Desert Lily

1/250 th, f-2.8, ISO 100, 90 mm Tamron macro lens
1/250th, f-2.8, ISO 100, 90 mm Tamron macro lens

Doing some macro experiments with my old Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D DSLR and my Tamron 90mm f 2.8 macro lens. Today I photographed our desert lily, a present to Anita from our niece, Avril, years ago. It produces beautiful blooms some years and this was a good year. The plant sits in the dining room bay window during the winter and gets placed on our deck once the risk of frost is gone. It is back in the house now.

I have not done much really close-up macro photography, so I re-read my Freeman Patterson primer, Photographing the World Around You, and set up the camera on a tripod. I played with camera angle, f-stop and shutter speed. Of course, manual focus was used interpretatively.

This was the first photo I took and is arguably the best – by accident. I didn’t have the focus perfect on the foremost petal’s tip as I’d intended, but the crisp highlights in the curve underneath it were brought out. Also, there was a tiny thread of dust attached to the petal that distracted from the overall effect when the focus was where I had wanted it – impossible to see in the Maxxum’s outdated, small monitor playback. Learning requires patience and serendipity behaved, as usual, as my best friend.

I selected three photos for this post. They will be up as soon as FB zeroes in on this one above for the link to this post. (I don’t like the way FB locks onto one photo of IT’S choosing for the link so that any future attempts to use a different photo are made impossible.)

Here they are:

The first two are unaltered. In the last one the only change was a 30% enhancement of its saturation, which had the effect of increasing the brightness of the top-left curl.

“Passionate Caring” or My Favorite Photographer

Autumn's Graces (copyright 2006) with permission
Autumn’s Graces (copyright 2006) with permission

My eldest (of three) daughter introduced me to Freeman Patterson’s work back in the 1990’s. She gave me his early book, Photographing The World Around You, A Visual Design Workshop, published in 1994. It is full of my pink highlighting because of the wonderful, simple way this great ~170 page book describes how to compose a photo. He is, for me, the consummate artist and teacher. I use ideas gleaned from this book and another, entitled Photography And The Art Of Seeing, in my humble work. I have nowhere near a true devotion to this art (photography being only one of my interests) but respect those, like Patterson, who do possess such commitment and insight.

Since a majority of the people whom I’ve met in the wordpress community have an interest in photography, I thought I would bring him to your attention.

Patterson, from Shampers Bluff, New Brunswick, not only loves his art; he does good with it and because of it. He has won nineteen major awards over his illustrious career including, in 1985, the Order of Canada (C.M.).

He is a generous philanthropist with a sensitive caring about, and a deep commitment to, Mother Earth. He is responsible for preserving from development  a beautiful part of Africa that he loves to photograph: Namaqualand. From his website’s Art Statement I’ve taken the following:

…no amount of technical knowledge and competence is, of itself, sufficient to make a craftperson into an artist. That requires caring — passionate caring about ultimate things. For me there is a close connection between art and religion in the sense that both are concerned about questions of meaning — if not about the meaning of existence generally, then certainly about the meaning of one’s individual life and how a person relates to his or her total community/environment.

His work is absolutely beautiful and unique. He works only in film. He is 75 this year. He gives amazing workshops. Check him out.