The Bird of Paradise is a fantastic flower, both in its color and its crazy, crazy stamen. I’d accuse it of compensating for something, but, um, stamens kind of ARE the flower’s male sexual organs.
As our summer season draws to a close, I find myself finishing a project. My novel, which I’m currently calling An Imperfect Reflection, is juuuuust about finished. This is one of the hardest parts of writing a novel. Finding the line between ‘almost done’ and ‘done’ is orders of magnitude harder than writing that first line. It’s even harder than writing that squishy part in the middle when the excitement has worn off and writing is mostly just work. I’ve revised and polished, again and again.
The clematis is one of my favorite flowers in my landscape. Every year it surprises me, because it’s really only visible from the hammock. Anywhere else in the back yard and there just isn’t a sight line to it. Nap for a little bit in the garden, though, and you’ll find this guy looking down at you:
Gencon was, once again, a blast. I got to meet so many great writers, some of whom I’d met before only on social media. I also got to play a lot of games with old friends and new, and that’s really what Gencon is all about.
I’ve bought a new house, and that makes these pictures all the more meaningful to me. Not only are these images a way to share the beauty of my garden, but now they’re going to be how I remember them. When I moved into this house there were no trees, hardly any flowers, and a whole lot of turf problems. As I get ready to sell the house, I can reflect upon the gorgeous oaks and the fact that something is flowering here every single non-frozen day out of the year. I feel I’ve really accomplished something in this landscape.
It’s a work of art, really. One that not many people are ever going to get to experience. I hope the new owner appreciates it.
If not, well, that’s fine, too. By then I’ll have moved on.
Playing with color balance and composition a little bit this week. I’m also messing with textures in Photoshop again, which is almost as much fun as snapping the original picture. It’s possible to drastically alter the feel of a photo like this. The oil painting filter is fantastic for flattening an image, and I feel that it works particularly well for this shade of green.
The only news this week is that I’ll be at Gencon all week. I make the long drive on Wednesday, which I expect to go quickly since I will be listening to Infomocracy the whole way.
This was another fine example of direct sunlight messing with a perfectly gorgeous purple flower. It’s not that light is a bad thing, necessarily, it’s just that there’s too much of it. Shadows become too pronounced and colors can get washed out.
There are solutions, of course. A lot of photographers carry around white pieces of cardboard or paper to reflect sunlight and adjust shadows. Flashes can, in theory, help, too. I’ve never gotten mine to help all that much, though. Consider this a reminder to myself to start practicing some solution to this.
In the end, photoshop was my savior here. I used it to increase the vibrance of those foreground flowers and decrease the saturation on the background. That lets me draw the eye to the subject nicely. It’s not my favorite purple flower, but it’s nice.
In other news, I’m, um, in the news. With a quote. The Thursdays on First booth for Rochester Writers has been really excellent this year. There are two more days that you can find us out there. August 18th, and August 25th. Until then, you’re probably just going to have to take a look at buying my books the old fashioned way: through Amazon.
One of the great things about vacation is that I have lots of free time to take pictures. Of flowers. Lots of pictures of flowers. In fact, I’m going to keep milking this road trip through the American Southwest for as long as I can.
We’ve hardly made a dent.
Let’s see, any writing news? Well, Peace in an Age of Metal and Men is doing quite nicely. It’s selling well at the Thursdays on First booth and the post CONvergence bump in sales was better than I expected (I expected nothing, so…) My current project is nearing the end of a massive, massive round of revisions and is approaching a final form. Stay tuned for news.
Speaking of news, my newsletter is going out soon. It’ll have some cool stuff in it including some nice discounts. If you’d like to get signed up for that, well, click on something, I guess.
Today’s flower is something I captured in Zion National Park. We were in a hurry, there wasn’t much time to set up and take lots of shots. Really, I just snapped the pic as quickly as I could and moved on.
I knew I loved the colors of this. The positioning of the two flowers in frame was wonderful and the depth of field came out great. One problem, though.
The picture was every so slightly blurry. Something didn’t focus quite right. At first I thought the image lost, but, I mean, I own a photoshop license. I might as well try it, right?
The result after some fancy filters is artistically one of my favorite pieces. The color and composition are just as I originally envisioned them, and I love the flattened, oil painting texture that Photoshop allowed me to add. It’s a nice piece and it graduated to the coveted position of Picture that Sometimes Rotates Into the Background on my Desktop.