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Posts from the ‘Flowers’ Category

Season’s Greetings

2020, what can one say that hasn’t already been said? Nothing that could be shared on a family site, that’s for sure. Like nearly everyone else on the planet, my life was turned upside down in March of this year. My day job, which I love very much, is that of a professor, really a teacher. I am fortunate enough to have the chance to work with some truly terrific students. In March, they rallied in spite of everything that was going on, and we, the faculty, tried to keep up with them. Actually, most of us tried to help them which was tough because we were caught in the same fire storm.

When you are trying to teach or learn (or probably do anything), everything on line is more difficult than it is face to face. Everything takes more time. Everything takes more energy. You are much less sure of whether or not you are being understood and whether or not you are understanding your students. There is almost no time for “chatting” which turns out to be one of the most important activities in which humans engage. Chatting is where we really find out the truth, what is going on, how someone else is doing, and how you’re doing. You can’t schedule an accidental chat on line.

I have had 110 students in the fall, 85 or so more this spring. Luckily, the spring folks are people who I got to know in the fall. We did a sprint in the fall semester, August 24 till the day before the Thanksgiving (U.S.) break. No vacation days, no holidays, just keep at it. But we got some good work done and we got to know one another. Now we are in the middle of a two month break before we go into another sprint. I have to say, I miss them, most of the time….

But I’m OK, the family is OK, no one who was close to us got the virus….and hopefully we’ll keep it that way. We were blessed with a new granddaughter in January, before the roof caved in. We can all whine with the best of em, but we really are very fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Some of my students (my students are all online and all over the world) did get covid. They have all survived. It’s terribly real and terribly frightening. Don’t believe for a second that some young people as well as their families don’t become terribly ill. They do. In the U.S. we screwed this up royally. It didn’t have to be as bad as it has become. Help, as everyone knows, is on the way. Everyone in my world is anxious to take the vaccine and get on with life (though we all know that it won’t be that simple or that quick).

So the photographic work had to take a bit of a back seat. I do have two large projects underway and hopefully the galleries will be opening by the fall. I will be returning to blog writing from here on out, as I love it, and I don’t like the limitations and craziness of Facebook, etc. The two projects I do have underway have some serious angst attached, not surprisingly, so they didn’t seem right for the season.

Fortunately, I had an alternative. If you’ve read this blog for a while you may recall these images. They are from a series titled, “The Color in the Grass.” These are very high key images of fall grasses taken at the Broadmore Audubon location in Natick, Massachusetts. On a lark, I entered them in a juried exhibition pool at Photoplace Gallery in Vermont, the exhibition being appropriated titled “Botanicals.” Amazingly, one of them made the cut.

Those of you who like botanical/flower imagery should take a look at the exhibition, which is posted on line. You can find it here. The imagery in the show is amazing. I can’t for the life of me figure out why my image was chosen, but nevertheless, I appreciate the honor! Here are some additional images from the set, a seasons greetings to you all. Here’s to a much better 2021!

Dying Grass

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All images from Broadmore, Audubon Society, South Natick, Massachusetts, Fall 2017.

A Bit of Gratitude

It is Memorial Day in the United States.  This is a day on which we remember those we have lost.  In particular of course we remember those who sacrificed so much to maintain our freedoms and our way of life, as well as our family members and friends.  I don’t handle loss particularly well, but I am reminded on days like this that we have a great deal to be thankful for, so I’ll take it in that direction.  Here’s a very short video I made recently of something for which we all should be grateful (or at least those of us who are lucky enough to have access to it) fresh drinking water.  This is from Fever Brook as it cuts its way through the Federated Women’s Club State Forest in New Salem, Massachusetts.  Fever Brook feeds into the Quabbin Reservoir, source of drinking water for much of Eastern Massachusetts.  Our drinking water exists in large measure because of the sacrifice of those who came before us.  Sacrifice, painful as it is, is what makes all of what we value possible.   (This video looks infinitely better in HD, but if you don’t have a good connection, hit the HD button in the lower right and you’ll see it at a lower resolution.)

Tech Note:  This video was actually shot on the new Panasonic GH4, in 4K believe.  It is then down sampled to give a better looking HD video, at least that’s the theory.  We’re still working on the implementation here I think but you will hopefully see some better work in the future.

Happy Spring from a Calla Lily

Finally, it’s spring.  For those of you for whom this relates, also let me wish you a Happy Easter.  It’s still cold outside though and the flowers are only beginning to take a stand.  As such, I retreated to the studio for some spring time inspiration.  Nothing over the top, went over to Stop and Shop and picked up a Calla Lily.  This plant though was a real trooper.

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However, without realizing it, I have left myself open to a major charge of copycatitis.  I am a regular follower of the blog of Stephen Gingold who is a superb nature and fine art photographer located in western Massachusetts, not far from the Quabbin.  He just posted a stunning black and white flower image, something he has done before.  I didn’t really copy him, but have sure been inspired by his by his use of black and white photography to capture the wonderful lines and textures of flowers.  If you want to see Stephen’s incredible black and white flower work (among other subjects), click here.

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Why black and white flower photography?  Good question.  This particular subject has lovely magenta petals.

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I think every photographer would have to address that question on a personal level.  I am in love with the design of flowers, much as I am in love with the design of the dam and dike at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Flowers though are natural.  Close to being perfect, but that wouldn’t be natural.

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The flowers are alike, and they relate to one another, yet they each have their own identity.  Nature really blesses us with incredibly appealing designs, flowers are among her greatest hits in my view.  But we tend to think about the beauty if flowers (I should say I tend to think) as been largely related to their wonderful colors.  But there is much more.

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In this sense, I think, black and white (or in this case monochrome since these images are actually sepia) represent another window on one of nature’s most intriguing mysteries:  the beauty of flowers.  Enjoy the nice weather.

Perhaps They Are Trying to Tell us Something

The snow is rapidly melting, and it is actually quite warm.  I’ve been working on a variety of other projects, but when I come down to the dining room in the morning, there they are, those wonderful tulips.  Each day, they present in such a different a delightful way.  Perhaps Sandra and Alicia gave Chris super flowers.  Regardless, they seem to be trying to tell us something.

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Perhaps we’ve turned the corner.

Hunt-130310_093627-EditOr perhaps we should just count our blessings.