Tag Archives: Flowers & Plants

Spring Blooms in Chicago Steel

This photo was taken in early spring. Sometimes, in Chicago, this is the only kind of flower you get in March.

Sometimes, when steel is all you got, steel flowers is all you get in Chicago in March.
Sometimes, when steel is all you got, steel flowers is all you get in Chicago in March.


This is one of those photos that I couldn’t let go of. I hemmed and hawed… I just wasn’t sure. I think part of it is that I’m growing more comfortable in the idea of letting go of rigid crop ratios. If it doesn’t fit the image, change it!

Don’t get me wrong… some day, I’ll crop a lot less. Who knows, that some day might be soon. Until then, I’ll give you what I can with what I got. 🙂


Bonsai Water Drops

I have to say that when it comes to design and art the Japanese are often onto something. The Chicago Botanic Garden has many examples of Japanese horticulture but the Bonsai is special.

When the sun goes down and these displays are lit from underneath, they invite me to think of them as completely different displays and sometimes I think of them as completely different worlds. But this time it was a little rainy and that really made them special.

This Bonsai tree was lit from underneath at an outdoor display while it was raining.
This Bonsai tree was lit from underneath at an outdoor display while it was raining.

Indoor Displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden

At the Chicago Botanic Garden, they have the Regenstein Center and in one part of it is an indoor atrium. They really know what they’re doing.  This atrium has a skylight, it’s long and has pools of water at either end. This arrangement of color and texture was really fun to look at.

I set this as a panorama with my 50mm lens. The full resolution image is nearly 10000 pixels wide! If you click on the image the link will bring you to my smugmug page where you can see the full resolution image.

The Chicago Botanic Garden's Regenstein Center's indoor flower garden.
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Center’s indoor flower garden.

Dahlias open and Dahlias closed

I like Dahlias. They express their colors so dynamically. Pinks, reds, magentas, to a blazing yellow and orange fire deep inside the flower.

A Dahlia in bloom and another waiting it's turn to open up.

A Dahlia in bloom and another waiting it’s turn to open up.

I have to admit that I had to post this one because I saw Anna Ryndak (a Google+ Photographer) post her picture of one of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Dahlia’s and I just had to show mine, too.  This one was from a few days ago.

Ground Lit Palm Trees in HDR


What happens when I have a tripod and take my time!

fivedayquest Day 4, thanks Mihoko Yamanashi for the invite

On this fourth day at the Chicago Botanic Garden in a row, I had an initial feeling of boredome. NOT THAT! KISS OF DEATH! I dreaded my results.

I needed an idea, inspiration, a LIGHTBULB! Lucky for me the lights came on at the garden again! I knew that the green house would need the lights and this time, I had the tripod because I didn’t need to carry an umbrella.

Tropical Green House at the Chicago Botanic Garden. After the lights come on the green house shows a different character.
Tropical Green House at the Chicago Botanic Garden. After the lights come on the green house shows a different character.

This last weekend I purchased Photomatix for HDR processing. When this bracket first processed, my jaw dropped. I know there’s a few things that can be done to push the processing further, but one thing at a time! 🙂

Who do I invite?  Since I have a short attention span and I just liked Wendy Baker ‘s awesome photo of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring… well, I pick YOU Wendy Baker .

The rules are simple, post photos for 5 days in a row. Tag me in each post, tag 1 new person to do it each day, and use the hashtag fivedayquest . You don’t have to start right away. Start whenever you want! The idea is that it’s daily life.

hdrphotography 20mmprime sonynex7 bluehourphotography palmtrees flowers gardens botanicalgarden  (it was after sunset, btw!)


Stargazer Lilly at the Chicago Botanic Garden

I really like lilies. I believe that this is a Stargazer Lilly. It’s in a central atrium at the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I was surprised by the dynamic range of the setting! So many rich colors and dark tones that I had to use multiple exposures.

I hope you enjoy this one. It’s just nice to look at.

Stargazer Lilly CBG

The Five Day Quest from G+

Today I’m copying a post I made to G+. If you don’t use G+ and you’re a photographer, I HIGHLY recommend it! In a lot of ways it’s the best place to interact with other photographers, period. It’s not the be-all-end-all of photographic social media, but it’s something you can’t do without!

Anyways, this thing called a FiveDayQuest has been running around on there and it’s been fun and popular. Here is the begining of another 5DQ!

+Mihoko Yamanashi tagged me for the FiveDayQuest. This is the second time I’ve been tagged for this. The first time was by +Lauri Novak . (See what you’ve done, Lauri?)

So, Mihoko is from Japan! I am surprised and honored to fulfill this request. And, because I’m not wanting to redo my last 5DQ, I’m thinking I’ll focus on the “Quest” aspect.

Today I finally plunked down money to become a member of the Chicago Botanic Garden! And… They have a Bonsai Display. I decided to make this photo today. Since Mihoko’s been stressed with classes and what-not, who doesn’t want flowers?

It all adds to a flowering bonsai!

Pink Bonsai Flowers

What will the ‘quest’ be for the 5 days? Well, I’ll see if I can visit the garden after work for the next 4 days. (YIKES!)

But what’s a quest that doesn’t have a bit of travel?

Who will I invite?

+Shelby Young , I tag you! If you’ve done this before, I didn’t see it. If it’s your second tag, did you see the start to this post? 🙂 Anyways, she is always up to posting something, it seems, so I doubt this would be a problem for her and it’s always good!

Shelby, the rules are simple. Start this whenever you like, it’s up to you! You need to tag the person who invited you in each post. And in each post, you need to invite a new person, too.

Btw, I’m chosing a theme because I don’t want to be bored by the quest. You don’t have to have a theme.  It’s really just supposed to be daily life, stuff. I guess it’s an unspoken rule (until now) picture taken the day it’s posted.

(I’m posting this with a little more than minutes to midnight)

Chicago Botanic Garden: Red vs Green

The Chicago Botanic Garden, as I said yesterday, presents challenges to me. Some of these challenges are a bit more unique to me than many. One of those challenges relates to the fact that I’m red/green colorblind. As a result my eyes tend to naturally use their processing power more on shapes, movements, patterns, and luminance differences.  I do not see in black and white.

But today’s picture is an extreme example! I almost walked right past these flowers. I wasn’t impressed!

But I was walking with a relative that had retired from portraiture and she couldn’t get enough of them. These things get lost in the see of green that surrounds it. So, I tried to take a picture of them, anyway. In the back of my head, I was thinking I’ll reprocess the colors in Lightroom so I like them. I think you can see from my list above that I highlighted the shapes and patterns and luminance difference in my capture. In Lightroom, I accentuate these differences just so I can notice the differences in color. I darkened the greens and lightened the reds and pumped up the saturation on each.

Fire Engine Red

What do they look like to you? Over baked? Maybe it looks electric? Or maybe like someone went nuts with the crayons?

To me it’s just…


That’s all. Just noticeable.

Barely. (ok, maybe I’m pushing it a bit! But only a little.)