A Touch of Green for Saint Patrick

Everything's Comin' Up Clover Have you ever wondered how the shamrock symbol is related to Saint Patrick's Day? In case there's anyone who hasn't heard the reason before now, I'd like to share a story one of the tour guides in Ireland told us about Saint Patrick reaching down, plucking a clover leaf, to use as a visual aid to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. This just struck me as such quick thinking, as well as a practical and visual way to explain a sometimes difficult concept. The lovely little shamrock symbols are plentiful in Ireland, and you can even find them atop the Dublin street lamp posts. Oh Ireland (SIGH inserted here). I'm coming back to visit some day. But, until I do, this one day in March will have to suffice.

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, here's an Irish Blessing for you, my friends.

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Historic Day

1011_Italy_698 I just watched the news coverage of the announcement of Pope Francis. Wow! It was amazing to watch from afar. And, speaking of watching from afar, the images of the piazza and Vatican Square made me feel like I was in Rome and Vatican City, even though it's been over two years since I stood there. (The image above was taken inside St. Peter's Basilica if you don't recognize it.) What a momentous occasion and celebration for those vacationers and spring breakers who were there by chance.

A Wonderful Quote For Wednesday

Pink Tulips

"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger."

Norman Vincent Peale

April Irises

Iris This weekend I stopped by the log cabins because they have a lot of white irises, commonly referred to as "White Cemetery Iris", in bloom. These lovely white beauties last a short time in the spring, so you can't procrastinate. How do I know this? Because that is precisely what I did last year and missed getting any photos. Anyway, there were these two purple irises that really stood out, so I of course I tried to capture them (see the white ones in the background). I really didn't think much about it until I got home and uploaded my photos. As I was adding keywords, I did a quick search to make sure I was correctly identifying the flowers and found this on the Aggie Horticulture site:

"An often-repeated gardeners' tale about White Cemetery iris is that they "take over" patches of purple iris until very quickly the purple blooms are gone for good. Even though this should not happen if iris don't set seed, there are plenty of people who swear they have seen individual plants which began with purple flowers, then with purple and white, until finally only white remained."

Could this patch be in the midst of a "take-over"? Have you seen any other "take-overs" in your area? Well, that's it for useless trivia for now. Enjoy the irises because they don't last long.

Flowers

  Tulip in Vase

Tulip (Macro)

I've been having fun practicing my macro photo skills lately. It has become a good excuse to buy myself flowers every now and then.

Tulip on Green

I plan to compose some more creative shots, but the flowers aren't lasting, and I haven't taken the time to pull out all of my props to set up a more pleasing composition. I'm also trying to experiment with some high key looks, so that has taken priority over the staging. It shouldn't be that hard but, I was trained back in the high-contrast world of black and white film photography, so it's been a struggle to figure out the best way to achieve the look I have in mind. I think I'm having trouble achieving the high-key look, mostly because it all seems counter-intuitive to me. Added to the learning curve is the fact that I tend to research the research and, days later, I'm afraid I'm no further along in the knowledge/skills area. (Oh, if only "Grasshopper" had a personal photography mentor with all the answers ...) The good news is that when it "clicks" for me, I'm going to OWN the knowledge and not just guess or hit a preset button. So, I'm considering these my warm-up exercises for those beautiful spring flowers that should be, hopefully, peeping out any day now.

 

I [Heart] Macro Photography

Just like black and white photography, I've always been smitten with macro photography. I was fortunate enough to take a Macro Photography Boot Camp from Mike Moats recently. I really admire his work and his workshop was a real treat. He even brought some of his macro photography booty to let us all practice taking our own photos. Here is the workings of a pocket watch he brought. Oh, and he even loaned me the 90mm lens I used on this bad boy! Now that's what a Boot Camp is all about people. ;-) Tick Tock

What I've Been Doing

I intended to be much more active with Social Media in 2013, but, clearly, I'm off to a dismal start. I also decided to shore up my Color Theory and Composition skills, which has taken on a life of it's own. The more I study, the more I want to learn and I've been neglecting everything else. I didn't think that posting any of my sketches, reading materials or color swatches would be of interest, so I didn't post anything and kept studying. See! Not so interesting. Time Consuming, but not interesting.

However, since the weather has been so lovely, I took a trip to the Botanical garden in Austin, Texas last week AND I was lucky enough to attend a photography workshop in Irving, Texas this weekend. I hope to work on a photo or two to show you this week. Hang in there with me.

The 2012 Party is Over!

As we look forward to beginning a new year with a fresh start, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to wish each of you a 2013 full of abundant blessings, good health, and filled to the brim with rich moments for which memories are made. Thank you for giving me the gift of your time and support. Happy New Year!