Black-eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta
Common Fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus
(Click pictures to enlarge)
"I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting." ~ Harry Callahan
Gray days give better colored pictures... less glare and fewer shadows in the way, a softer light. But these Black-eyed Susans shine and gleam on their own as if they grabbed every tiny molecule of light on this cloudy day and concentrated it into the substance of their yellow petals; enough shine to make their own shadows. Sharing the stage are the small white fleabane, with tiny yellow suns dotting the background. I can imagine laying on the ground looking up at a canopy of these wildflowers overhead, smelling the warm fresh earth and watching as they sway hypnotically back and forth in the light summer breeze. What a joy to experience nature through childlike eyes!
"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever . . . it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." ~ Aaron Siskind
I have a lot of cats, I've had a lot of cats down through the years and they have all lived to a relatively old age. They go through the stages of life as we all do. Kittens play and jump and tumble an are quick, often too quick for the camera.. little blurs running around. Then suddenly, they drop... sound asleep, like babies have to take small naps in between making large noise. In young adulthood the cat is most interesting to photograph; a bit slower with more refined movement, he is interested in everything and often provides moments of comic bliss to capture on film.
Now, my cats have entered the "golden years" of life; all five are over 11 years old and no longer enticed by the latest catnip toy. They have developed sophisticated wants... a certain banana shaped catnip toy, a certain ball and mouse... all others lay dormant and untouched. Life is slow... no more fast movements, high leaps or intense curiosity... except for Mr. Rhett.. but that is a different story. Now, the cats sit for portraits, sometimes I think you could leave the shutter open for four or five seconds and they wouldn't move; the most difficult task is getting them to open their eyes for a good look at those baby blues. You wouldn't believe how many shots I get with eyes half open.
Soon, all too soon, they will pass on to be with the others who have gone before and I cannot stop time... except in pictures. So, even if the portraits tend to look the same and they sometimes show less than suave perfect fur... I still try to see that little spark behind the eye.. that shows how different each cat remains even now. And they are...unique... beautiful... friends.
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." ~ Ansel Adams
Sepia or black and white photos speak of age and wisdom. Our eyes and brains interpret what we see in color... and because of this, only the monochrome pictures can reveal mysteries that our eyes miss. These shots level the playing field for the flower... a lowly, dull, looked over plant brings as much beauty as the vibrant red rose. I love the colorful camellia flowers in our botanical garden.. they give life and warmth to the winter months here in Virginia. But I also love the delicate yet strong look that this sepia shot gives.
I chose three very different pictures for three different memes today... Mellow Yellow Monday, Blue Monday and Monochrome Maniacs (Monochrome Weekly).. these sites have many more participants with gorgeous photos. Please visit them to feast your eyes.
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