Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Muse? Flora, Goddess of Flowers

[Louise Abbema, "Flora," 1913]

Over at Shutter Sisters, a great site (check it out), Kim raises the question, "What is your muse?"  For me, I guess it's flowers.  I'm stalking the elusive shot in my garden all the time; my calendar is full of the dates of the annual show of every kind of flower society in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.  I love to go to those flower shows because they present a wonderful challenge -- they're often held in the high school cafeteria (horrible lighting), people are milling around (can't use a tripod, can't get in people's way), the backgrounds are awful (worn-out cafeteria tables with labels all over them).  I love seeing what I can get in these awful conditions and consequently am tickled to death when something comes out right.

Most recently, I've gone to the Santa Cruz Orchid Society show.  The orchids were fabulous, but the conditions even worse than usual -- it was overcast and rainy outside, rendering the lighting even more inadequate.  Still, it was fun, and I came out with some good pictures, using my trusty 40D and a monopod (one of my favorite camera accessories).  

The background image on my blog is from that day; here's the complete picture:


The flowers on this orchid (I don't know it's official name) are the little orange string-of-beads things -- it's a neat plant.  I really enjoy the ones that have odd little "flowers" -- some of the orchids are very strange.


[Life-n-Reflection, Weekend Texture Twist]


This is a beautiful orchid -- it was sitting right by the window so the light coming in was very nice, and with some judicious cloning, I got it to look pretty good, I think.


[All textures are from Flypaper Textures]
This one came out well, too -- I like the way the flowers look like they're spilling down the frame.  


Although textures won't go far in fixing bad photography, they can be very helpful in camouflaging messy or otherwise inappropriate backgrounds, and they can cover up some of the cloning you will need to do in those cases, to get the attention onto the main subject where it belongs.  


I hope that Flora would be pleased with my offering.


[Sandro Boticelli, detail from "Primavera," c. 1482]
   

14 comments:

Evelyn S. said...

Thank you for visiting my 'textured barn'...and leaving a comment. I believe you have a delightful muse, and your resulting photographs, taken in challenging circumstances, are also delightful!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, Evelyn -- I love barns and all aspects of agriculture too -- lots of great photo ops there.

Tezzie said...

Truly beautiful...and, I'm so impressed with the results, especially considering the tricky conditions!!!

Thanks so much for your kind comment at my place :D

mdawnt1 said...

OK, so now I get why textures are used. An informative blog, with great images! Dawn

Kristy said...

Very pretty texture twists!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, Tezzie and Dawn -- I appreciate it!

Henrietta said...

I never have thought what is my muse but I think it also flowers. Lovely shots

Mom Photographer said...

your twists are great! all of them! can't pick the favorite!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thank you, Henrietta -- I do think it's your muse, too, from the beautiful flower pictures I've seen on your site! Thanks also, Mom Photographer. I appreciate the comments --

AJ said...

So pretty...love Orchids! Great textures...

jillconyers said...

Beautiful photos. I love the way you used the texture.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, AJ and Jill. I appreciate your stopping by.

Robin said...

These are all so beautiful!! I really love the texture on all of them too!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much, Robin --