“Without Rain, Nothing Blooms…..”

“Without rain, nothing blooms. Learn to embrace the storms in your life.” ~unknown⁠

While not all storms are created equal they do serve a necessary purpose in our lives. They break us down, they nurture us and we grow from the process.⁠

Are you embracing your storms?

~Donna

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The Flower Doesn’t Dream of the Bee….

“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee, it blossoms and the bee comes to it!” ~Mark Nepo

I seem to be drawn to Spring themes and drawing from your inner self, lately. When I read this quote its says to me “don’t chase your dreams, relax and let your inner beauty blossom and you’ll attract goodness in your life.”

Are you letting your inner beauty blossom?

Flowers Blossom quote

Looking for unique greeting cards and photography gifts? Then pop on over to my Etsy shop by following this link: DonnaRobinsonPhotography

The Earth Laughs in the Flowers

“The earth laughs in the flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson⁠

I did a double take when I first read this quote. But when I thought about our neighbor’s overgrown Forsythia bushes bursting up high above the fence line it made perfect sense. I can now imagine the earth bursting with laughter through the flowers as it awakens from the deep freeze of winter.⁠

How about you? Are you bursting with laughter as the flowers begin to come to life?⁠
⁠I know I am!

~Donna

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For the Love of Photography – Sunny Sunflower

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you may remember a post from a few years back titled For the Love of Photography “The Accidental Sunflower Garden” .  The post was about two (2) beautiful sunflowers growing wild in our backyard thanks to a few leftovers from our backyard critters.  They were so much fun to photograph that summer.  One photo even managed to make its way into my Etsy Shop as both a greeting card and matted print.

So, you can image my delight when the same thing happened this year!  Lucky for me, this time they were growing on the lower section of our yard and within easy reach of my macro lens.

When I discovered them, there were three (3) scraggly little stalks each growing at different heights. From a distance they weren’t much to look at except for a few buds and one (1) bright yellow flower standing tall with its face pointing towards the morning sun.

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As I moved closer to the tallest stalk, I noticed the brightest flower was surrounded by a few other buds each waiting for their chance to shine.

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Sunflower Macro

Rain droplets on the Sunflower petals

 

Clearly, the sunflowers had another purpose in their short lives.  The garden insects quickly found them and began to nourish on their sweet nectar and delicate petals.

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Green bug devouring the Sunflower petals

Fortunately for me, the bees didn’t seem to mind my camera lens snooping around them.

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Bumble Bees gathering nectar

But my favorite shot is the one below with the detail of the disk florets beginning to take shape.  Don’t you just love the geometric shape growing from the middle outward?

Sunflower Macro Photography

Disk Florets beginning to take shape

It’s been a few weeks now and the flowers are beginning to shrivel up and the stalks are slowly drooping towards the ground.  I’ll miss my little sunflower garden once the blooms have all faded away.  Hopefully, if they’re left undisturbed, they’ll dissolve into the earth and will come back bigger, stronger and brighter next year!

Donna

Website: Donna Robinson Photography

🛒Etsy Shop: Donna Robinson Photo

 

Thoughts – Staying Focused

My 52 Week Photography Challenge took a detour…….well it pretty much stalled.  I have no clue why except that I just grew busy with life and other activities.  It’s really ok because it served it’s purpose for jump starting my photography in 2019.  And, it definitely gave my father something to do this winter when it was just a little too cold for him to venture outside and tinker in the yard (read my post here  52 Week Challenge: Week 2 – “My Everyday”). The remainder of the challenge list has some fun/interesting topics coming up so perhaps I’ll get inspired and hit the reset button…..we’ll see ;-)!

Photography Challenge or not, I am still (err) focused on my photography and continue to find other outlets and opportunities to broaden my skills.  I finally pulled together my website (Donna Robinson Photography) and I have shot a corporate event and a newborn photo session, too!  Plus, I have a part-time job helping a friend of ours (a personal trainer) with his social media, shooting his instructional videos and shooting other content for marketing purposes.  So, yes, I’m still actively following my passion!

 

And then there is always our backyard.  Between the garden, the birds and the critters there is always something to photograph.  The camera and “the big lens” as my husband refers to it, comes out every evening as we sit on our patio and catch-up about the day.

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This beautiful blue tipped hawk was out shopping in our yard one evening.

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The squirrels are always entertaining at how nimble they are.  But, we had to scale back on the bird feeders because they were devouring our supply too quickly!

 

My husband moved the bird bath to the front of the flower bed and the activity has definitely picked up!  This little guy spent 2 – 3 minutes cleaning up!

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Let’s Ride!

But our favorite critters are the chipmunks!  They are fast and efficient in how they gather their food.  We’ve actually given three (3) of them names because of their consistent patterns for gathering food:  “Lefty” because he comes out from the rocks on the left side of the house; “Malcom” because he comes in from the top middle of the wall; and the “Righty” because…….well you get the point.

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This little guy found water in the base of this lantern.

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Seriously?!?!  When have you ever seen a chipmunk in a tree?  Needless to say, he didn’t reach the bird feeder………but, he found the stash we left on the ground for him.

Michael’s convinced that he can get them trained to eat out of his hands by the end of summer.  He may be right……one little guy is getting brave and comes closer to us every night!

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Now I know why some of my petunias didn’t make it!?!?

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The “Little Begger!”

 

How do you “stay focused” on your passion?

Until next time, Happy Summer!

Donna 

 

 

Dad’s Backyard

Spring has arrived in Atlanta and it looks like it may finally be here to stay!  Cool morning temps are leading to warmer afternoons. The tree pollen is EVERYWHERE and flowers are starting to bloom.

My Dad has been in the same house for 40+ years and his backyard is covered with red azalea bushes.  He lets them grow naturally (no pruning or fertilizing) and they have become quite large but make a very natural backdrop around his driveway and swimming pool.  They started blooming this week and since I’ve been looking for new images for a Spring collection of my greeting card line (“The Art of a Handwritten Note”)  I decided to take my camera with me on a couple of my daily visits.

These were taken on Wednesday.   It was late afternoon and full sun everywhere so it was difficult getting the right exposure.  Look at all of the unopened buds!

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There must be hundreds of blooms on this one plant

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He’s had this ceramic pagoda for 50+ years.  He purchased it for another house we lived in when I was a young child. I remember going with him when he bought it at a local garden center.

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This plant is growing on the backside of the fence.  A little bare and scrawny, but I love how the blooms look against the weathered wood.

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Another perspective of the azaleas growing up the weathered fence.

The Dogwood’s are also in full bloom!

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Despite the ivy crawling up the trunk, this Dogwood is still thriving!

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An upward shot of the Dogwood.  I love how the pine needles and pollen peak through.

This next group I took yesterday.  I couldn’t believe how much more they had bloomed in just a few days.

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We’ve had a lot of fun in and around this swimming pool growing up!

 

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A different perspective of the pagoda.

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Confederate Jasmine growing wild through the fence.

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A Macro shot of the Confederate Jasmine bloom.

 

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Growing natural intertwined with the ivy.

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Macro shot of a cluster of blooms

 

As far as it goes with images for my greeting cards here are a few I may use.  What do you think?

 

 

Happy Spring!

Donna

 

The Magic Lantern – Macro Photography

I’ve been experimenting with a new camera lens, Canon 35mm, f2.8 Macro.  What a great lens to use with flowers, food photography and up close still life! Surprisingly, it does take a little practice to get used to a fixed focal length, understanding exactly what will/won’t be blurred in the background and how light hits your subject…….definitely a good exercise for practicing a little of each of the photography rules.

So, how is it going? Here are a few of my practice shots:

On our front porch we have three planter boxes with Geraniums so I started with these.  As you can tell, the Pink Geranium really pops against the black wrought iron railing and the blurred Geraniums in the background.  I was able to get really close to these buds and as you can see captured the detail of the fur and pollen on the leaves.

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I moved to the backyard and focused in (no pun intended) on the Purslane I recently planted.  In the photos below, I was able to capture the detail of the star shaped pollen stem of the Purslane flower.  I love how the lens captures the greens, yellow and oranges of each of the flowers.

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I think my favorite Macro shots are of the rose bud below where the lens picks up the small specs of yellow pollen.  Do you see what I mean about paying attention to what gets blurred in the background?  I love the composition of the full bloom being blurred compared to the closed bud in the foreground (this is actually the same bud, taken from two (2) different angles).

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The above photos were shot while hand holding my camera, I can’t wait to see how photos turn out when I’m in a little more controlled environment using a tri-pod and controlled lighting.

If you’re looking to try your hand at Macro photography,  check out this link to Digital Photography School 5 Tips to Better Macro Photography.  This post by James Dempsey is a quick read and gives you the basics.   If you don’t have a macro lens, don’t get discouraged, those I-Phones and Androids are  great for Macro photography, too!  There are even small attachment lenses you can purchase to help achieve great results. Here are a few sites dedicated just for camera phones:   iPhone Photography School                and  How to Get Stunning Macro Photos With Your Mobile Phone

Do you have any tips and examples of Macro photography ?  I’d love to see them in the comments section.

Happy snapping!

Donna