Robyn Graham Photography

Loyalty and Devotion

Loyalty and Devotion

How I shot this: ss 1/60 f 4.8 ISO 2500 – natural light – Nikon D800, Nikkor 100mm f2.8

In the Victorian language of flowers, Alstroemeria mean devotion and loyalty.  My husband gave me a beautiful bouquet of them on our 20th anniversary in November.   The flowers kept their beauty for three weeks, when I finally had a chance to photograph them.   The funny thing is, they have never been my favorite…I am unsure why, and needless to say my husband was teased about brining home flowers that he knew were not my favorite.  His intention, however, was perfect.  The Day Lily is the flower for the 20th anniversary.  As he was not able to find Day Lilies he purchased another flower that is in the lily family.   Now that I know the meaning of the Alstroemeria, and because of the occasion that introduced me to the meaning, they will become a flower I appreciate and treasure.

And with that, I leave you with a quote that could not be more perfect to accompany this post.

“Through devotion, your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.”

~ Saint Francis de Sales

SPREAD THE WORD:

Beginning, Middle, or End?

wm-e-rgp_4247

“Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle.” ~ Anna Quindlen

Are you in a place of a new beginning, muddling through the middle, or at the end of something good, something bad, or something you’ve already muddled through?

Please check out my Thursday post on Monochromia.  I posted a photograph of another Star Magnolia, but from a completely different perspective.

SPREAD THE WORD:

"Bashful"

wm e RGP_7336

Last week when I was coming home from a run I noticed that my beloved peonies had all but wilted and the petals been discarded. At the time, there were only a few remaining flowers. Spring has been so rushed and harried with work and activities for the kids that I had almost missed the joy of photographing the peonies.  That afternoon, instead of ironing and doing the banking, I cut the last of the living peonies and did some still life work. This was a time to be inspired, to create, take a deep breath and recharge my soul.

I didn’t have time to go to the studio, which means I didn’t have any back drops to use.  I knew that for some of the shots I wanted a white back drop.  I could have used a white table-cloth, or a sheet and hung them from a door, but, I didn’t feel like going to the trouble and I knew I could create the white back drop myself using light.

Using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 lens I set out to create.  I grabbed some props, antique prescription bottles, an antique miniature milk bottle, a white cheese cloth, a black stool, some ribbon, and some sheets of music.  I don’t know how long I moved around in front of my front door playing and creating.  I lost all sense of time and felt so relaxed.

To create the white back drop effect I used only natural light.  I metered my exposure on the flower so that it would be properly exposed and the backlight would be blown out.  To avoid flare, I angled my lens down just enough to allow some haze, but to eliminate flare.  I wanted this shot to be flawless and dreamy therefore colorful flare spots were not welcome.  My settings are below for your reference:

ss 1/100 f 5.0 ISO 400

I could have worked with the above scenario for hours.   But, alas, the kids needed to be picked up from school and driven to activities, and, honestly, my equipment is so heavy that after a considerable amount of time, my neck and arms begin to tire.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my equipment and the Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses that I have give me great flexibility when working in the various areas of photography that I focus on.  I do love them, but I have recently been evaluating mirrorless cameras, especially for travel and street work.   Lighter weight cameras and lenses would be fabulous when having to hold or carry them for any length of time.   In addition, I just recently came across a new camera that I found interesting.  Light, is a compact camera that appears to have many features.  I don’t know that it has the flexibility I need, but I think it is worth checking into for travel and street work.  I thought I would share the link with you in the event you might have interest in a compact camera that appears to have a lot of great features.

To compare this photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia.

To view more of the photographs from this still life session, check back on the blog soon or follow me on Instagram.  I post to Instagram much more frequently there.

SPREAD THE WORD:

The Poppy

wm e_RGP3959

The Bud

wm e_RGP3901

The Bloom

wm e_RGP3910

The Garden

wm e_RGP3951

Another Bud

wm e_RGP3953

The Center of the Flower

wm e_RGP3928

Dancing in the Evening Breeze

Settings: ss 1/125 f 4.5 ISO 800

Nikon D810, Nikkor 105mm 2.8

Natural, diffused, soft light.

Last week on Monochromia I posted a photograph of a pond with geese swimming in the rain.  You can view the post HERE.  The photographs of the poppy flowers and buds above were taken the same evening after the rain shower passed.

I have always been mesmerized by the Poppy.  The detail of its creation; the incredible bud from which the flower blooms, the intricate detail of the center of the bloom, the delicate, flowing petals, and the passionate color.  Unique and beautiful.

Today is Thursday so you get two posts for one, so to speak!  Be sure to visit Monochromia for my Thursday black and white photography post.

SPREAD THE WORD:

Be of Good Cheer

wm RGP_4371

“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.” ~William R. Alger

SS 1/60   F 4.5   ISO 200

In The History and Language of Flowers the Daisy means, cheer.  We are experiencing a lot of gray days this Spring,  it is raining incessantly.  The quote above reminded me that no matter the gray skies, my heart and soul should be full of cheer.

SPREAD THE WORD:

Goodness of Heart

Dead, decaying flowers.  Really?  What is the allure?  I cannot explain it, but I love to photograph dead or decaying flowers.  I find them intriguing.  So much detail comes through the petals.  The colors mold into unknown shades.  Decaying, or dead flowers speak to me saying, “Even in death, there is life and more to come.”

The flower in the photograph below is a white tulip.  I saved the tulips a bit too long as mold was beginning to grow on the stems.  Time was not permitting me to tend to them until yesterday.  I finally thought “enough is enough” and decided not to let the opportunity to photograph the bouquet pass by.  I noticed this particular flower was hanging in the shape of a heart.  It is almost as though it is traveling through the air.

You’ll notice that there are three images for you to view.  I thought the original was a bit drab despite the detail.  I used backlighting and could have exposed it more, but when I did it seemed blown out and some of the details were lost.

The second version is edited in Photoshop using a curves level and then adding a texture layer.  Have you used Adobe Paper Texture Pro?  I love it.  There are so many options and once you have applied a texture layer you can adjust the opacity in the layers panel.

Loving black and white photography the way I do, I of course had to include a third version in black and white.  I left the texture layer on when converting to black and white.

Which version of the tulip speaks to you the most?  What does it say?

wm e_RGP3625 no texture

Original “Goodness of Heart”

ss 1/60 f 4.5 ISO 400

Nikon D810, Nikkor 105mm f2.8

wm e_RGP3625

Curve adjustment and Adobe Paper Texture Pro Layer – Brushed Rose

wm e_RGP3625 bw

Version II converted to Black and White

SPREAD THE WORD:

Never Stop Fighting…Every Day

Last week I posted a photograph of a wilted flower on Monochromia.  Sue was curious what the photograph looked like in color.  Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s first communion and the celebration and had family in from out of town thus preventing me from getting extra time to create a second post.   With that being said, I thought I would post the lily in color in addition to posting a color version of the image I posted on Monochromia today.  Which do you like best?  Do you find the black and white versions more appealing, or the color versions?  When you visit Monochromia, you will also find fabulous quotes that accompany the images.  I would love to hear your thoughts as to which version of each image is best accompanied by each quote.

wm RGP_4398 C

Never Stop Fighting

SS 1/60 F 3.5 ISO 400

wm RGP_4417 C

Every Day…

SS 1/250 F 5.6 ISO 400

SPREAD THE WORD:

The Gown

The Gown

“The sun shines,

When I’m with you,

Your smile makes me want to dance.

Tonight, I’ll put on my favorite gown,

Place a diamond comb in my hair,

Dazzle you with my beauty,

And sway in your arms,

Until the morning light appears.”

copyright Robyn Graham

This photograph is the side of a Daffodil turned upside down. As I was photographing Daffodils from my garden I played with them to find unique angles to shoot.  This reminded me of a woman’s ball gown.  The first line of the poem is one of the meanings of the Daffodil in The Language of Flowers.  The poem, was an inspiration from the Daffodils outside my window dancing in the afternoon sun.

Life is so busy right now.  I once again have to apologize for my inactivity in the world of blogging.  I cherish all of my followers and I appreciate those who stop by, browse through my blog, like my work, and leave comments.  Please forgive me for not always returning that kind gesture.  With three children, each in multiple activities, I find myself having a bit too much to juggle and very little time to browse blog posts and admire the work of my virtual friends.

With work I have been busy with product shoots, head shots, first communion portraits, senior portraits and more. I hope to blog about a couple of the unique projects in the near future.  I have also been doing some behind the scenes work for future “big” projects with my photography….keep your fingers crossed for me!  Hopefully they will come to fruition in the next 12 to 18 months.

SPREAD THE WORD:

Unrequited Love I

Unrequited Love I

“Unrequited love has Winter for Spring ~

Spring presents herself, but Winter does not want to take leave.

He delivers an unwelcome snow that covers the blooms Spring has brought forth.

The blooms pout as the weight of the snow bears down on them

and prevents them from sharing their glory.”

copyright Robyn Graham

In the “History and Language of Flowers”, one of the meanings of the daffodil is unrequited love.  The above poem was inspired by this meaning of the Daffodil.

To see another black and white photograph of a Daffodil covered with snow visit Monochromia for my Thursday post.

SPREAD THE WORD: