Wildflowers

I’ve started working on a project to photograph wildflowers in Willow River State Park from the start of the season until the frosts of autumn:  wildflowers in the same location throughout a single season.

I’ve seen no wildflowers yet, so I’ve been shooting leftovers from last year that have spent the season under the snow and whatever new growth I can find.  The first things I noticed were the sporophytes of moss.  The moss is a brilliant green among the drab browns and tans of early spring.

Then there is a small plant with geranium-like leaves that always seems to be green.

Within the last week, the buds on trees and shrubs have plumped up.  They’ve added a tinge of color to the forested hillsides.  Over the last few days, new grasses have emerged and are adding their bit of green.

Wet Leaves and a Roll Of Birch Bark
Wet Leaves and a Roll Of Birch Bark
Grass That's Spent a Season Under the Snow
Grass That’s Spent a Season Under the Snow
Old Bracken Ferns
Old Bracken Ferns
I'm Reminded Of Bryce Canyon
I’m Reminded Of Bryce Canyon

 

Last Year's Acorn
Last Year’s Acorn
Withered Mushrooms On a Trunk
Withered Mushrooms On a Trunk
Moss Sporophytes
Moss Sporophytes
New Grass
New Grass
Buds On a Shrub
Buds On a Shrub
Rising From the Forest Floor
Rising From the Forest Floor
What Will This Become?
What Will This Become?
New Growth
New Growth
One Of the Earliest Things To Sprout
One Of the Earliest Things To Sprout

Lucky Accident

I bought mums at the grocery store a few days ago.  When I was putting them in a vase, all the petals of one flower fell off in a bunch and plopped onto my kitchen counter.  I just let them be, something I often do with messes in my kitchen.  The next day I noticed that they looked striking sprawled on the counter, so I set up my tripod and snapped a few shots.  Here is one.

Painted Mum
Painted Mum

 

Gone Too Long

For most of the last four months, I’ve been inactive with some sort of undiagnosed illness.  My doctor can find no cause – all my tests come back normal.  The conclusion:  it’s all in my head, although it sure feels like it’s in my body.  Anyway, I have posted very few blogs during this time period and have not taken many photographs.  I have done some, so I’ve decided to post my best shots from the last few months.

I think I’m going mad, Ted [obscure line from the Britcom Father Ted]

Fast Art

Teju Cole in the essay Double Negative from his book of essays Known and Strange Things, says that

Photography is a fast art now, except for those who are too old-fashioned to shoot digital.  But for most of the art’s history – until about fifteen years ago – most photographers had no choice but to be slow. . . .   A certain meticulousness was necessary for photographs, a certain irreducible calmness of temperament.

Creating a good photograph is not fast, especially if the photograph is in the genre called “fine art”.  (Who decides whether or not a photograph is fine art?)  The only time shortened by digital photography is development time, what I consider feedback time, the time between clicking the shutter and seeing the photograph.  Whereas in the film era, I dropped my film off at the camera store and came back a couple days later, I can now see the digital photo within seconds of activating the shutter.  A good digital photographer takes no more or no less time before clicking the shutter than a good film photographer.  A good digital photographer then often takes considerably more time with some sort of processing software to complete a photograph.  A good photographer is just as meticulous – if not more – in the digital world of today – then when shooting film.

Photography has always been a fast art; that is one of the reasons I’m attracted to it.  I used to draw.  I found drawing too much of a slow art.