May in the Garden

An explosion of beauty invites closer looks…

 

Worries fall away. Self-referential thoughts and chattering preoccupation fade as the graceful curve of a petal, the intoxicating scent of fruity roses and the crunch of footsteps on gravel light up forgotten territories of the mind.

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These photos were taken at Bellevue Botanical Garden (near Seattle), all on May 21st. I used a 45mm f1.8 prime lens for all except the black and white paired peonies, the peony from behind and the tree from underneath – those three were made with a 60mm f2.8 macro lens. The camera is a micro 4/3rds (Olympus OM-D EM-1) so the lens focal length equivalents on a “normal” camera are about 90mm and 120mm, respectively. I used apertures from f1.8 to f20, for a soft background on some images and a sharp scene across the frame for others, and I often used spot metering.

The processing was done in Lightroom, but I also used Color Efex Pro on about four of these for additional enhancing, to get the image looking more the way I sensed it. The three black and whites were done in Silver Efex Pro, with a few additional tweaks in Lightroom. I’m one of those photographers who really enjoys the processing, so I don’t mind spending time modifying images after I’ve downloaded them. That might be because I was involved in drawing long before I took up photography seriously; I take the same pleasure in manipulating light, form, texture, and color on the computer that I did working with them on paper.

 

ESCAPE: RETURN

A small escape – to a local garden at the height of spring – can also be a return.  A return to your senses and a grounded feeling of being-in-world.

It’s not really necessary to travel far in order to escape, is it?  What’s important is that your escape nudges you back towards the primordial ground of existence and returns you to a body-mind that allows wonder at the vastness of this world.

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These photographs were taken a few days ago at Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington.

My brief  escape did the job. I returned to my senses and left my worries behind.

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In order, the plants are:

Allium ‘Globemaster’ (two photos)

Iris laevigata ‘Variegata’

Iris sibirica ‘Viel Schnee’

Iris confusa

Peony; unknown cultivar (two photos)

Papaver orientale; unknown cultivar  (Oriental Poppy)

Iris ‘Rosario’

Iris x hollandica ‘Symphoy’

Allium ‘Globemaster’ and Berberis thunbergii ‘Aurea’   (Ornamental Onion and Japanese Barberry)

Polygonatum; unknown cultivar and (?)  (Solomon’s Seal and ?)

Iris sibirica; unknown cultivar

Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ (Himalayan Blue Poppy)

Hakonechloa and Hosta; unknown cultivars (Japanese Forest Grass and Hosta)

Iris sibirica ‘Penny’s Worth’

Hosta; unknown cultivar

Allium christophii  (Star of Persia Ornamental Onion)

Iris sibirica ‘Blue King’

Peony; unknown cultivar

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A plethora of other notions of what escape means can be found here.