You know those exquisite wintertime close-up photos of ice crystals forming on bubbles as they freeze? These are not those. You are looking at the messy, interesting results of an attempt at such photos though.
Despite being plenty cold, it has been too breezy outside for bubbles. I thought the sheltered and well-lit space of my uninsulated sunroom might be a better bet. I was able to blow lovely bubbles and drop them onto a small pile of snow, but the sunroom was, well, too sunny. It had warmed to an ambient temperature of a balmy -10C or so (compared to the -20 to -30C temps outside lately). -10C may not be not quite cold enough for dramatic crystal formations, despite what so many internet tutorials say. The bubbles did freeze, looking a bit like surreal, shattered crystal balls, and I found a few frames from this session that are interesting enough to share.
I’ll keep trying, since this is one of those winter projects that is relatively simple and contained, and can be done while staying home…in the meantime, check out some of my other winter photography posts!
For more wintery details and scenes, visit my winter photo gallery in the archives, and find winter photography prints in my shop.
“The more specific we are, the more universal something can become. Life is in the details. If you generalize it doesn’t resonate. The specificity of it is what resonates.” – Jacqueline Woodson
A favourite image from my personal archives; a ladybug crawling along a fallen leaf catches a perfect pool of sunlight against a shadowed glass table. These quiet moments and details sum up so much of that time and place, and I can remember where I stood and how the air felt when a flash of red caught my eye…
Macro photography and being immersed in natural details informs many of my fine art photographic studies, find more like this in my blog archives:
Summer gardens here in Saskatchewan are abundant with flowers, and these pale blue and lavender delphinium blooms are from a volunteer plant in the one flower bed I have managed to tend this past year. It is a surprise every spring, as having not planted it, I easily forget that such a lovely plant is hiding, dormant between the chives and tulip bulbs all winter.
This particular stem of soft petals was broken by a heavy summer downpour during an afternoon thunderstorm. I looked out the kitchen window and saw it drooping heavily, and after the lightning subsided, went outside to see if it could be salvaged. The stalk was torn nearly through, and the flowers were drenched in rain. I cut the spike free, gently shook most of the water off, and put the two foot tall tower of pastel blooms in a vase.
The clearing storm provided soft, diffused light and seeing how some tiny waterdrops still clung to the flower petals, I ran inside for my camera. This was a wonderful opportunity to use my macro extension tubes, and the exercise of shooting manually, leaning in and out ever so slightly to perfect the plane of focus, was an enjoyable reminder of the photographic techniques I learned when shooting film decades ago.
A selection of these lovely summer flowers have been added to my fine art prints gallery titled Bloom and the entire collection of rain-soaked delphinium blossoms can be found in the APK Photography archive gallery Flowers & Plants.
Of all the flowers I collected and grew in my coastal California garden, this dark, mysterious iris was an all-time favorite. The colors of the petals were so rich, so unusual, when I found the plant for sale at a native plant nursery, I knew I had to have it.
For several seasons it bloomed happily in the shaded patch of bulbs and lilies near my front door, and on a softly overcast day I knelt in the rich soil to capture these photos of my rare iris. To this day, I have not been able to pin down an exact name (identifications welcome!) and my best guess, based on provenance, is some variety of Pacific Coast Iris, possibly ‘New Blood’. Regardless, I will forever be hoping to find this variety again, as these maroon deep purple shades are rare in the flowering world, and made even more striking by the flames of golden orange and yellow in the center.
These three images are now available as fine art prints, and can be found in my Botanical Prints collection – custom sizing and styles are always available, please use the Contact form to reach me and we will work together to bring these dramatic, stunning iris flowers to life once more!
Is there any flower more beautiful than the peony, bursting with elegant, ruffled petals? Each bloom is at once refined and tousled, often softly fragrant, and so quick to fade as the heat of summer overtakes the blushing warmth of late spring. I’ll just let these macro and abstract peony photos speak for themselves…
All of these dreamy peony close-up photos are available as prints, and if you’d like a custom size or print style, please use the Contact form to reach me, I’d be thrilled to help bring these incredible flowers to life for you!
Everyone knows the copper, orange-gold of California poppies, particularly as they form drifts of color across the hillsides of a Western summer landscape. This poppy is of a slightly different variety, a shade of deep scarlet red that I’ve not seen in the wild. It was a prolific garden bloomer however, scattering seeds every season and thriving in the sandy soil of my coastal backyard.
I saw this particular bloom after a light rain shower, as the sun came out from behind the clouds, and I couldn’t resist capturing the vibrant color and jewel-like water droplets in full macro detail.
This image has been a favourite for custom print orders, and I am releasing it as a Limited Edition of 30, sized 8×12 and printed on fine art paper with luminous colours and beautiful detail. Find this stunning flower art print and more like it at apkphotoprints.com
Of all plants, succulents are among the most varied and unusual to have found a place in my garden. They offer a range of colors, textures, shapes and sizes that make for particularly interesting macro photography.
Lithops plants are native to South Africa, and resemble the pebbles and rocky landscape in which they evolved. They seem to be forgiving houseplants, and bloomed often in the mild coastal climate of Monterey, California.
These two macro images are a Lithops plant at different stages of blooming. The leaves look like pale green rocks, and the flower emerges as a tightly held bud, with hints of the vibrantly colored petals about to unfold as the flower opens.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
More butterflies, flowers, and quiet moments here…
The colours that emerge in nature are sometimes so startlingly brilliant, it can be impossible to look away. These floral beauties grow in my garden, and the blended shades of fuchsia, scarlet, orange and gold rival even the most technicolor sunset skies.
One of many such stunning blooms available for licensing and as fine art floral prints.
This time of year always feel a bit like limbo. With each glimpse of warmer spring weather, a sizeable snow storm or cold week of rain becomes a dreary seasonal setback. The coastal California climate is mild, and winters tend to be full of green pastures and wind-battered trees. Spring shows itself in small bursts of wildflowers, which emerge after even the shortest spell of warm sunny days. Often this colourful respite is short-lived, as inclement weather can return for weeks at a time.
This little blue wildflower covered in raindrops is one of my favourite wildflowers of early spring. Sometimes laying down in the muddy dampness of a February field is the only way to get close enough to truly believe these fleeting signs of the shifting seasons.
Looking for evocative floral and botanical images from every season? Find my fine art wildflower photography prints and wall decor here.