Mid-Week Monochrome #15 – Flowers

I got inspired by Amy‘s response to Ryan Photography‘s mid-week photo challenge and converted some flower photos to monochrome. Bren Ryan’s photo is truly dramatic, which is hard to achieve with most flowers, especially pastels in bright light.  Here are my attempts:

“What have you learned, Dorothy?”
That we’re back in Kansas? And that dramatic lighting contrast, simple structure, and sharp focus are pretty essential for a good-looking monochrome flower. 

Lens-Artists Challenge: Shadows

Tina at Travels & Trifles illustrated her challenge with a beautiful opening photo of shadow that evokes spaciousness, loneliness, and the passage of time. As the Earth turns and the Sun’s light falls at different angles, shadows lengthen, shade increases, and cool darkness creeps over stationary objects.

There’s something mournful in that, although it needn’t be. Change is not all good or all bad.  Monochrome isn’t really black & white.  It’s gray.

  
In the end, shadows cast depth and perspective on our view of our selves and our little lives. They keep us humble. 

Lens-Artists Challenge: Seasonal

Winter in Wisconsin can be very monochromatic. I do tend to feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and remind myself to take Vitamin D and get outside on any day when the sun shines. The challenge is to embrace this fact and celebrate it. So then why not embrace all the seasons in monochrome? It seems counter-intuitive, for the colors of the rest of the seasons are, I think, their most spectacular features. But a challenge should be challenging. Can I find visual interest in photos of all the seasons without color? Let’s find out.
Here we go…WINTER.

SPRING…

SUMMER…

and FALL. 

You know what? That was pretty fun. I do mourn the loss of color, but without it, I appreciate form, texture, and contrast all the more.
Thank you, Tina, for hosting this seasonal challenge!

Photography 101: Architecture

I notice something about my architecture preferences.  I don’t have very many shots of modern, abstract, minimalist architecture.  I prefer old buildings, old styles which mirror nature in their profusion of contrasting textures, lines and patterns.  I suppose I find the clean and “techie” look sterile and scientific.  It’s just not me.  I’m not Danish modern.  I’m Victorian, more likely, all gingerbread and painted lady.  My mother would shake her head,  “Just more difficult to dust.”  Who dusts, anyway? 😉

(go ahead and click on these for a bigger view)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

Yucca curl - ancestral pueblo people used these fibers for many purposes.

Yucca curl

You might think that desert living is minimalist living.  I mean, what’s out there?  How do you survive on nothing? (see my post “Wilderness and the Myth of Nothing” here).  Native ancestral pueblo dwellers made a lot of useful things out of the very simple materials in their environment.  Like yucca fibers.  They’re strong and fine.  Sandals, baskets, and rope were made from them.  The rest of the plant was used for even more things like shampoo and paintbrushes.  Yeah, paintbrushes.  They had time for art in their ‘minimal’ lives.  Go figure. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

The Weekly Photo Challenge prompt invites us to interpret the theme “Between”.  This response is dedicated to my oldest, Susan.  When she was a little girl in Kindergarten, she memorized a poem by A. A. Milne (the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories) and performed it for the K-3rd grade Speech and Oratorical Contest of her elementary school.  Here is the poem:

Before Tea by A. A. Milne

Emmeline
Has not been seen
For more than week. She slipped between
The two tall trees at the end of the green…
We all went after her. “Emmeline!”

“Emmeline,
I didn’t mean —
I only said that your hands weren’t clean.”
We went to the trees at the end of the green…
But Emmeline
Was not to be seen.

Emmeline
Came slipping between
The two tall trees at the end of the green.
We all ran up to her. “Emmeline!
Where have you been?
Where have you been?
Why, it’s more than week!” And Emmeline
Said, “Sillies, I went and saw the Queen.
She says my hands are purfickly clean!”

 

Susan did not perform this poem ‘purfickly’.  As I recall, she left rather a long pause between the second and third stanzas, perhaps for dramatic effect, perhaps to indicate that some time goes by in that part.  The audience began to applaud too early.  Nevertheless, her memory was perfect, and she finished in her own time, in her little 5-year old lisp, “Thillieth…”, and I was, of course, inordinately proud of her. I still am.  I visited her this past Sunday, and we went for a stroll in the UW Madison Arboretum, where she slipped between the branches of trees — like this:

between