“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth,
and without light nothing flowers.” May Sarton
This is the time of year when I can drive to the tundra at Rocky Mountain National Park. The tundra area is 12,000 feet high and a very harsh environment. There are no trees and the wildflowers that grow are only about an inch in height. Yet, there is a delightful garden during the summer growth season. Below are the buds of the Moss Campion ready to burst with one lone wildflower already in bloom. This is the time of year when I practice macro photography and learn to experience, again, the great quality of patience.
Here are additional photographs of the intimate landscape of tundra flowers. It is July and the flowers are a spectacular array of color in the tundra environment. Since it is very windy in the tundra, macro photography is quite the challenge. It was probably around 30 degrees the morning that I photographed these flowers. The top featured image is a medley of Western Wallflower, Alpine Phlox and Moss Campion. The image in this post is Dwarf Clover. Enjoy!
I still love the challenge of macro photography. It involves not only a connection to the earth (for example, the wind) but also one’s choice regarding focus. This part of macro photography always reminds of my life – my choices and what I am choosing to focus on with my thoughts and time. I know that this is a recurring theme on my blog. However, the process of life involves constant diligence.
I cannot believe that it is the end of summer already. So, I wanted to share some of the beautiful wildflowers that I have experienced. I tend to do a lot of macro photography, however, sometimes it is best to view an array of wildflowers covering a broad area. When they move in unison with the wind, they become nature’s choreographed dance of delight – just to be…
May this bouquet of wildflowers brighten your day and make you smile.
“The earth laughs in flowers.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is beautiful Mt. Crested Butte after a storm and there is something very etheric and spiritual about this image. The brilliant light appears in the sky as the rainbow fades. Light, cresting the top of the mountain, beckons our attention. The wildflowers sparkle after their evening bath as their colors display a more saturated deep hue. The entire visual seems to convey the divine and divinity. Each day is not always sunny and a storm does brings new light and glory. It is like life. Each day may have its challenges, however, each experience brings forth a new depth to our character. Many years ago, I wrote: “When we accept the rain in our life as growth, we are sure to see a quiet development of our character.” I think these words are still true today. I acknowledge all those who face the storms of life with courage and, as a result, become better people. Your new-found courage allows you to reflect the light of your brilliant personality and convey a deep conviction for your truth. I honor you all…
Elements of good photographic composition include a combination of shapes, lines, balance and repetition of design. These photographs were taken early morning, immediately after sunrise, and have nice compositional elements. There are matching crescent shaped upward and downward arcs (as many as 3 in one photograph) with the beautiful lupine and mountains and sky. Also, I used hyper-focal distance focusing with my wide angle lens to get both the flowers and distant mountains in focus. There is a free App that you can download onto your phone ipone.dofmaster.com that you may find helpful with this technique. You just dial in your camera type, lens (multiply a digital lens by a factor of 1.5) and f-16 to determine the distance your camera needs to be set from the foreground and the hyper-focal distance on your camera lens. For example, I was using a 17 mm wide angle lens and multiplied it by 1.5 to get a 25 mm lens setting for my calculations. Sounds complicated? Well, it is until you practice it. Also, once you determine your numbers/settings, they are always the same for your specific wide angle lens. Hyper-focal distance is worth studying and it is a great technique for placing wildflowers as a foreground center of attention in photographs. I want to thank Raynor Czerwinski, a photographer in Crested Butte, who helped me to learn the technique. Check out his website at www.lucidlandscape.com and, if you are ever in Crested Butte, it is worth it to take photography lessons with him. He is a good instructor and knows his craft well.
In the previous post titled “Divinity,” there are two very nice compositional elements and I challenge you to find them. There are two triangles in the green landscape – one on the left that is light green and one on the right that is a darker green. Also, the lighting on the mountain matches the triangle shapes and adds repetition of design. Enjoy!
Macro photography is one of my favorite types of photography. I love to see and feel the complex design and shapes of flowers. I love to feel intimate with the landscape. Also, macro photography involves a lot of patience waiting for the wind to be still as many of these photographs require exposures of 1 second or longer. I used a 60 mm macro lens for these columbine images and two of them were photographed immediately following an afternoon rain. So, the raindrops were still visible and clinging to their newly-chosen home. Please check out my “New Images Gallery” to see more columbine that were photographed during this photo excursion. The key to good composition with macro photography is creating a background that is not distracting to the main flower. So, be aware of depth of field and intentionally create blur in the background with camera settings. Also, getting key elements of the flower in focus (for example: pistil, petal and raindrop in the featured photograph) creates the “wow” factor.
Crested Butte, CO, is known for its wildflowers and festival to celebrate them in July. Recently, I traveled to this area and participated in a Wildflower Photography class led by our instructor Keith Snell. Keith is a great photography teacher and you might want to check out his Spirit of Photography website. I participated in this class last year and it may become a yearly experience for me as it is awesome! These scenes exemplify the outstanding color variations of nature photography.