

Ex Terra Orbis

Orbs of light travel among us!

There’s nothing better for finding inspiration to create some photographs than going to the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, MA! I’m lucky enough to live less than 10 minutes from this wonderful facility, so visits are fairly frequent!

Ex Terra Orbis

The walk through the Ramble area in the garden presents an intriguing array of spheres of various sizes, which subtly change their colors in a playful manner. I always love capturing them, as their mystery really comes across when contrasted with the dark that surrounds them.

Orbs Aglow

By juxtaposing some of these orbs, there is the opportunity to let our minds explore thoughts of their origins. In the above image, I might imagine that we’re looking at gigantic amphibian eggs that form loosely coupled clusters in the ether around us. Very fanciful imaginings of possible space amphibians that make a regular trip to our planet…

The above images were captured with an iPhone 13 Pro Max and processed with Skylum’s Luminar AI and touched up with Adobe Photoshop.

Taciturn Thursday – Ep. 1

A quiet moment with a statue

Last night, my wife and I visited Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Winter Lights; each winter holiday season, they do an amazing job creating a wondrous display of lights, which presents some interesting photo opportunities.

Cherub with Wheat Sheaf

Their lighting creates moments, such as this cherub, simply to be enjoyed and taken in.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 146

Beware of proffered fruit…

Welcome to the 146th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

First you rose to the occasion and then you went for more growth! What an amazing array of posts! Not only were you creative in your photos, but you also provided wonderful prose and poetry with them! There was also a bit of humor, which I always appreciate 🙂 Thank you for making this another week of fun reading and rounding up!

I hope that you also enjoy all these great posts!

Here’s a delectable growth…

Orange and the Lady

This shot comes from one of my many visits to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, which presents nearly unlimited material for any photographer. Its displays are filled with color, form, structure and combine Nature and human creations in stunning fashions!

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  1. In Don’t Hold Your Breath‘s wonderful post, we take a trip around the lovely town of Shillong!
  2. Nicole brings us up close to the new growth in her post in Une Photo, un Poéme; the brambles look brilliant!
  3. This week, pensivity101 helps us follow some fantastic growth: those ducklings look very cute!
  4. Shelley’s post in Quaint Revival lays out her plans for ensuring that the diet will be successful; it all starts with a pantry!
  5. In an excellent post in A Midnight Rider, we learn about the salt marshes of Cape Cod, which support the growth of much wildlife.
  6. Ron’s post in Progressing into Solitude brings us fresh growth on the coconuts; can’t wait to see the tree!
  7. Yinglan brings us a lot of wild plants in her post in This is Another Story; luckily they are not in her yard!
  8. In theonlyD800inthehameau‘s post, we get to enjoy a stunning photo, all the way from the Botanical Garden in Sydney!
  9. Na’ama’s poem in Na’ama Yehuda provides keen insight into the suddenness, with which life’s growth can catch us by surprise.
  10. Xenia brings us to the snowy dunes post in WhippetWisdom, which is a wonderful experience. In a second post in Tranature, Xenia takes us to the giving tree…
  11. With another gorgeous photo in Chateaux des Fleurs, we see the wonder of growth that carries promise.
  12. In Junk Boat Travels, Jackie brings us a to a favorite place of tequila lovers: a blue agave growth!
  13. Maria’s post in her blog KameraPromenader brings together the elements that create growth…
  14. Sarah’s photo in her post in By Sarah is stunning! Those pumpkins appear to grow everywhere!
  15. Ann-Christine’s post in To See a World in a Grain of Sand brings us a set of amazing photos capturing growth.
  16. With a really interesting photo in Geriatri’X’ Fotogallery, we see that there can be growth in beer…
  17. Robert’s images are simply gorgeous in his post in Photo Roberts Blog; they give an enticing view of growth!
  18. The growth captured in the images in firehorseworld portray most interesting examples of growth!
  19. In a tremendous post in the 59Club, we get to see a tree’s second life in its role as provider…
  20. Jase’s post in Proscenium gives us a fish out of water, which limits the growth of the fish, but contributes to our growth!
  21. In a truly awesome post in Heart to Heart, there’s plenty of importance shown for growth!
  22. Irene’s photo in her post in Heaven’s Sunshine shows how the tiny paperwhite narcissus is growing!
  23. In another lovely post in Anita’s Images, there’s plenty of growth to be seen with great photos!
  24. Debbie contributions this week are twice the fun, as in Travel with Intent, she captures the shrinking feeling. In a second post in Travel with Intent, Debbie brings what grew on us…
  25. In Pictures without Film, Ken shares the potential of growth that is locked within the pine cones.
  26. In an amazing post in Touring with Kids, we get to learn about growing greens in the middle of Iceland!
  27. In a lovely post in Reflections, we learn about aging gracefully. There’s some good advice there!
  28. Sandy focuses on growing slowly, but steady in her post in Out of my Write Mind, which is good for tethered souls!
  29. Penny’s lovely post in Penny Wilson Writes tells us of the importance of nurturing to allow for growth!
  30. Cee’s focuses on the mosses in her post in Cee’s Photography with a stunning set of photos!
  31. Mike captured the tenderest of growths in his post in PhotographyOCD! Imagine that becoming a tall sunflower!
  32. In a great post in Apple Pie and Napalm, we get to see some paperwhites growing up fast!
  33. Deb’s awesome post in Twenty Four has a fantastic capture of growth in all its beauty!
  34. In a cool post in Lillie-Put, Joseph shares some some growing things, which are lovely!
  35. Woolly’s post in Woolly Muses is a lovely scented reminder of the Tao of Poo! It’s amazing what grows on it!
  36. Kammie reminds us of something important in Nut House Central; Nature’s growth will take over!
  37. Ramya’s post in And Miles to go before I sleep… features a truly powerful growth: holy basil (tulsi), which is potent!
  38. Amy shares some of the joy in personal growth in Photography Journal Blog; there are some useful techniques here!
  39. In a lovely post in her blog ForgivingConnects, Debbie shares her journey and the importance of forgiveness and peace.
  40. In another great post in Banactee, we get introduced to a very grown-up trunk! (it’s not what you might think)
  41. Olga takes us on a walk through Nature in her post in Stuff, and what if…, where growth is stunning as always!
  42. In a cool post in Land of Images, we a reminded that growth can be of a very cold variety!
  43. In an amusing post in willowsoul, we learn the valuable lesson that growth is loving yourself!
  44. This week’s post in One letter UP – diary 2.0 not only has us looking up toward some beautiful growth!
  45. Another awesome post from sgeoil has one of my favorite areas of growth…go check it out!
  46. Khürt takes us into the woods in search of growth in his blog Island in the Net; he produced some amazing photos there!
  47. Liz’s contributes two posts this week; the first one in One Million Photographs has potential for something rather delicious in a short time! The second in One Million Photographs has a gorgeous mushroom!

Please let all of these great bloggers know your thoughts about their posts!

Turning a New Leaf

Beauty is everywhere!

As a follow up to this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge theme of Structure, I figure that I’d share another image from those I captured at Tower Hill Botanic Garden during last Sunday’s visit.

This image is of another leaf that is lit bu sunlight pouring through it…

Big Leaf

Hope you enjoy this image and have a wonderful weekend.


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