Prickly Pear Cactus
It’s always fun to respond to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post. Click on this link to see the many creative responses to his challenge to represent the idea of attraction.
We are attracted to many things. Google quotes about attraction and you will find the overwhelming majority refer to that mysterious magnetic relationship between two people. But aren’t we also attracted to our child’s giggle, our grandmother’s biscuits, our best friend’s laugh, our dog’s antics? What about the brilliant sunset or the crash of ocean waves or the piece of rich dark chocolate?
I am, of course, attracted to certain people, but nature captures my attention as well. I am attracted to flowers, especially yellow flowers, and I was rewarded with these beauties which I found today at the Desert Botanical Gardens, which is a Tourist Attraction.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
Palo Verde Tree
This is the tree in the previous post. While taking pictures of the mountains in the distance, I turned to my left and was struck by the fragile power of the lone tree. I focused with the tree smack in the middle of the image, knowing that I would probably crop it later.
I want you to see the steps I took in post to get the image that I might print.
Take a look at the sky in the image as I shot it. See the spots? My sensor was dirty but I didn’t realize it. (The camera is, at this moment, “in the shop” having its sensor cleaned
#1: The image as captured by my camera.
#2: I used Photoshop Elements to clean up the sky and remove the distracting scrub bushes. I need to work on this because it’s obvious where I removed the larger bush. In a way, I like the unsettled feeling created by the tree in the middle of the image. Lonely.
#3: In Lightroom, I cropped using the Rule of 3rds, decreased the clarity of the sky to further clean up the spots, increased the blue saturation in the sky, added grain, and added post-crop vignetting.
#4: I increased the saturation.
After enjoying a few tastes of wine at Sonoita Winery, I tramped around some abandoned buildings down the road and was drawn by the complementary colors of the rusting metal locker against old building.
For those of us who love an excellent glass of wine, it makes perfect sense to pray for a healthy crop of grapes, doesn’t it?
For more than three decades, wine enthusiasts have gathered in this little corner of Arizona, just a breath away from the Mexican border at Nogales, to ask God’s blessing on the vines of Sonoita Vineyards. The vineyards began in 1973 as an experiment by a soil specialist at the University of Arizona who discovered that the soil here is similar to that in the Burgundy region of France. You can read more about Dr. Gordon Dutt, founder and original winemaker at Sonoita Vineyards here.
Yesterday, my friend and I took a day trip into Southern Arizona to tour the winery, sample one delicious wine after another, and join in the prayer and thanksgiving.
After Scripture readings and a brief encouraging (and at times entertaining) sermon, the clergy led the procession through the vineyard.
“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” ~Psalm 104:14-15
The blessing was delayed for a few minutes while we waited for the cowboys.
Yesterday, I had to return the incredible 50mm 1.2 lens I’d rented from borrowlenses.com; before I shipped off this sweet lens, I got a few practice shots of my students. While most of them hid their faces, this young lady, after a few warm-up shots, relaxed enough to give me this. (She later told me that she wants to be a model.)
Canon 50 mm 1.2 lens, shot at ISO 200, f/1.2, 1/200 sec. with ambient light.
These Euryops color the desert foothills and my back yard (er, patio). Because yellow flowers seem so joyful, I have surrounded myself with them this spring.
ISO 200, 105 mm, f/5.0 at 1/160 sec