Lily pond reflections

As beautiful as the perfect pink lilies are, it was the ripples in the water that really caught my eye here.  The yellow and green stripes in the water just brought out the light and movement as the surface of the water was touched by a light wind.

I could have zoomed in more on the flowers but the water was just as interesting in this case.  I’m not sure everyone would agree with my choice here but this was the scene that I found most appealing.  That each of us can see different things when looking at nature is one of the things that makes it always appealing.  On my next visit, I’m sure I will see another aspect that captures my attention.  What a great way to spend an afternoon.

Monet Waterlily Festival
Gibbs Gardens
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
200mm @ f/9 – 1/20 sec – ISO 250

Gibbs Gardens  #GibbsGardens  #MonetWaterlilyFestival  #WaterLilies  #flowers #gardens #WithMyTamron #reflections #LilyPond

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Slipper Orchid

The orchid center at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is full of many different types of orchids and other exotic plants.  These slipper orchids really look as if some tiny person could slip them on their feet and walk off into the forest in high style.

I love seeing the fantastic variety of shapes and colors that the orchid family is made up of.  All the beautiful plants at the gardens are a pleasure to experience.  It is a true joy to spend time here and marvel at the wonders of nature and be glad to have the chance to share in this amazing planet we live on.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/100 sec – ISO 400

Just add water

It is amazing how a little water can make things more interesting.  These day lilies are beautiful all on their own but adding water drops make the image quite different.  Those little spots of water shining in the sun and dripping off the edges adds another layer of things to look at.

Some photographers carry spray bottles or splash pond water onto subjects they are shooting.  I guess that is fine but I prefer to see this when it occurs naturally.  Catching the early morning dew or times just after a rain are wonderful.  These times also seem to have more interesting light in general so it is a great opportunity to get special images.

There’s no substitute for great light and an interesting subject.  With a little luck, you might get some water elements included.  This is the best!

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Gainesville, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
270mm @ f/16 – 1/40 sec – ISO 400

Tending the flowers

I love to see the beauty of flowers on a Summer’s day but when you add butterflies to the mix, it is hard to get anything better.  It is so interesting to watch them poking through the flowers in search of nectar and then leaving with a coating of pollen to carry on to the next flower.  Nature has such an amazing way of joining things together.  The flower provides for the insects and the insects make it possible for the flowers to reproduce.

The circle of life is pretty cool!

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/250 sec – ISO 100

Along the way

As we were walking the Waterfall Trail at Cloudland Canyon, the sweeping views of mountains and forest and waterfalls called out for attention.  At the same time, there were many smaller voices calling that were easy to miss like these yellow flowers.  The local inhabitants (bees) didn’t miss them but I’m sure most hikers went right by without even noticing.

Another case of how much we can miss when not paying attention.  I guess you can say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff” but, I also say – don’t miss out on the small stuff that might be really cool.  Hope you notice some small detail today that brings a smile.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
hand-held
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/11 – 1/25 sec – ISO 400

The Curious Garden

The current special exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is called The Curious Garden.  It is  a mix of plants and man-made objects intended to pique our curiosity and make us think about things in a different way.

The Curious Garden features 11 site-specific installations created to highlight the Garden’s plant collections and plant conservation work by prompting visitors to make discoveries, ask questions and engage in conversations. Bold, often unexpected, man-made and altered natural materials are employed to direct the eye to focus on the simple beauty of nature.

My image above is part of the installation inside the Orchid Center conservatory.  This display features multiple chandeliers and crystal beads with orchids and other plants entwined among the hanging lights.  It is a wonderful combination of shape, color and light.  We found ourselves walking in circles while looking up through the leaves, flowers and shiny sparkly glass.  Quite a sight to see!

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
38mm @ f/16 – 1/10 sec – ISO 400

Jungle Orchid

There are so many beautiful orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  This one caught my eye mainly because of the leaves.  The apricot-colored flower is magnificent but the patterns in the leaves just made me think of some deep-dark jungle.  Sometimes, the background is just as important as the subject.

In his Macro Bootcamp workshop, Mike Moats tells students that his most successful images come from a combination of a subject and a background that work well together.  I’m not sure if I lived up to his level on this one but I do believe that the combination of the two is more than either one by themselves.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/16 sec – ISO 400