21 March 2016
I. Taken in Camera + and Post Processed in Snapseed
II. Taken in Camera+ and Post Processed in Polamatic
Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.
Yesterday was the dawn of this year’s spring season, but many of us have been witnesses to the quickening of its presence for weeks. As a capable and competent gardener, I know the signs. I am privy to the slightest of changes.
Winter, my fourth favorite season, was milder than predicted. Still, when spring approached earlier than usual, my energy level soared. My mind began to race and reinvest more time in my gardens. My heart became overwhelmed with new and old possibilities. My thoughts became eased by the blatant and subtle alterations on the horizon. As daylight builds its reach, the day stretches my moods and increases my time communing with nature. Through three of the seasons you’ll find me lavishly immersed in Mother Nature’s missions and themes. Winter brings another dimension to nature’s presence, and my reaction to the escalation of dormancy and hibernation. I garden year round, but minimally in the depths of winter.
Since spring arrived in February with its measures and mysteries, I find myself spending a few hours daily puttering. Gardeners are much more aware than most about the way global warming effects our days and nights. As each green element surfaces, each tree sprouts, each leaf unfurls, hues enter the visual arena and life bursts with such enthusiasm for what can be. But the invasion this year of a new wild thing gives me pause. It seems to be everywhere in my gardens and it’s worrisome. As I do my spring clean-up, I am furiously removing this unwanted invader. It’s part of what we can expect with climate change.
In early April of last year I first noticed a medium-size tree clothed in buds. Within a few days that tree was dressed in the sweetly-petaled, star-like flowers, delicately swaying with the sun’s blessings. Magnolia Stellata is very different from other magnolias that strut larger flowers with wisps of pink running through the petals. Their early blooms and almost pure white petals –up to a dozen on each bloom–make them stand out for all to admire. They offer a light drama as winter recedes. [Click here to view my post from 11 April 2015.]
After decades and decades of gardening last year emphasized how many spring trees produce their flowers prior to leafing out: forsythia, fruit trees, and many others. The sighting of the Magnolia Stellata raises one’s awareness of this phenomenon where flowers are first on the stage and foliage follows. The explanation revolves around the heat needed for these deciduous plants to bloom: both flower and leaf.
Last week that bewitching Magnolia Stellata already was fully dressed in flowers. How had I missed the bud stage? Its delicate star-like flowers were feeling rather smug in that magnetic state of glory.
In the Lens section are two versions of one of those flowers, one of few that had not fully blossomed. Within a few days most of the flowers were spent, and before long the tree will be in full greenery, thanks to an early spring awakening.
Tip of the Week:
I am a fan, I feel lifted and provoked (in a good way) by his art. During and after his life Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was a controversial and larger-than-life figure. His work gave illumination to the tradition of black-and-white photography. Through his lens each photograph envisioned a sensual world, mirroring his own view of beauty. The character and elements of monochrome, which he used, were made livelier through his interpretation of a subject. His photographs are technically gorgeous.
While he is known for his portfolio of flowers, he also is well-known for portraiture that did offend some viewers. This past week two exhibitions opened in Los Angeles, California, to honor his legacy. Here is a description of those shows from the J. Paul Getty Museum’s website:
“Robert Mapplethorpe is among the most influential visual artists of the late twentieth century. This major retrospective exhibition reexamines the arc of his photographic work from its humble beginnings in the early 1970s to the culture wars of the 1990s. Featuring portraits, nudes, still lifes, and the controversial X Portfolio, the exhibition explores Mapplethorpe’s studio practice and the creation of his foundation, which has shepherded his legacy into the 21st century. Drawn from the landmark acquisition from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, two complementary presentations, one at the J. Paul Getty Museum and another at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, highlight different aspects of the artist’s complex oeuvre.” Additionally, his work will be seen this year or next in Norway, England, Canada, and Australia. To read more about his life, go to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Click here.
To appreciate Mapplethorpe as an artist is to understand how the narrative of creativity and image-maker coincide and influence the push and pull of the process and result. He visually produced a world whose boundaries of the frame did not inhibit his artistry or vision. Mapplethorpe’s work initiates discussions and questions about important works of art as they relate to our humanity: what is beauty, what is art, what is aesthetics, what is an artist, how to describe an artwork, is art necessary to the human condition, what is the value of art, how does art influence society, how does society influence art, and many, many more. Mapplethorpe’s photographs are very much relevant in today’s cultural and social environments, and his legacy will continue to make statements that raise issues about the world in which we live.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.