Spring Flowers and an Old Dog

Ode to Pollock – Pentax K10D, f/7.1, 1/125 sec., ISO-320, 90mm macro

Last week was a busy with spring flowers in my photography and wrapping up classes and bureaucratic obligations at work. (This week is much the same.) The picture of my dog, at rest in one of his favorite spots on the back deck, is a reminder of the value of rest and reflection. He has a lot of deep thoughts lately. Also a lot of scratching, with all the pollen in the air.

No one of my pictures from last week stood out for me, so I’ve included a lengthy gallery of pictures that I almost really like.  All of them are missing something, I think. The most satisfying is the one of Jonah, my dog; but that’s more the way it captures how I feel about him than because it’s an interesting photograph. He’s aging pretty well–taking more pills than a lot of older men do–and seems happy, if less and less energetic.

Of the pictures of flowers and trees, I like something about each of them but struggled to pick one of them out as the best of the week. I had to pick one for the “cover” image for this post and any choice seemed random. Not a bad week of photography; an easy one from the point of view of finding things to shoot, with spring flowers and colors everywhere. But in the end not quite satisfying.

As you can see, I eventually went with a picture focused on the branches of a tree, with the colorful Magnolia flowers of the tree and the sky in the background blurred. I called it “Ode to Pollock” because it reminded me of Jackson Pollock’s splatter paintings. It is not an easy picture to look at; it’s jangly and chaotic.  But I think it holds together.

The colors of the Magnolia flowers are lovely, and I have a great shot in mind for next week’s post, with the flowers in color, fallen on the ground around a tree, but I decided to play with black & white with these shots. The flower and its shape and the play of light stand out more without the colors to distract. With the tulips, I’d taken macros of the flower many times over the past week or two and wanted to try something different, focusing more on the stems and from underneath. I’m not sure what the little purple and white flower is called, but it looked lovely in color and monochrome.

Finally, Jonah, in repose, bathed in early evening light.

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