Thursday, September 24, 2015

Summer Garden In Shadow And Light

iris, bulb, flower, purple iris

Now that the autumnal equinox has arrived here in the northern hemisphere, I am beginning to lament my summer garden. Although there are still plenty of flowers to enjoy, the slow change into fall has begun, and the various plants, bushes and trees are turning from the many shades of summer green to the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn.

Throughout the summer I had fun taking photos of my garden on various days during the magic hour. The magic hour is that time of day when the sun is near the horizon, (roughly the first or last hour of daylight), and the light from the sun travels through a greater depth of atmosphere, creating brilliant colors and long shadows which add texture and depth to your photos. The intensity of direct light is diffused, and the result is an illuminated indirect light. These conditions, and the fact that I have a very small backyard and many trees in the neighborhood, make for a lot of variety in the kinds of light in my garden.  

Let's have a bit of fun here! See if you can guess which time of day each of my photos were taken - morning or evening - and at the end, I'll tell you. For example, the iris photo above was taken at 6:06 p.m.  Ready?

Almost everyone's favorite flower - at least on Instagram - a hydrangea:
hydrangea, pink hydrangea, blooming hydrangea, blooming pink hydrangea

Delicious strawberries:
strawberries, red strawberries, ripe strawberries, red ripe strawberries

This potted plant of an unknown variety:
potted plant

Here's one of my echinacea plants with some sweet peas behind it:
echinacea, white echinacea, coneflower, white coneflower

Next are some blackberries:
blackberries, blackberry, summer blackberries, summer blackberry

Then the same blackberries in a more distant shot with some Shasta daisies and another kind of iris:
blackberries, iris, Shasta Daisy, blackberry, irises, dasies

How about some roses?
roses, rose, pink roses, pink rose, summer rose

Then those Shasta daisies again, on a different day and from a different perspective:
Shasta Daisy, daisies, summer daisy, summer daisies

We're back to the blackberries again, this time just some of the leaves, and a week later than the last shot of them:
blackberry leaves, blackberry leaf

And now a blueberry branch that has happily snuck under the fence:
blueberry, blueberries, blueberry bush, blueberry bush branch, blueberry branch

Here are those sweet peas again, a couple of weeks later:
peas, climbing peas, fat peas

I think this is the same hydrangea, about a month later:
hydrangea, pink hydrangea, summer hydrangea

I love this yellow daisy - in the autumn the birds, such as warblers and finches, come and eat the seed clusters:
daisy, daisies, yellow daisy, yellow daisies

And who can resist the intoxicating scent of a Summer Wine lily?  Not me!
Summer Wine lily, lily, pink lily, pink Summer Wine lily

And last but not least - a dahlia:
dahlia, yellow dahlia

So, starting from the top - the first hydrangea, the strawberries and the unknown potted plant were all photographed on the same June evening between 5:57 and 6:20 p.m.

Moving into the month of July, the echinacea was photographed at 6:55 p.m.

Then both of those blackberry pictures were taken in the morning at 7:31 and 7:33 a.m. 

The roses and the Shasta daisies - 9:15 and 9:16 p.m.! Can you sense that warm pinkish-orange ambience? This was one of those evenings when the sky was glowing those colors and when you looked out at the light, all you would see is an amazing orange glow - a phenomena I've never seen anywhere else I've ever lived, except right here in Oregon. See the sky, below:

We're in the middle of July now with the blackberry leaves and the blueberry branch - both 7:32 and 7:39 p.m.  

The pea vines with bursting pods were photographed at 6:39 p.m.

The second hydrangea photo, along with the yellow daisies and Summer Wine lily - were all taken on July 24th at 7:42, 8:10, and 8:17 a.m.

And finally, moving into August, I photographed the dahlia at 5:53 p.m.

I hope you've enjoyed this exercise in shadow and light.  Do you enjoy photography? What are your experiences in capturing interesting light conditions?

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