Flowers, Light, Abstractions & Patterns

Flowers are one of photography’s most popular subjects. Natural in their “flavor”, be they found in nature, or planted and grown in a garden.

One of my favorite techniques for flower photography, was to find a blossom or two (or six), and by moving myself and my camera around, place them in front of a featureless, dark or even black background. A shadow if you will. If the subject is partially or totally backlit, so much the better. The Wild “as in not in a garden“, Bleeding Hearts you see below, were perfectly lit, and had a perfect shadowed background.

This one showed a couple of bothersome highlights in the otherwise deep, dark background. Admittedly, I cloned them out to acquire a flawless background.

Many natural backgrounds, even when in a sunlit field, can still provide a fairly un-disturbing and even flattering background.

These Prairie Coneflowers have beautiful wisps of color and shape in back of them. Enough to have a secondary interest, but doing so without competing with the flowers, as they are soft and out of focus.

When I was in a place that was not particularly photogenic, I let the light do the talking.

I had spent a nice day of wildlife (and some landscapes) photography on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. I was getting hungry for some more landscapes but they just were not presenting themselves to me. I decided to call it a day, get some food and a room, and maybe the light would make what was very ordinary stuff, a little more inviting on the morning.

Since I had struggled with the actual river the day before, I decided to wander around a few of the little creeks and alcoves that both feed into and out of the river. I began in the darkness and waited for the light.

I found a spot but it was pretty ordinary, and unless the morning sun would help me,  I would head home having shot “blanks” in river arealandscapes. I awaited the sun, and while it was a clear day, I could see there would be no grand landscapes. At least I could illustrate this area with vivid natural color.

Color, be it in the morning or afternoon, is in and of itself a subject. So a tree here, a pond there, and a bit of morning fog at the bottom of a hill, and it at least becomes a special morning for the one making the pictures.

Seeing the abstract.

Photo abstracts, are as much a state of mind as a reality. I mean, all of my abstracts subjects are real, tangible subjects, but how I personally see and relate to them, is what makes them worth (or not) sharing.

These leafless trees, photographed as the sun began to peak over the distant horizon, made for a perfect abstract. I admit that some images I made of this subject, are more abstract than this one. That was due to my taking away any clues of size by showing only branches with no sky around the edges. I preferred this semi abstract. I liked the way the tallest trees peaked in the center, and gradually came down around the edges. In some respects, it was geometry.

This leaf with an out focus green grass background, is pretty abstract.  This is what I saw, so this is what you see. Part of the leaf is below but behind the main part of that leaf.  My depth of field was shallow enough, that that one section of the photo is soft. It makes the image more abstract, and I kike that.

My final image is an abstract as well, and it is one I have shared several times before. I have made an unfathomable number of pictures in three visits to White Sands, New Mexico. Many are straight up, and many are abstracts.

I saw the picture below the moment I stood atop the dune that you see immediately in front of you. I have never seen this specific picture of this specific dune done this way by anybody else. Ever!

Each and every one of you, can create unique images that say what you and only you want them to say. You can do so almost anywhere in the world.

Be who you are and show it in your photos.


This final section of Today’s post was originally meant to stand alone. It is a far more important subject than the one I addressed above. Still, I thought some relaxing photo talk followed by a few thoughts and observations about reading the Bible were in order.

The most fascinating journey of the last twenty years of my life, has been to understand and put to use, a book.  That book is called the Bible. I am today, in no way a biblical scholar. The education goes on. Right now as I write this, it is unlikely that I could recall word for word, any verse in the Bible. I need help from man, and especially from God.

The Bible was written in ancient Hebrew, ancient Greek, and a pretty much lost language called Aramaic. There are a few left who still speak the last one, but it would have been the native language of Jesus.

The Bible has been translated into every major and most minor languages. Sometimes badly, but usually quite well.

There are word for word and very accurate translations, and as I said, there are some pretty bad ones. Some are mistranslated on purpose. To make the Bible say what they think it should say rather than what it was meant to say. Particularly some from the past thirty years.

On my opinion, the King James version, is the best English translation. However, the original early English translation of it, is worded as such, that even most of the modern day British cannot understand it.  A great modern study Bible, done by those who can be trusted, can be a great help. Be cautious and read up on those who write them. Some are great, some not so much, but the Good ones come from tried and true accepted veterans of Christian theology.

Translations that are word for word when possible, are great. Hermeneutics is the term for word by word, phrase by phrase, translations. If a specific noun was given in ancient Greek, than that noun should be used in English, French, Spanish, Japanese or any other language. A verb as the same verb, etc.

One of the absolute keys to understanding the Bible is, any verse needs to be kept in context of the entirety of the Bible.

There are teachers in cults such as the Jehovah’s Witness, that would tell you that Jesus was and is not God. They can very easily find verses to bolster their opinion. Taken in a vacuum, Bible verses can be twisted to mean what the writer (or church) wants them to mean. Jesus most definitely did say He is fully man. He also said He is the actual God. Fully God. Both are correct. Jesus walked this earth as a man. In much the way all humans do. He is however one part of the Trinity. One God, three parts. He also said the that the Father is greater than he is. He was right. As a man. That part of Him was less than the Father, but He is also the God which is the Father along with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When one reads the Bible, it helps to keep what you read in the context of what is written around it, but most importantly, keep each verse or chapter, in the context to the overall meaning of the whole book. Always remember, the entirety of the Bible, is consistent. As you read verses and then chapters, you will begin to remember and see, what came before and how the pieces fit together.

In the middle ages, some of the best interpreters of at least the English version of the Bible existed. The translations that they gave us, are superb. That does not mean that John Calvin, John Wesley, Martin Luther and others were not flawed individuals. They had many downsides. Luther was an anti-Semitic Jew hater. They were however, interpreters used by God, to bring the Bible back to its true meaning, especially in English, although many languages that the Bible has been published in since, use those English versions for the translations  into their own language.

One aide to understanding the Bible ranks higher than all others. God!  Pray and if it is correct for you, you will receive. If not today, than when the time is right. Piece by piece, understanding will occur. One day and one moment at a time. For some like me, very slowly but surely. Giving us more than we can handle, is fruitless.

The Book is necessary to understand the truth. The truth via the Word of God. Penned by mere mortals, with the approval and guidance of God. You can even understand the crazy world of today better, if you can understood the book which foretells it for us.

May God, Bless,

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