Saturday, January 31, 2009

solitude


I think my title for today's photo is self explanatory. This solitary drop caught my attention during one of my garden visits. It is alone but it is not lonely. Rather, it embodies solitude accompanied by calmness with a hint of expectancy. Do you agree?

Don't we sometimes feel this too? We can be alone yet not be lonely. But we can also be in a crowd and can be lonely.

Friday, January 30, 2009

nature's electric fan


I think you can see why I called this photo "nature's electric fan". The resemblance to an actual electric fan is rather uncanny, don't you agree? I am really amazed at the variety of web designs I have encountered in my garden. I'm sure you have also seen other varieties in your garden or elsewhere.

This is one of the reasons why I love photography. It teaches me to pay more attention to my surroundings and discover the treasures of nature.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

orchid


You know what, I just realized today that I have not yet shared a true orchid picture. So this is what I am sharing today.

Orchids always appear to me to be either showy, exotic, mysterious, regal, or even haughty, but never dainty. I have yet to see a dainty orchid. What about you?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

one more sunset


I know I have posted several sunset photos already (Oct 22, a little bit of foreground; Nov 10, thank God for sunsets; Dec 6, one more sunset photo), but can I help it? Sunsets are just so beautiful and I am sure you will not mind seeing another one. Right? I hope so.

I was sitting in front of my computer one afternoon and I saw this fiery red sunset from my window. I immediately stopped what I was doing, got my camera, went out, and just started shooting away. I got several pictures that afternoon and what I'm sharing today is just one of them. I printed some of the photos and every time I showed them to friends, they would always pick out this specific photo as one of their favorites.

I'm going to repeat what I said in my Nov 10 post - 'thank God for sunsets'.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Converting a photo to a card


What I am sharing today is another photo that I converted to a card.

I took this photo early in the morning just as the sun’s rays penetrated the sky. The rays created sparkles on the raindrops on blades of grass and I thought the effect was very nice.

I found the quote from Mother Teresa scribbled in my notebook and put the two together (in photoshop).

The lowly grass reminded me that we can indeed do small things with great love and come up with a bigger, better picture of our world. Don't you agree?

Monday, January 26, 2009

add people in your landscape photo


Have you ever noticed how adding people to a landscape (or seascape, or airscape) photo makes it more interesting?

I mentioned this in a previous post last November 14 wherein I talked about my "stalker shots". http://aphotoaday-saanva.blogspot.com/2008/11/stalker-shot.html

Well, this photo that I'm sharing today shows this. Just imagine how this photo would appear without the person in the picture. It would just be another waterfalls picture, right? Adding the person however made it more interesting. Now, you can start asking some questions like: "What is that person doing there? Is he/she exploring or planning something? suicide maybe? or is he/she looking for some rare specimens? So, there seems to be a ledge there?..."

See what I mean? Adding the person can make us ask questions and maybe take a second look at the picture.

Of course we have to be careful that the person we add to the picture does not distract from the whole scene that we want to take a picture of.

Oh by the way, the person in the picture is a 'she'. She is a friend and fellow photographer who went up the falls to explore more angles for a shot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

rainbow in a spider web?


Have you ever seen the colors of the rainbow caught in a spider web? I have seen it once or twice and luckily I was able to take this picture that I am sharing today.

One time I was in the garden just as the sun was just coming out. Its rays created sparkles in raindrops and some of them got caught in this spider web. The spider web then reflected rainbow colors as the light played on its intricate design. What a beautiful sight it was!

If you want to take a similar picture, you have to move fast because light changes rapidly and before you know it the angle of the rays may have already changed. The rays have to be at a certain angle in order to get this rainbow effect.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hibiscus unfolding


I remember promising in my Jan 6 post, "Hibiscus unfolded", that I will show you another photo of the same Hibiscus flower as it is just unfolding. I said that the flower totally changes in character as it unfolds. Please compare today's photo with that of the Jan 6 post. Do you see the difference?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Want a cool effect in your photos?


I was playing around with photoshop and discovered a way to create some cool effects. If you want your photo to have a kind of zoomed in effect, then try this...

Open your photo in photoshop (I used CS for this photo but you can use newer versions of course), go to "filter", click on "blur", then "radial" and finally "zoom". You can use the slider to increase or decrease the zoom effect. Viola, you now have a zoomed in photo as what is shown in this picture.

Try it! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

have you ever tried street dancing?


Have you ever tried street dancing? If you haven't, I suggest that you do. One good way to do that is to join the Ati-atihan festival which is being celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January here in the Philippines. The celebration actually lasts for about a week and culminates on the 3rd Sunday of January. The eve and the final day are the best ones to join.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the origin as well as the highlights of this festival.

It has been years since I last joined this festival so I had the time of my life when I joined last weekend. I did not have time to put on a costume and some paint on my face though. Still, I had fun dancing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

saying hello without goodbye


Hello,
I was out for a week but was not able to say goodbye. Well, nobody seems to have noticed because I did not receive any inquiry. Anyway, I had to attend to some family matters in the province and didn't have a chance to say goodbye before I left.

I'm back today and I wish to share with you one of the photos I took while I was in the province. I was lucky my trip happened to coincide with the Ati-atihan festival there.

The festival is like a mardi gras but with a religious flavor. People paint their faces black, wear colorful tribal costumes, and dance in the streets while carrying statues of the Child Jesus.

The activity commemorates the agreement of peace between the Christians (Spaniards) and the original natives called Atis or Aetas (dark-skinned people). The Christians gave a replica of the Child Jesus (Sto. Nino)to the natives while the latter gave food to the Christians.

Anybody can join in the festivities. The frenzied beat of the drums usually makes even timid souls forget about inhibitions and just join in the fun. Somebody once commented that the festival gives license to anybody to go crazy and nobody will mind (as long as you don't hurt yourself or anybody else in the process). So the festival is a good stress reliever.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

drop of life


I didn't realize until I have uploaded my post that yesterday was my 100th day of sharing and writing about my photography adventures. Imagine that, 100 days! So in celebration of this 100th day, I thought that starting my 101st day with a favorite topic is appropriate.

So today I share another raindrop photo. I love this photo because the mood is one of giving. The leaf appears like a hand catching and at the same time sharing an important component of life - water. The photo also captures the freshness of the morning and the brightness of a new day.

With this new beginning, I plan to go on for another hundred days and then scan my horizon and see what happens next.

I hope that you will stay with me for the next hundred days of adventure.

Here's to life and a new beginning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

green wings


I used a very narrow depth of field in this photo, thus the sharp focus on only one part and everything else is blurred. I really just wanted to focus on how the 2 leaves diverged from each other. They (the leaves) look like the wings of a bird thus the title.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

emerged


Here is another view of Anthurium. This is the "younger sister" flower of what I shared yesterday. Even if this is younger than the one in yesterday's post, it looks fully emerged because of the angle the photo was taken, thus the title.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this photo today because the small, white, flowers are more obvious in this angle than the ones in yesterday's post. The spathe is also a darker pink. I noticed that in this variety, the spathe starts as dark pink and turns lighter as the flowers mature.

Monday, January 12, 2009

emerging


I called this photo "emerging" because the spadix containing the flowers appear like it is emerging. Actually this is already fully emerged but I think the essence of emerging dominates, right?

This is a mini Anthurium. The actual flowers are really the small dot-like structures found on the spadix, the purple elongated structure. The leaf-like structure which people usually think of as the flower (because it is generally colorful) is simply a colored bract called the spathe. It is light pink in this plant but others come in brilliant red, burgandy, orange, green, yellow or white. Anthuriums thus usually differ in their spadix and spathe.

The spadix can take on many forms (tapered as in this photo, club-shaped, globe-shaped or even spiraled). It also comes in various colors (purple as in this photo, white, red, green, pink, or a combination).

By the way, both spadix and spathe may change color from bud to fully expanded. And hey, do you know that male and female flowers are usually arranged in separate bands on the spadix?

So today, I'm not only sharing a photo, I'm also giving a mini botany lecture. Ha ha.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

friends or lovers


This photo evokes a feeling of tenderness in me. Can you feel it too? However, I'm not sure if it's the tenderness of friendship or of love. One can see that both are trying to reach out to each other. The lower one appears to be on tiptoe while the taller one is bending slightly such that an actual touch is just whisper away. One cannot be sure though if they are actually touching each other partly through their stems. I guess I'll leave it up to you to decide if they are friends or lovers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

curtsy


One of the tips in composition is the use of an S curve. I thought that this photo is a perfect example of this. Because of the S curve, the plant looks so graceful. It looks as if it is doing a curtsy in preparation for the dance.

Friday, January 9, 2009

on the verge of...


It's been raining lately so you will have to understand if I share another raindrop picture today. As I mentioned several times before, raindrops are one of my favorite subjects for photography, so every time I see them, I can't help but take another picture.

The big drop in this picture seems to be on the verge of something...a new world perhaps?...a mysterious universe?...a dream?...forever?.... Take your pick or make your own addition. Yes, please make your own addition and tell me about it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This is the spider that I was talking about yesterday. When I visited this morning, it was still in almost the same spot as it was yesterday. Well, it's probably because it rained again so it just could not return to its other web. Or maybe the web really belongs to another kind of spider. However, I did not see any other spider nearby, that's why I assumed that it belonged to this spider.

Anyway, as you can see, it is a very attractive spider. I was almost glowing in the dark.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

drops on a web


It rained lightly last night so everything was fresh and clean this morning. I visited my little garden as soon as there was light and look what I found - raindrops caught on a spider's web. They looked like jewels sparkling in the early morning light. I immediately got my camera and started shooting away.

I wondered were the spider was and I found it in another hastily put up web under a leaf. I said hastily there because the web was not as elaborate as the one with the raindrops. It probably abandoned its original web when it rained and took shelter under a nearby leaf. I'll show you the spider picture next time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hibiscus unfolded


This is another variety of Hibiscus. This variety flowers the year round and the flowers change in character as they unfold.

This photo shows a fully unfolded flower. I will share in a future post a flower that is just beginning to unfold and you will understand what I mean.

Monday, January 5, 2009

salmon shower


This is the flower of Ixora sp. commonly called "santan" here in the Philippines. It is commonly used as a hedge plant since it is very sturdy and has colorful flowers. There are many species as well as varieties of this plant. I am not sure what species this plant is but I have several of this in various colors in my garden.

I called this photo "salmon shower" because of the color and the way the florets are arranged.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

the eagle is landing


This is the flower of a ground orchid. Most of the time, ants cover the flower even before it opens. I was lucky I was able to take a picture of an ant-free blossom. At this angle the flower looks like a bird, like an eagle that is about to land, thus the title.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

nature's fireworks


The Hibiscus is a flower with many facets. I used to keep several varieties of Hibiscus in my garden. However, they died one after the other. I don't know what happened. They must have been hit by a virus or something.

Anyway, I used to take pictures of Hibiscus often and what I'm sharing today is just one of the many pictures. This one looks like a fireworks display while I shared my "magic wand" in one of my other posts before.

Friday, January 2, 2009

a blade of grass


I was out photo-hunting around our yard one day and I saw this little raindrop on a blade of grass. I bent over to get a better view and this is what came out. I thought it was perfect for a card but it needed some quotation. So I "Googled" for a quote about a grass and I got this. Combining the two (picture and quote) gave me this postcard perfect photo. Do you like it?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

a rose for New Year


Among all the flowers I thought a rose reminds me most of New Year. Somehow a rose seems to go with sparkling wines and celebration. Thus today I share a photo of a rose for the first day of the new year.

Happy New Year!
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