Friday, January 11, 2008

Beauty and the Beast


Today was just one of those days where the beauty of nature made your jaw drop. Any time spent outdoors today just made me realize what an awesome artist God is. The plant life, from smallest weed to tallest tree, glistened with a fresh dusting of snow and warming temperatures that produced ice crystals. This morning all I really wanted to do on the way to work was to stop the car and snap photos. I did have my camera, but forgot my boots. Believe me, with all the snow we have had this year, boots are imperative to get to the places I wanted to go, and still show up resepctively dry for work.

I kept an eye on the skies today - no sun would mean the pristine beauty would remain for the day. I got home, and did something I have been meaning to do for some time. I painted a piece of cardboard black. I needed to wait a few for the bus to bring my helper home from his school day. When Kyle arrived my boots and coat were on, and he reluctantly agreed to be my assistant as we headed up the hill to take photos. We did not need to go as far as I thought we might before God gave us plantlife worthy of photographing in it's winter dressed splendor.

Can you see why I wanted a piece of black cardboard? The one thing I did learn was that I need something larger than 12x12. (LOL)
Even the scrawniest, lowest of plant life - weeds, can become a canvas for the Master Artist to wow us with His creation.


I took so many photos today. Some, although composition was very cool, were a bit blurry - and I pray that tomorrow the beauty will still be around for me. This time I shall trek out of doors with my tripod.

Did I mention I got stuck? I almost lost my boot, and it was actually pretty comical! To get the red berries I climbed down a ditch into some pretty deep snow. Because the snow was so mushy my boots sunk in almost knee high, and the snow and ice just packed in around my feet. I was pretty stuck. I couldn't really brace myself with my arms for leverage, as they would just sink down into the 18" or so of snow on the bank. I did figure, that since I was stuck, I may as well sit down and get a vantage point of the branch from underneath. Oh, was I cold and wet when I was done taking my 10 or so pictures to get that one gorgeous shot!

When I was "finally done" (Kyle's words, not mine) my strong, young men helped give me some leverage and balance so I could work my feet into breaking free from their icey stronghold.

We took a path less travelled home, because of course I wanted new photo opportunities. We met a curious friend along the way.

Now you know the Beast. (LOL)
SO hey, have snow? Here is a photo challenge for you... Watch for those pristine winter moments, take a stiff, black backdrop of some sort with you - and head outdoors with your camera and take some "blackdrop" nature photography. Sure, a nice blue sky background is always nice, but the black... I have to say - it seems rather stunning. I set my camera on different modes - automatic, portrait, and as it became dusk, the night sky setting as well.
No snow? No problem! I have done this with flowers as well. I used to use Bazzill cardstock, but I would rather lose a piece of cardboard to the elements, or what have you. I would love for you to shout out and show me your captured blackdrop photo with a link or an email. Take a little helper along with you - and instill in them a love for nature's beauty, and photography. My son may grumble a bit when he would rather be playing a computer game, but as I see him playing with the camera - I see the budding photographer in him, and it just makes me smile.

19 comments:

Dettao said...

Wow, Rita, What an awesome idea. I will definitely be trying that blackdrop idea. Of course, we don't get much winter wonderland stuff here in Texas but next time we do, I'm on it!

Kimmie said...

Beautiful photos

dougnat said...

such gorgeous photos! I will definitely try it!!

TragedyScrapinAnne said...

LMAO OMG Rita awesome photos hun and the horse, he is killing me with laughter....I just want to smooch him back....lol

Hugs Kat

KSmith said...

I love taking winter pictures

Berry Patch said...

Hey - saw the link for your blog in the Making Memories e-newsletter I receive. WAY cool photos! I participate in a photo web ring & plan to share your idea. I'm also planning on heading out tomorrow to try this. Simply beautiful photos!
http://berry365photoblog.blogspot.com/

summerbl4ck said...

Great idea. I have to try it!

johnsonsbasement said...

Rita, you can get black foamcore board from the dollar store for $1 a sheet. It's poster size, much bigger than 12X12 and also stiff enough not to give you problems in the wind.

Valerie said...

Such beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing your tip.

Keri Lee Sereika said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing! I really love getting new ideas!

falwyn said...

Really lovely. Definitely something to try. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

NCGrandma said...

I absolutely LOVE these 'blackdrop' photos and may even get the chance tomorrow to use that technique (if the weatherman comes through). Your site is very uplifting and I love your challenges. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity. This is my first visit...but I'll be back.

betsy said...

Woah Rita! Awesome idea with the black cardstock!

Maya said...

What a great idea! I LOVE take winter photographs! Never tried with the black cardboard - will certainly do!

BansGran said...

a fabulous challenge Rita.. your photos are positively amazing...you have a fabulous eye!! I always do this in the summer.. but never in the winter... so picture me (hee hee) trudging through the snow, alone in the woods (or so I thought) black bazzill in hand (my black, gray and white boards have mysteriously disappeared..)juggling is not my strong suit... and I do actually run into someone out walking their dog. It was really windy today and all the snow was blowing off the trees.. so I didn't even hear them coming.. I am sure he now believes there are crazy ppl living in the woods.. LOL
I did get a coupke good shots I am happy with, just have to wait for a raise in temp to get some nice frosty shots.. so beware.. I will be out again.. thanks for the awesome challenge..I like how you think!!

Gretchen said...

Awesome shots! Will need to get the camera out this weekend and try that!

Sherry said...

What a GREAT blog entry. I love your photos! Very Gorgeous!!

Lucille said...

Hello...
I'm not sure how I found you, but I really have enjoyed reading and looking around!

Keep up the good work - you are very talented!

myfrogprince said...

Rita, your pictures came out amazing!