The day started off rather cold, somewhere around 25F but as the day progressed the sun worked its magic and by mid-afternoon the temps were at 55F. Definitely time for a walk. I haven’t been out for a walk in quite some time (longer than I care to mention). The Sculpture Garden trails were calling me. As I approached the main parking area I found I was not alone in my desire to enjoy the afternoon warmth. Luckily for me I know where the second parking area is at the opposite end of the trails.
The photo opportunities were a little slim but I enjoyed the walk regardless. Surprisingly, most of the people were enjoying the disc golf course which left the trails fairly people free. I was surprised to find a few small dandelions in the grass along the paths. You know me, I couldn’t resist…
Saturday was another beautiful day in the Mohawk Valley. After lunch I went for a walk. This time I explored the trail along the Mohawk River going upstream. The round trip is roughly 3.5 miles. It is an easy, tree covered trail that provided plenty of opportunities for my macro lens. Of course, I couldn’t pass by the dandelions.
I really had to fight my normal process on this image. I typically convert the dandelion images to B&W but the soft green background was really making the dandelion head stand out. Considering the subject of this image is actual brown dandelion seeds, the green works as a nice contrast/balance. Don’t get me wrong, I have a B&W version of this image in case I ever change my mind… 🙂
I didn’t realize my dandelion obsession was contagious. My blogging friend Dawn couldn’t pass up an opportunity to photograph these intricate “weeds”. You can read about her adventure here.
Losing My Head Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/1250s, f/2.8, ISO 200
Early in the afternoon the sun started shine but I still had a few hours left before the workday would be over. Mother Nature was setting me up for a race, could I complete my work and enjoy the sun before the rain started? Luckily for me, I typically start work early and at 3pm I called it a day. I was going to use any advantage I could to feel sun on my face and enjoy the 78o temperature.
The dandelions had proliferated in the yard outside my apartment so I didn’t have to venture far to capture a few images while the sun warmed me up. Although the ground was still damp from the morning sprinkle I compensated by grabbing a grocery bag, the kind you had to buy when the state disallowed plastic bags, and used it kneel on as I captured my macro view on the yard.
It was a good thing I finished work early because by 4pm the sky darkened and the clouds opened up. It was a torrential downpour! The cats were not happy with the thunder rumbling along as the rain pooled in the yard. By the time it was done I had a little lake outside my living room window.
I switched up my view of this dandelion by placing the camera low and underneath it. The sky was only starting to darken and the lighter background would change the look of the dandelion seeds. I typically use the grass as a background to highlight the entire head of the dandelion, but with the almost white background you have to focus on the seeds backed by the interior of the dandelion head.
I like the monochrome look for most of my dandelion images and this one was no different. I did change it up slightly and applied a split tone effect. This is where you add a slight color to the highlights and shadows of a black & white image. For this particular image I added some very muted yellow to the highlights and blue to the shadows. When balanced well it can create a striking enhancement to an image.
Ready to Fly Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/2000s, f/2.8, ISO 200
At times I am an opportunistic photographer, maybe all photographers are to a certain degree. The sky was blue most of the day and it was going to be a bright sunset. I wasn’t decided on where I should go to catch the last of the light when I noticed the yard had dandelions starting to seed. Well, that changed everything.
The macro lens was still on the camera and there were pockets of sunlight streaking through the trees. I didn’t have to give it a second thought… yard exploring it was! I can imagine my fellow residents of the apartment complex were curious as to why this mad man was crawling around the yard on his knees photographing the weeds. 🙂
This image was the first subject I found. I loved the look of one seed caught while trying to escape. The wind was not quit enough to allow it its freedom. Patience rules as it awaits the next strong breeze…
Escape Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 200