[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:
[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]
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]