LOCAL WALKS: Wind in the Garden

Wind in the garden isn’t what a photographer wants, but there I was. The sky was pearly gray,

then

blue-and-white, and

gray again, and the flowers grinned

in a thousand bright colors.

Stillness came and went on rabbit’s feet,

the fickle sun flirted,

wobbly petals whipped

back and forth.

Gust, breeze

toss, scatter.

Stillness within.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.


9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.



17.

18.



The photographs were taken on a windy afternoon at the Washington State University Discovery Garden, a public garden located in Mount Vernon, Washington, that is maintained by members of the Skagit County Extension Master Gardeners Program. June is glorious in the garden; I didn’t want to allow the wind to frustrate me so I went with it. When everything blew I put the camera on shutter priority, dialed back the exposure if I needed to, and set a long enough shutter speed to show the blur of movement (e.g. 1/4 sec.). When stillness prevailed I went back to aperture priority, shooting from f4.5 to f18. No tripod – I like to keep moving.

If you like the blurred photos, especially the more abstract ones, you might enjoy a recent post by Linda Grashoff at Romancing Reality. She has created some outstanding images using a different technique, Intentional Camera Movement.


45 comments

  1. The favorite this time around is #8. The profile shot is interesting along with my favorite colors. The wind can be so annoying. We’ve discovered it’s less of a problem earlier in the day, but then the light isn’t always favorable. Nice attempt at going with the flow.

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    • Those delphiniums…that blue….it’s so fresh, isn’t it? I’m really glad they planted them. The wind is OK, not a problem. You may be getting much stronger wind, being near the ocean. Here, it’s a now and then thing, and that day it was beautiful 🙂

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    • Whoever dreamed up that plant combination shown in #10 had a great idea. #14 & #15 were taken seconds apart – it’s one of those dark maroon colored Japanese maples with the very feathery leaves. I destaurated the second photo.

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  2. Talk about making the best of a bad situation, these are wonderful. #10, #14 and #15 are my favorites in this portfolio but ll the others are just wonderful!

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    • I’m pleased that you mention #14 & #15 Ken – I was happy with those. It’s fun to experiment with movement, and the garden was really at its height that day, I think. Thank you!

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed both words and images, Michael. I was happy with what happened in #14 & #15. It’s always interesting to work with motion – first, you don’t know what you’re going to get, and then when you get to processing, the choices are endless – so many directions you can go in.

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    • I did have a good time, Denise – that’s what the “stillness within” refers to – even with all the wind and excitement, once you’re focused, you’re still inside. You know. 🙂 No problem with being away for a while, it happens. Glad you made it over here. 🙂

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  3. Go with the wind. What a good idea 🙂 I didn’t understand every word of your first sentences, but I already loved the sound 🙂 Rabbits feet – very nice – and the fickle sun flirted and wobbly petals. Wonderful! I like especially the pictures from 5 to 10, and from 13 to 16! I love the larkspur in the wind, very creative (what does spur mean – track or something else? It sounds so nice!) and the colours in 9 and 10 are very beautiful. 13 looks almost like a painting, so tender, 14 and 15 have a touch of modern art, very interesting, and nr. 16 is excellent, a nice depth and a bit mysterious! The rose and the windy variations are fantastic too. What a nice change wind can bring 🙂

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    • I was just saying that usually, photographers don’t like wind in the garden but I decided to go with it. And the sky kept changing colors becasue of the wind – passing clouds…anyway, you get the idea. Larkspur is such a beautiful plant, that blue!! I’m glad they planted it. I think the spur refers to the shape of the individual flower – the spur is the part on the back of each flower that sticks out, like what a cowboy puts over the boot to keep the horse going. We also call them delphiniums – both names are used, but only larkspur is used for the wild species I think. I was happy with #14 & 15. #16 is a rose, it was a little out of focus so I made it black and white and increased the softness. It looks better this way then in the original. 🙂 Thank you Almuth, I’m glad you liked the garden walk….

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      • Thank you for the vivid description of the spur 🙂 Delphinium is familiar. I love the blue of the flowers. Such beautiful, indigolike tone is seldom in nature, at least here. I think it is good, to go “with” something. What do you say? Go with the flow? And it became so inspiring. I like this kind of translucent layers of Nr. 14 and 15. Maybe it reminds me a bit of japanese art. I can immagine that nr. 16 is much better in black and white. I like it this way 🙂

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  4. I think the phrase you wrote in my post “We cannot catch the wind, but we can write about it, take photographs of it, sing about it” is ideal for this post and this set of images.
    So I reciprocate the phrase with my appreciation for the result of your “play” with the wind!

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  5. I smiled at this post, Lynn. I’ve fought the wind for days, trying to capture a floral oddity that really deserves to be seen in detail. You’ve taken a different and lovely route with your wind-blown images, but a little stillness would make me happy — 30 mph isn’t any fun! I’m most fond of the fourth image, but the tenth is lovely, too. The color of the larkspur’s wonderful. I found it growing wild at Sandylands, although it was coming to the end of its run and was pretty ragged.

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    • Maybe by now he winds have died down….we have some wild larkspurs up here too, also with that compelling, clear blue. I think they’re all on the other side of the mountains, and by now, ragged too. We’ll make do with what we can find, in the weather that surrounds us, one way or another. 🙂 Thanks!!

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  6. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Ponta Delgada | restlessjo

  7. Dear Lynn, your poet gives me a wonderful rythm to look at the photos, wandering forth and back, marvelling details, getting through all these vivid colours, through this blossoming and giving in and letting fall…. to No 15, that is telling the story that all beauty is ending, but in ending beauty is offering another most beautiful moment.

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  8. Ah, my kind of flower photographs. The light in #1 (and the close-up view, and the short depth of field) gets us off to a great start. I like how you followed this photograph with its two blurry cousins. It’s as if we are watching the wind catch the flower. The next photo (#4) is appealing for its shapes and colors. I’m glad you chose to include all the browned petals. Not only do they provide a neutral background, but they have their own kind of beauty. Sticking your camera right into those delphiniums (#s 5-8) captures their blue (what a blue) so well, whether blowing around or still. I almost gasped when I first saw the colors in #10. And I thought blue had my number. The shapes add to the appeal of these plants—and of course your composition does, too—but the colors are just amazing! This may be my favorite. I like the abstract beauty of #s 13-15. I don’t know what the color version could have looked like, but the black and white of #16, especially with the high contrast, is a striking abstract. And here, in #17, is that rose again, shaking its petals onto the ground, where the lovely pale pink contrasts with foliage. Another stunning collection, Lynn.

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    • Such a considered comment, thank you….you’re right about the progression in the first three photos, that was the idea, try to recreate what it was like. And yes, include the material that is less than perfect, that is at a different life stage – you’re a master at that. I’ve learned from you. I may have included it before, but I don’t think I looked at that kind of thing quite as carefully before seeing what you’ve done with it, e.g. in Florida. I thank you for taking the time to look, and for being here, and for doing what you do. 🙂

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