Ruminating

Ruminating:
ru·mi·nate

1. vti mull something over: to think carefully and at length about something
2. vi chew partially digested food: to regurgitate partially digested food and chew it again (refers to ruminants)

As usual, I have been thinking at length about a few things. That’s where today’s title comes from. I give you that definition of the title because I didn’t want you to think I have been re-chewing partially digested food.

The thoughts below are my opinions based on my observations, nothing more and nothing less.
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Watch or listen carefully to what people say. Politicians, lawyers and others are master manipulators of the common word. What word someone chooses to use, usually says what they want you to hear. Be that good or bad. The changing of a single word in a phrase, can bring a new meaning to that phrase. If you fry a hamburger patty and pick up the patty and eat it, you are eating hamburger, but you are not eating a hamburger. That would require a bun or bread. Of course hamburger is not actually hamburger, but rather it is ground beef. Words and phrases mean things and the differences can be subtle.

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While I’ve always made mention in my writings about those things that I found troublesome in the world around me, I also have tried to share those things I have found to be inspirational. Lately, there has been more criticism than compliments seeping from my keyboard. More concern than celebration. That is a legitimate sign of what I observe in the world around me but I do see the good as well.

When something comes to my mind I write it, finish it, and publish it. I do not set out to write about a subject, and say to myself that today I will point out the wrong, and tomorrow I will dedicate myself to the good. It just is what it is,

When the news of the day is selected and reported by the (so-called) news organizations of the 21st Century, it can be a struggle to find any joy.

The one exception I make on this blog is when I share the photography of others. That will remain the “sacred cow” here. Those posts are about beauty, art, and dedication.

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Which subjects are popular and which are not among nature photographers, changes year to year. If you view enough nature photography, and I view a lot of it, you can see the wave as it grows, reaches a peak, and then diminishes. It’s almost like all nature photographers worldwide, get together and make a decision on what to feature this year. No, I’m not conspiratorial enough to believe that but I do believe the internet, and the ease of access to it throughout the world, leads sometimes to a follow the leader mentality.

Flowers are always a popular subject with photographers, but I have noticed a big decline this spring and summer over what I’ve seen the past few years. The cosmos, including the Milky Way, star trails, moon shots, eclipses etc,. has been growing to the point that not a day goes by where I do not see such images. That too will eventually level off, but I am enjoying it while it lasts.

The photos below are mine and they are fairly old. Our shooting styles change and I believe it is smart for any photographer to observe the journey they are taking, or in my case the journey I’ve already taken.

In my earlier days of flower photography my favorite sort of image was a single flower, an unobtrusive background, and carefully placed focus and depth of field. The flowers were often whatever I found along a road or a path.

Thistles are gorgeous flowers. I have photographed hundreds of them and I will put them up against “classier” flowers any day.

I believe I found this one in a roadside ditch and I can see what my goal was. Find a blossom far enough from the background, then place my focus and DOF careful enough to hold sharpness in the important parts, and let everything else go soft. Most viewers of this image, especially if they are flower lovers, will not get past the fact that this is a common weed. If I do say so, I accomplished my vision pretty well here. Technically and artistically.1Thistle A

I had much more dramatic light to deal with in this picture of a Shooting Star. The light or lack there of in the background here, was not altered during editing. The low sidelight that barely graces the flower, is natural. It is also dramatic and moody. I don’t know what my f stop in this picture was, but my depth of field and point of focus just barely manages to cover enough foreground areas on the blossom, to make this dramatic image acceptable.2ss3

Once again we have the single flower, soft background, vertical image. The truth is, that vertical compositions work well with vertical growing flowers.  Sometimes the obvious is worth stating. There is enough sharpness in this picture of a Prairie Coneflower to adequately cover the blossom and the Tree Cricket that rests on it. One of my favorite things in life was to hike around looking for opportunities such as has presented themselves to me in these three instances, and bring my vision to fruition. Every day like that is a good one. As an aside, it certainly appears that those three mornings were relatively windless, although I have been known to wait a long time for that fraction of a second between gusts.3PrairieConeflower

There are more ways to photograph flowers than most other subjects. Getting in close, and eliminating the background altogether, is one of them. A few drops of dew, and once again being careful where my focus is. Another fun morning for me.4BongF

Of course, flowers are far from the only subject that presents the photographer with close-up opportunities. A dew covered blade of grass can be as satisfying as a colorful flower. Once again, it is all about depth of field and point of focus. A bothersome background was controlled by using a shallow depth of field. Notice that my point of focus covered the front part of the blade and the dew on it with sharpness, while the drops on the back part of the blade are soft and out of focus.5Grass Dew a

Its about showing what you want to show. That can often be accomplished by careful use of your camera (a tool) and your knowledge.

God Bless and have a great day,                                                                                              Wayne

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