Chicago 2018 Lighthouses….

Sharing here just some of the MANY lighthouses decorating Michigan Avenue this summer. These were made to highlight special needs persons and to showcase their gifts of talents. Enjoy and come see! All images copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

A creative optimist’s apparition…

Most people see a puddle with a little weedy grass growing out of a crack in the sidewalk/pavement. When I walked past this spot I saw a miniature island paradise complete with sunshine peaking out of a few clouds in blue skies. I am ever the optimist. I look imaginatively at people and things.

Puddle or someone’s paradise? I must get out the microscope; but risk being run over. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Natural inspiration…

Nature's Starburst in the sky, Key West, Florida. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Nature’s Starburst in the sky, Key West, Florida. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Key West, Florida is historically renown as a home for crafters and artisans. The unique is highly valued and proudly displayed including this custom designed car decor. Nature takes no back seat to the colors and designs found throughout Key West’s Old Town and perhaps inspires creative urges.

This tree, Starburst, aka Shooting Star (Clerodendrum Quadriloculare), blooms only in the late winter and early spring, so was in full bloom last month during our visit. The large, full, blossoms command attention, which upon closer examination divulge its artistic aptitude.

Starburst tree with many “shooting stars”. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Artist’s tribute to nature. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

What’s in a name…”

I’ve added a page, something that seemed to be missing from this blog. An explanation behind my blog’s chosen name. Check out the “What’s In A Name” tab on the left.

Using images to focus my mind’s eye…

Orchid in bloom, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Orchid in bloom, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

I am by profession a teacher; but as a person, I consider myself a learner and appreciate the understandings I continue to gain from others. I know my self-learning projects are reflections of others’ shared visions. I felt challenged today by “Practice! Practice! Practice!”,a post on John Etheridge’s “The Book of Bokeh” blog this week. https://bookofbokeh.wordpress.com/  He posted a series of images of a drink in a glass, commenting on his desire to use this technique to hone his skillful photography. Thank you Mr. Etheridge for sharing your artistic practices.

Below zero wind-chills and constant snow flurries are my excuse to stay house bound and nurse a persistent cold in my upper body. With my Nikon on its macro setting I focused on the beautiful, ever delicate, orchid that is kindly blooming in my living room while fresh layers of snow blanket my perennials. Close focus with the lens today lends for close reflection on my photographic perspectives.

Several challenges were quickly realized during this practice session. First, I noticed while creating these images was the constant background creeping into these very closely focused images. To me it is amazing, and frustrating, that the background would continue to invade an image whose composition was so small an area. The background must complement and not distract. Knowing that the brightest, lightest area of an image draws the most attention, my second challenge was to photograph a white orchid and attend to the variations of whites during my composition in a way that allowed the lightest area(s) to lie where focus is creatively appealing.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is credited to Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. Final analysis of today’s orchid images lies to myself as well as each reader of this blog. And I’m certain that my opinion will change with repeated viewings just as your opinions will vary. Such is the art of critique and assessment as I attempt to implement my learning as photographer. The joy in accepting such challenges can be rewardingly exhausting. Perfect entertainment for a winter afternoon.

Note: All images captured using natural light and are un-adjusted to control contrast or brightness.

Rear view of orchid, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Rear view of orchid, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Orchid against lace and snow, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Orchid against lace and snow, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Multiple points of interest, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Multiple points of interest, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Textures and shades of interest, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Textures and shades of interest, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closer look at the rainbow…

These rainbows are not as elusive as the ones in the sky, though their sophisticated patterning eludes me. I develop deeper awareness of my creative margins when my eyes rest on the “beard” of these lovely gifts of nature. Iris is the Greek word for rainbow.

 

Patterns in the Iris, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Patterns in the Iris, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

 

Bearded Iris, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Bearded Iris, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Complex Rainbow, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Complex Rainbow, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Check previous spring postings in my blog for more information and images of the Iris.

When fiend becomes friend…

Maple tree roots in lawn copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Maple tree roots in lawn copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Acceptance of things we cannot control leads to flexibility within our best-laid plans. Gardeners that enjoy their labors learn early in their endeavors to embrace the challenges that nature places before them. Persistent weeds (any plant you choose not to want in a given space) are the known garden villain. Above ground tree roots are a slow invader that effectively claims proprietorship of space.

My maple tree’s roots engaged me in realigning the garden bed to lawn space in my yard a few years ago. My work is not done however, as its roots have invaded more lawn area. My creative juices have begun flowing as I plan further redesigning of this loved space. Ah, this gardener’s work is never done as I choose to embrace this fiend as friend. I rise to the challenge as do these roots.

Above ground roots, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Above ground roots, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Humble interests…

Jack in the Pulpit copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Jack in the Pulpit copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Leaves of three, let them be” is a familiar phrase of warning learned best from advice than experience. Springtime can bring me to my knees in rich woodland soil seeking springtime trifoliate blooms. I am down on my knees, continually humbled by God’s imaginative creations.

Three leaves on the forest floor accompany the Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) whose spathe, appears as “the pulpit” wrapping around and over a spadix known as Jack. This as many woodland spring blooms is best observed at ground level. This is a plant to let alone, as the saying goes, because the oxalic acid in the leaves is poisonous if ingested; the roots however were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes.

Purple Trillium copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Purple Trillium copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Purple Trillium
(Trillium recurvatum) is barely noticeable as its mottled green leaves contrast with the shades of brown on the forest floor. The dark purple flower equally fades into the scene, easily going unnoticed. Both the leaves and the flower petals are in sets of three. In Illinois it is commonly known as Prairie Trillium. Other places it has been called Bloody Butcher; so much for man’s imaginative creativity in naming their discoveries.

Jack in the Pulpit 2 copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Jack in the Pulpit 2 copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg