Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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Larch Bough

Larch Bough. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm Macro. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Larch Bough. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm Macro. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

The larch tree is a deciduous conifer. Though a cone-bearning tree with needles, it loses it’s needles in the fall. I’m fond of larches. The needles are relatively short and born densely. The result is a fine and delicate appearance.

Although at first glance, this image looks almost like a winter scene, in fact the image was shot in summer against a dense green background. Infrared processing allows concentrating on the single bough and its branches and cones. (An earlier version of this image is here.)

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Queen Anne’s Lace with Bee

Queen Anne's Lace with Bee. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm. ISO 250. 1/750 sec at f/6.7. Antique emulation post-capture in Nik Silver Efex Pro II. August 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Queen Anne’s Lace with Bee. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm. ISO 250. 1/750 sec at f/6.7. Antique emulation post-capture in Nik Silver Efex Pro II. August 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Shot in the field and processed post-capture on the computer. I love digital and am not at all hesitant to manipulate or process an image extensively to create a certain effect or look. The post-capture process is as much a part of creating an image as what the camera produces. Nevertheless, processing like this is a bit extreme. I don’t mean that as a value judgment. But I believe it helps to have had experience with film and to bring a film sensitivity to the digital process. In this instance, the post-capture process is meant to emulate the image as captured on glass plates. I don’t believe in such post-capture manipulation for its own sake. In this image, the process and the subject – the Queen Anne’s Lace, which has a kind of Victorian character – are compatible and mutually suportive. As I suggested above, subject, capture, processing, and image all comprise a single creative act.

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Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne's Lace. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm. ISO 250. 1/1000 sec at f/6.7. August 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Queen Anne’s Lace. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm. ISO 250. 1/1000 sec at f/6.7. August 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

The ubiquitous Queen Anne’s Lace, found around gardens, roadsides and pastures and oft considered a weed, is a wild carrot. The flower attracts beneficial insects and, in my view, is lovely. Wikipedia tells us: “Both Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and her great grandmother Anne of Denmark are taken to be the Queen Anne for which the plant is named. It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center is thought to represent a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, coloured by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.”

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Branch and Leaves

Branch and Leaves. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/500 sec at f/5.6. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Branch and Leaves. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/500 sec at f/5.6. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

There is a world of texture and form in this one tree branch with leaves. (Click image for larger.)

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Garden Tree

Garden Tree. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 900. 1/60 sec at f/16. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Garden Tree. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 900. 1/60 sec at f/16. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

“Garden Tree” because it was shot in a Japanese garden, and the tree was perfectly placed in spite of its mass and scale. (I think this is a spruce, but would love to be corrected if anybody knows otherwise.) The trunk is especially interesting with these young shoots – It’s the strength and dignity of age along with the delicacy and enthusiasm of youth.

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Larch

Larch. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Larch. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

The larch is a deciduous conifer of the pine family. The needles are very fine and airy, giving the tree a kind of ethereal presence. The larch is well suited to gardens, and especially Japanese gardens, which is where this one was shot.

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White Flower

White Flower. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/5 sec at f/16. June 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

White Flower. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/5 sec at f/16. June 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Another black and white image from the recent series of azaleas and rhododendrons.

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Water Lily 2

Water Lily 2. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/1000 sec at f/4.8. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Water Lily 2. Nikon D200. Micro Nikkor 105mm. ISO 200. 1/1000 sec at f/4.8. August 2014. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Another image shot the other day at the Hammond Museum Japanese Gardens in NY.

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