Archive July 2013

Time-Lapse Photography of Flowers

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

I became fascinated with the art of time-lapse photography after watching Louie Schwartzberg’s Ted Talks ‘Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.’ and ‘The Hidden Beauty of Pollination’.  You can find other examples of this type of photography on YouTube or just by googling ‘time lapse photography flowers blooming’, but I’ve enjoyed Mr. Schwartzberg’s images most, not just because his images are incredible, but because of his message.

We Are Part of Nature and We Have to Take Care Of It

pinkspotswebHis message is that we are part of nature and that we have to take care of it.  It’s a simple message and not a new one, but he spells it out beautifully in his Ted Talk and demonstrates it with a video that includes his stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied the observations of Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.

Flowers Can Be a Portal Into Nature

LongwoodDahlias_20130911_0483-1webWhile the video itself isn’t specifically about flowers, it begins with flowers.  For me, that’s the significance of flowers – they can be a beginning because it’s hard to dislike flowers, and the more you know about them, the more you want to know about them.  Their beauty captures us and can be a portal into nature, creating a fascination about a specific aspect of nature or a quest to understand more about the world around us.

We Protect What We Fall In Love With

LW_APRIL_2013_3_1424webTo steal Schwartzberg’s words about flowers, “They open our hearts and make us realize that we’re part of nature and we’re not separate from it.”  Schwartzberg goes so far as to say that, “Beauty and seduction, I believe, are nature’s tool for survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with.”  So, the more people we can get to fall in love with flowers and nature, the more people there will be to protect our planet.  That’s really what it’s all about.

Nature.  Beauty.  Gratitude.

DSC_0100-1yellwebAlthough his photography encompasses more than just flowers, he has much credibility as a flower photographer, given his claim that he’s been shooting time-lapse flowers continuously nonstop 24 hours a day, seven days a week for over 30 years.  That’s a lot of flowers!  Even still, he says, “To see them dance is something I’ll never get tired of.  Their beauty immerses us in beauty, taste and touch.”

Their beauty is something I never get tired of either.  The more I learn, the more I want to learn.

Here’s the ‘Nature. Beauty. Gratitude’ video from ted.com.  Enjoy!

 



 

You can see more of Louie Schwartzberg’s work at Movingart.com

 

 

 

Strawberry Picking = Summer

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

Few things say “summer” more than picking strawberries. Lucky for us, there’s a strawberry farm near my parent’s cottage on the French Riverright outside Noelville, that’s been around for about 30 years.  We’ve been going there almost as long.  Believe me, they have their stuff down.

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This Row is Yours!

We arrived, baskets in hand, and were assigned a row by the friendly owners of the farm with the instruction to go as far as we wanted down our row. All we had to do was mark where we stopped with a provided stick (an arrow in another life), so the next person would know where to start.

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The Sweetness.

On a beautiful summer morning, I settled down in a row next to my Mom and looked at my two big empty baskets. For you berry pickers out there, you know that an empty berry basket can be daunting. I looked over the baskets at the long row ahead of me, but instead of feeling the weight of what was to come, I felt the sun on my back, inhaled the sweet scent of the berries, and listened to the birds serenade us. In that moment, that empty basket seemed symbolic of a beautiful summer day — an empty vessel waiting to be filled with things you love so that, in the end, it’s overflowing with juicy sweetness and the warm glow of the sun.  Sigh.

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The Bitterness.

But, as I made my way down the row I realized I wasn’t as blissed-out as I was when I started.  Perplexed, I stopped, sitting back on my heels, wondering where the sweetness had gone.  As I squinted down the row, I realized that nothing had changed but my thoughts. I realized that even in this perfect setting, my mind had turned to thoughts about the past and worries about the future.  And the worst part was that I was not present for the beauty that was around me.  Darn!

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The Sweetness Again.

I purposefully turned my attention to the task at hand — the simple pleasure of plucking a berry from its stem, the hollow popping sound as it released into my hand, the overripe ones spilling juice into my palm.

I made my way down my row, consciously enjoying one of the sweet pleasures of summer – an unhurried summer morning with my Mom, surrounded by strawberries.

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The other nice surprise was the price.  Four baskets = $13.  You can’t beat that!

Follow me on Pinterest!

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

I have to admit it.  Of late, I’ve been Pinterest crazy.  If you’re not already on Pinterest, you might be thinking, ‘I don’t need more social media in my life, thank you very much.”  But Pinterest is very easy and low maintenance.  It’s basically all about you, you, you!

An On-line Vision Board.

Sept_2013_20130908_0089-1webThe idea of doing a vision board is what initially got me interested in Pinterest.  You know —  a poster board covered with glued-on pictures of your favourite things cut out of magazines.  I thought Pinterest would be a less messy, on-line equivalent so, I got a Pinterest account and started looking around.

Initially they provided me with people to follow so I wasn’t completely lost, but eventually I started following people who liked what I liked.  Along the way, I discovered that Pinterest was so much more than a way to make vision boards.  If you are a visual person, it’s a feast for the eyes.  For me, it’s become a photography mecca, where I can collect photographs I love and return to them again and again.

 

(If you’re really interested in doing a vision board / dream board, here’s another great way to get started.)

 

Check out my flower board.

LongwoodDahlias_20130911_0483-1webIf you’re reading this blog, you know I love flowers, and there is flower photography galore on Pinterest.  I have now pinned more than 700 flower photographs to my boards.  As I pinned away I realized that there were subsets of flowers, so I created a Garden board, then a Floral Design board, then I started to separate them into colours.  Somehow birds found their way onto my flower board until I realized I needed to create a separate board for them.  Who knew I liked birds?  Not me.

Apparently, I’m also interested in architecture, the Isle of Skye in Scotland, horses, boxy glass eco houses, chocolate (no surprise there!) and beautiful nature photography.  Among other things, I’ve seen places and artifacts from around the world that I had no idea even existed.  Pretty cool.

Pinterest experts say you’re supposed to break your boards down into bite-sized pieces, but mine are currently anything but that.  But there’s no pressure … I’ll get to it when I get to it.  By its nature, it’s a work-in-progress.

 

I’d follow you anywhere.

P1030926-2You can start your own boards and follow people you like and collect images from pretty much anything you like.  One of my favourite boards is my Inspiration board.  When I need a little pick-me-up, I can turn to it and find inspirational quotes from Rumi or the Buddha or even Bruce Springsteen.

Pinterest is one of those magical little corners of the internet where you can bliss out on your own and at the same time be following people from all over the world, while they follow you.  It doesn’t take long to realize that even though distance and cultures may separate us, we’re all essentially the same.  We all like a little beauty in our lives.

 

 

Give it a try!

Get out there and find what you like.  You may surprise yourself.

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