Tag Archives: macro photography

One word photo challenge: Maroon.

Some colours seem to be in abundance, everywhere I look, and are easy to fit memories and photos to.  Others are a bit more of a challenge.  Maroon, for me, definitely falls in the latter category. Initially, I was completely stumped.

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Grass flowers. Like a field of feathers.

But I really love getting my brain (and my camera!) around the fantastic weekly colour challenge set by Jennifer Nichole Wells, so I was determined to find something!

As luck would have it, nature came to the rescue in astounding fashion.  I really do think that Henry Miller said it all when he observed that:

‘the moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself’.

So with that in mind, it turns out that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  When you look at it really closely, sometimes it is green with a generous dollop of maroon! Who knew?!

 

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Maroon accents on the stems of a grass seed bouquet.

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Maroon striped highlights at the very tips of the green.

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Maroon starbursts on a grass seed head.

Sunday stroll: Dillenia suffruticosa

We’ve been so busy recently that my poor neglected camera hasn’t been out of the house as much as it should.  We didn’t have a lot of time today either, but I was feeling the need to re-connect with my macro lens!  So having promised faithfully to be back in half an hour to get lunch on the table, I left my husband on daddy duty and went for a wander with my camera.

The thing I love about macro photography is that you really don’t have to go far to find an interesting subject.  Great if you are pressed for time!  It is amazing the things that are right under your nose the whole time.  It always reminds me to stop and take the time to look properly; you just miss so much if you don’t.

At the end of our road is a large shrubby tree, which I love poking around under, because there is usually something interesting to see. The tree is a Dillenia suffruticosa, also known as Simpoh Ayer locally.  It has these beautiful large yellow flowers, which I recently found out are the national Bruneian flower. I think their diaphanous, frill-edged petals are so cheerful and pretty.  A completely different flower, in completely different weather, but there is something about their sunny loveliness which makes me think of daffodils.

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And the seed heads were amazing to look at.  This one had already been pretty much stripped of its ripe red seeds by hungry birds, but I loved the contrast of colours and textures left behind.

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A lot of the broad glossy green leaves were looking less than their best. I suspect that these striking bugs – Giant Shield Bugs – might have played a big in that.  They suck the juices out of the plant, leaving the once green leaves shrivelled and brown.  This one was nonchalantly ignoring me as he sat calmly drinking his juice, camouflaged with his surrounding.

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And these odd-looking pink rectangular creatures are the nymphs of the Shield Bug.  Unlike the adults, these guys stick out like a sore thumb.  It amazes me that they survive to adulthood!  As this one was on a branch above my head I ended up on tippy-toes, holding on to the branch with one hand to try to gently pull it within photographing distance, whilst holding and focusing the camera with the other.  Oh to be a tall girl!

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Although I was mindful of my pre lunch time limit ticking away, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, snapping away.  However, before my time had a chance to run out, my luck with the weather ran out, courtesy of a midday downpour.  The wind had been picking up for a while, so I can’t say that I hadn’t had fair warning.  I just get carried away when I’ve got a camera in my hand I guess.  So, camera tucked hastily inside my shirt and safely shielded from the thundering rains, I made a quick dash for home. An early return from a stroll with my camera…that must be a first!

Weekly photo challenge: Twist!

Sometimes it seems that I start down certain avenues of thought completely incidentally, and then they get stuck in my subconscious.  Different angles – usually on a visual theme – twisting and turning, until my brain kicks them out to make space for something else.  Am I alone in this?!  Either way, it seems to happen quite a lot to me!

I know there is something similar with auditory materials, which is experienced by lots of people.  We’ve all been there at least once with that song that you just can’t get out of your head for love nor money, haven’t we?  I learnt recently – courtesy of the ex-pat blessing that is internet radio and the wonderful BBC Radio 4 – that these even have a proper name.  Two names in fact.  Earworms, or for those of us who think that sounds like a horrible medical condition which is best avoided, sticky music.

I know the very real psychological pain of a particularly persistent sticky song all too well.  At the moment I am rarely more than five minutes away from an outburst of ‘yes, my name is IgglePiggle, iggle piggle niggle wiggle diggle.  Yes, my name is IgglePiggle, iggle piggle niggle wiggle woooooooooo!’.  And if you don’t recognise it, then a). thank your lucky stars because it is awful, awful, awful (especially after it has been in your head for weeks at a time), and b). thank your lucky stars again, as you clearly don’t have a young child who is growing up in the ‘In the Night Garden’ toddler television generation, which is the epitome of bizarre.

Anyway, I digress….my thoughts twisting away from me, obviously!  Back to visual loops….I seem to be on a flower theme at the moment.  And bougainvillea in particular. I wrote about it just days ago (here).  And then when this latest weekly photo challenge came out, the first thing I thought of was bougainvillea.

I’ve noticed that sometimes the flower stems have a delightful twist.  Not always; I think it is a genetic mutation or deformity of some kind.  But it does create a lovely effect when it happens.  The tiny little filaments, spiralling together in the centre of their colourfully papery protective shell. Perhaps you could take the point that a slight twist in the natural order isn’t always an entirely bad thing? Certainly I think that looking at its beauty, it is hard not to admire.

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Twisted bougainvillea flower

So that is my contribution for this week’s ‘Twist’ photo theme.  I wonder if there is a third bougainvillea post still rattling about in there somewhere…they say that these things tend to come in threes, don’t they?! Let’s see what next week brings….