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Tag Archives: Purple

Douglas Iris

What flower do you most associate with Spring?  Crocuses, daffodils, poppies?  It probably depends where you live, or where you grew up.  For me, a native Californian, nothing say “Spring” like the Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana).  It usually grows under a foot tall, but it packs a lot of beauty, especially when you find a large clump of them blooming together.  Its dark green leaves and deep purple flowers are a dramatic combo.

Happy Spring to all my northern hemisphere readers (and happy Fall to all of you on the southern half of our planet)!


Fiesole and Squash Blossoms

This was one of the most colorful and unusual displays I saw at a Farmers Market…and all of it is edible! (Okay, not the paper cartons, just the produce.)

The fiesole, or purple artichokes, can be sautéed, baked or grilled with various seasonings. The leaves are tender, and they have a delicious flavor.

The squash blossoms may also be fried, stuffed with cheese, or made into a sauce or soup.

There are plenty of recipes online for both the fiesole and the squash blossoms, so if you’ve never tried either or both, give it a go. Your dinner guests will be impressed.

pink flame cloud

If you were to show me a painting of this sunset, my first question would be “What was the painter smoking?”

But since I’m the one who saw and photographed this sunset, with nothing stronger on board than a couple of sips of wine, I can assure you that it was for real.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Sometimes I feel that outdoor photographers get more than their fair share of these moments.

I’m happy to be able to share this one with you.

Havana crosses 1

The morning after yesterday’s image was taken (“A Night In Havana,” 02.24.13) I was out of my hotel room while it was still completely dark, stumbling through the dimly lit streets of Havana in search of more photo ops the way zombies stumble about in search of brains.  Despite being a confirmed night owl, since this was one of the hotel rooms that was very musty and moldy due to the fact that a) it had no windows and b) the plumbing leaked under the floor every time I showered, I was not too unhappy about leaving the room, even at zero-dark-thirty.

I shot this church from the time it was still completely dark until just before the sun rose.  When there was enough light to see the sky and the details in the architecture, but still before dawn, the golden domes warmly reflected the brightening sky in the east.  My shots in full darkness showed little detail in the black domes.  And I knew full sunlight would make the metallic domes too hot (bright) and wash out the detail in the white stucco walls.  This little window of soft violet light lasted only a few minutes, wedged between the “Blue Hour” (which never lasts anywhere close to an hour, unless perhaps you’re in the higher latitudes) and the “Golden Hour” (which can last from a few minutes to several hours, depending on weather.

I love the way the gold crosses stand out against the soft purple sky.  The detail in the delicate metalwork can be appreciated because there’s no hot glare bouncing off the highly reflective gold finish.

These may not be “typical” Cuban images, but I like them nonetheless.

Havana cross 2

When rain falls on a purple flower, it becomes purple rain, does it not?

I love shooting flowers with raindrops or dew on them.  To me they just look so much more alive.

Yes, I know the trick of spraying dry flowers with a mist bottle, except that I don’t, because then they look like they were sprayed with a mist bottle.  The droplets have a certain phony uniformity to them.  Pros can tell the difference.

The wonderful thing about shooting flowers in Seattle is that the idea of having to mist them never even pops into one’s mind.  They are quite often wet with genuine rain.  And if you time it right, you can go shoot right after a downpour, have wonderful wet, vibrant flowers for a few minutes, and still keep your camera equipment dry.  The best of both worlds!