Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

WPC - Close Up

This leaf started out as an annoying stray that had landed in my flower box on the balcony. On picking it up I noticed it had what looked like two feelers with tassels at the end. I decided to keep it for photography purposes, and the next morning when the sun shone in and illuminated the leaf, creating an interesting shadow, I put on the macro lens and got shooting. [You can get even closer if you click on the pic.]

To see other photographers’ close ups go here.

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Echicancea I

Hello there! It’s Friday again already and another day off for me – yay!

Order sunshine for today  ✔
Do a load of washing  ✔
Drive to pro car wash for outside and inside cleaning  ✔
Shop fruit & veg at market  ✔
Lunch & supper planning for weekend  ✔
Have coffee ready  ✔
Start chilling :-)

So now I’ve got most everything that resembles a chore ticked off my list, once this post is published I’ll head outside on the balcony to enjoy the fantastic hot weather, at least one cool drink, and my plants.

Above picture is from the same echinacea/coneflower perennial as the monochrome bud in my last post. I bought it on a whim last week and love taking pictures of it, and I’m sure you’ll see more variations of it here soon.

Have a great weekend!

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Monochrome - Echinacea Bud

Monochrome

Echinacea Bud {Monochrome}

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Sunflower Bunch

I bought these sunflowers at the market last week. Sadly they started hanging their heads a day later as they were too heavy. I decided to cut the stems very short and put each one in a bottle vase instead, which made it better. I managed to take a pic, though, before they started their downward spiral.

I had a day off today, went to the DIY store and to my favourite supermarket, which is half an hour’s drive away but worth the journey. This was followed by a trip to our Friday market, and then it was off to the balcony with a cool drink – or rather lots of them because it’s another scorcher today with 34°C – and a book.

I wasn’t all lazy, though; I managed to take some pictures for the ingredients series using my market spoils as subjects.

Tomorrow I’ll meet a friend in the city for breakfast and shopping; she’s on a home visit from Dubai, and we haven’t seen each other since the US trip we took together last year. There’s a lot going on in the city this week, including the Hamburg fish market – as a self-proclaimed fish hater I need to put in a big YUCK here and say I will not even walk past that – and a cultural festival with street music. Will definitely take the camera and hopefully bring home some pics.

Have a great weekend!

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Pastel Dahlias

Happy Friday, everyone! After last weekend’s almost 40°C we’re apparently in for another summery weekend with up to 35°C. This time I’m intent on venturing outside with the camera instead of hiding out in the shade and cool of the house.

I’ll be attending a family birthday this afternoon and a family lunch on Sunday, but other than that I have no real plans apart from taking lots of pictures, wherever that may be. I might just get in the car and see where I end up – at least the car’s got air conditioning.

Speaking of pictures, the above dahlias are currently sitting on my balcony, blooming like mad. My dad’s been fertilizing everything in his garden with coffee grounds, and as I drink a lot of coffee, I’ve been collecting the grounds for a couple of weeks for my own purposes. The sticker on the dahlias said they need to be fertilised regularly, so when I planted them I added the coffee grounds straight away. As you can see, the plant has lots of blooms, but as I have no comparison, I don’t really know if that’s due to the coffee grounds fertiliser.

As for the colour of the dahlias, unfortunately they are not as beautifully pastel as in the picture – they’re a mix of vibrant lilac and purple hues. I used one of the presets I mentioned in yesterday’s post, and I have to say I wouldn’t mind having such pastel coloured dahlias on my balcony. Maybe adding something else apart from coffee grounds will turn them pastel :-) .

Have a good weekend!

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Nature

Morning Walk

Morning Fields

Yesterday morning I had to take my car for its bi-annual technical inspection. The garage is just a 5 minute drive away, and as I knew I’d be leaving the car there and walking back home past fields and gardens, I took the camera with me.

In addition, I had just downloaded some Lightroom presets that I then decided to apply to my field pics. I liked so many of both the pics and the presets that I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of both here.

This one’s one of my favourites from the series as for me personally it says morning, crisp air, sun coming out, the day being about to unfold…

And speaking of presets, while I have your attention – does anyone have any idea how to achieve the look and feel of the pics shown here? They were actually the reason I went looking for presets in the first place. I have no idea what all to fiddle with to create my own preset for this particular feel. If you have any idea how to do this (or know of a preset to download), I’d appreciate a hint or nudge in the right direction!

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Ingredients

Ingredients {Baby Artichoke}

Ingredients - Baby Artichoke ort port

This past weekend we had almost 40°C, and although I’ll take hot weather over bad weather anytime, it was a bit too much for me. For the most part of Saturday I kept the shutters closed to keep the house cool but then gave up as I couldn’t bear to sit in half-darkness and read, because there wasn’t much else you could do that didn’t include moving. You finally have great weather and are confined – or confine yourself – to the inside because it’s too hot outside, I felt that was awful.

We don’t have shutters in the back of the house, though, and I suddenly realised that the light in the kitchen was good for taking pictures. So I got out my various surfaces and fruit & veg purchases from the market and got shooting. It was really too hot to even take pictures but I had so much fun doing it.

Last year I was rambling here about how I felt restricted by food photography and that I didn’t want it to be my niche, which turned into a good discussion with Tiina who suggested ingredients as a photo subject. It wasn’t until I bought some baby artichokes at the market two weeks ago – purely for taking pictures because they looked beautiful – that I remembered Tiina’s suggestion.

I’d like to do a series of posts with those pics I took this weekend but couldn’t come up with a post / theme name so I’m going to just call it Ingredients.

A lot of you probably come here for flower pics, but I hope you’ll stick around for this food series as well!

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Speckled Rose

Nature

Friday Flowers

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Mono - Summer Rain On Roses

Monochrome

Summer Rain On Roses {Monochrome}

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Life

2015 June In Pictures

*Sigh* At the danger of repeating myself: where did the month go?! And why did I not go outside to take pictures? The only time I did was in my friend’s garden. After a party I was the first one up the next morning and sneaked out early to take pictures of the plants and the raindrops clinging to them. Other than that, no photo outings with my friend, and somehow I couldn’t bring up the energy to go anywhere by myself. But as every month, my intention is to change that for next month.

All in all, June was quite pleasant. We were graced with more good weather than rain – actually summer has well and truly arrived this week with temperatures over 30°C -, my friend and I have taken up jogging again, meeting in the forest at 7 am twice a week, before work; I’ve had friends over for dinner – long overdue; the decluttering of my home is done; I booked my summer vacation; I can enjoy my balcony after finally having done some planting; I had the best pulled pork ever at my friend’s party, and I’ve had marshmallows on a stick for the first time. Re-reading this, it actually sounds more than pleasant.

How was your June?

Click any pic to start the gallery

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Decay - Strawflowers

Beauty In Decay

Beauty In Decay

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

WPC - Muse

I haven’t participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge for a while, although I did want to. I just didn’t want to have to think about it too much or – God beware ;-) – have to go outside to shoot.

This week’s challenge, though, is Muse and same as the author of the post, I keep going back to the subject again and again, namely that of cosmea flowers. Only the other day I thought: I wonder if I can post another cosmea. Maybe not, people will get fed up with them.

So seeing the challenge and immediately thinking of cosmea is my justification today. I happened to have plucked some blooms off the plant yesterday as they’d had their days in the sun and were destined for the bin just as the latest challenge popped up in my reader.

I love shooting cosmea flowers in all states of growth, bloom, or – as in the above picture – decay. Just throw them (literally, sometimes) on an interesting surface, maybe even focus somewhere unexpected, and suddenly you almost feel like you’ve created art.

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Hydrangea + Calendula 01

Happy Friday everyone! We’re having a lovely one here, very sunny and warm, with expected temperatures of up to 35°C these next days. I don’t really need temperatures that high, but I’m certainly not going to complain.

This week I went to a lovely little flower shop where my friend lives; when you go in you don’t always see their little treasures at first glance. You look around and every time your eyes move, you discover something new. My intention was to buy a plant or two and a bunch of flowers. I was eying the little bouquets they had made when my eye fell on this huge white hydrangea blossom. I knew right away I wanted that, paired with something else but not some fussy arrangement.

FF - Hydrangea + Calendula 03

Then I saw the orange calendula – which to be honest I’d never seen “live” before, I’m only used to seeing calendula hand lotion at the drugstore – and asked the lady at the shop to just put them to one side of the hydrangea. With a little spiky greenery wrapped around, this made for a lovely and very stylish show piece.

The amazing thing was that when she told me the price for everything I’d selected, it was about a third of what I’d have paid here in the city.

Now I’m enjoying these beautiful flowers sitting on my coffee table (the flowers, not me – just to clarify ;-) ), and I’m looking forward to a sunny & relaxed weekend.

Hope you’ll have a great weekend,too, and see you here next week!

FF - Hydrangea + Calendula 02

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Man At Work

Life

Wordless Wednesday: Man@Work

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Nature

Twelve Versions

After I posted last week’s Friday flowers, Laura asked whether I’d be showing the other 12 versions I mentioned in the post. I had actually been considering it but couldn’t think of a way to show them that wasn’t boring. So Laura suggested a slideshow adding music (which can’t be done here in Germany for complicated legal music rights reasons) or a poem to go with it.

I’m sure Laura meant an existing poem by someone who knows what they’re doing – and in hindsight I should have asked Laura herself to write one as she is very, very apt with words. However, the moment I read the word poem, words popped into my head. And so I present you today this totally tacky and terrible poem to go with my flower slideshow :-D

Little flowers in a vase made of glass with a stripe of grey. Hey – look at me! Twelve versions you can see. Tell me which you like best, which one is better than the rest.

Some of the pictures different from the others in little nuances only, not too obvious but hopefully visible to you.

Click any pic to open gallery
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Nature

Friday Flowers

Garden Flower Leftovers

Good morning and welcome to your weekly flower fix! The three stalks in this little vase were leftovers from the garden flowers I posted a while ago. I experimented with different presets in Lightroom and ended up with thirteen variations o_O . I really like all of them, but for today’s post I chose this more colourful version to brighten up your day.

After a rainy day and night, the weather here is currently also brightening up, the sky’s showing bits of blue and the sun’s peeking out in places.

My day started really well with a heads-up on my summer vacation, and this afternoon I’ll be leaving work early (again) to help my friend celebrate her birthday. Her husband – lovingly called the grill sergeant – already started preparations last night to get the BBQ going for pulled pork. So lots of things to be looking forward to today.

Wishing you all a good weekend with fab weather & good food!

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