Testing out the rental

At work we rented a Canon 5D Mark II and two lenses for an event where we need an extra set of equipment. It’s for me to use, so I excitedly practiced with it today to get to know how to adjust the settings, etc. This is the sort of camera I’d love to have one day, after I find a sugar daddy. It’s sooooo nice! The camera and lenses together are so different from my current little Rebel XSi. (In a way, it’s probably bad for me to use these nice cameras and feel more discontent with mine!)

I’ve noticed these nicer lenses and cameras tend to result in more vibrant photos.

How cute are these? I love spirals in nature.

These were interesting–all the leaves had a ripple on them.

We have the rentals for five days so I’m going to try and get a ton of use out of them! Stay tuned. πŸ™‚

Flowers (Deepwood Estate)

Okay, last installment of DE photos (until next time I go, of course). My flower photos are a bit on the predictable side. Shallow depth of field, lots of singled-out flowers, etc. Especially in this batch, as I was trying to get some petal detail. Next time I’ll try to be a bit more creative. (I say this half-heartedly.)

During most of my stroll around the gardens, I was thinking of my sister R, who loves tulips. Who doesn’t? Armload of purple tulips, please!

(I don’t even have purple tulip photos in this post, I just always
thought it would be beauty to have a big bouquet of them.)

Yes, these last two are very similar. I posted them both anyway!

Hi, Mom! You know all my orange flower photos are for you.

And sure, the peach too.

This is probably a weed. πŸ˜›

This picture is so clichΓ©! But I loved the color on this tulip.

Thank you for looking! Have a great weekend, everyone. πŸ™‚

PS Happy birthday to my childhood friend Jennifer, who may see this blog sometimes. And also to my friend Lori!

More Deepwood

Yes, I still have more photos to show you. Sometimes I feel I lack blog material, and other times I have way more ideas than energy or interest in posting them.

Not a fantastic photo, but I love when I can catch the shiny coloring of the male hummingbirds. They have to turn their heads just right.

Mom, these are especially for you. These are the same birds that were eating from your hummingbird feeders, and now I know why! They also eat from the same flowers as the hummingbirds.

Oh hey, Robin. I only took a photo of him because it was so easy. Robins are kind of like Mallards–I feel bad about finding them mundane, and I end up taking pictures because they’re so willing to pose.

Okay get ready for several of these. I kept this one because it’s kind of funny.

I didn’t want them to go to waste. πŸ™‚

Bees like these flowers too.

Here’s a closeup of the last photo. Hi, little girl!

Ookay, I have one more installment that’ll go up later this week. If you’re sick of hummingbirds, the good news is that it’ll just be flowers (as far as I can remember). πŸ™‚

Various flowers

I have lots of pictures, but I wasn’t really sure how many to post at a time.
We’ll see what happens here. Most of these are flowers from Deepwood Estate, though some came from work or maybe even Bush park.

R, here’s another one of those camellias with its perfection. Only striped!

Not striped!

I had a good Easter. The fact that it was sunny made it a million times better than usual, but it was also a good balance of quietness and social time. Church was good, the day was good, and then I took Monday off and took some of these flower photos! All weekends should be three days.

How was your Easter?

Deepwood Estate: Hummingbirds

The other day I decided to go out and take pictures at Deepwood Estate (here in Salem, OR) and I was really excited to finally get some hummingbird photos where they are not eating from a plastic feeder. πŸ™‚ Sorry for so many similar pictures, but I couldn’t seem to narrow them down any farther.


I also took some other bird and flower photos that I’ll be posting in the next few days. Have a great week!

Portraits – Jennifer

Happy May! I’ve been looking forward to taking portraits in one of the local gardens for a long time, and I was finally able to arrange a time for my friend Jennifer to meet me at Deepwood Estate for a portrait session. While every picture I take–paid or unpaid–is practice, this was especially a time for me to practice a lot of things I’ve been mentally adding to my “To Try” list, though I still forgot a ton of stuff (probably to Jennifer’s relief). Anyway, keep the experimental spirit in mind when you look these over (i.e. don’t hate). Also, I’m going to mix these all up. Order is boring.

This is one of my favorites–I loved the porch setting.

In case you’re curious about her shoes.

Beauty! Don’t you love her dress? I asked her to bring it since I had only seen it in pictures.

Yes, I have her coming through lots of gates and doorways. πŸ™‚ Hey, I had to take advantage of everything the garden had to offer!

That photo on the left is sort of an outtake, but it shows some of her personality, so I like it. πŸ˜€

Love this one!

Thanks, Jennifer!

Deepwood Estate (again)

Is it too soon to post the rest of my Deepwood photos? I get impatient. πŸ™‚ You can see the other ones here and here.

The nature trail behind the house ends up running into this creek. Across it is Bush Park, unless you count Deepwood Estate as part of Bush Park. I don’t know all of the crazy rules around here.

More little darlings along the path.

This is how some of the nature path looks. At the end you can see the log (pictured next), but in this photo it resembles a bear or a sea lion. It would be pretty weird to encounter a sea lion in the forest, but with God all things are possible.

Close up of the sea lion.

Oh, ferns! You’re killing me with your spirals! How fun is it that they slowly uncurl? Nice touch, God…nice touch! (TFD)

Bleeding hearts are so adorable to me. One day I’ll have some in my future garden (that is mostly maintained by paid landscapers).

White, for a classier or bridal look! They look like they have cocoons dropping down from them.

I did see a hummingbird in this area the day before, but it was before I knew it was especially created to attract them. A hummingbird garden is DEFINITELY going in my future yard.

When I was little, I didn’t think there were blue flowers. I was so naive.

This picture reminds me that I realized only last night that I totally forgot to take pictures of the FRONT of the house. That’s one of those things I’ll have to go back for. I’m a little slow.

Okay, I loved these and have never seen them. They are so delicate and sweet, like all the baby spiders on Charlotte’s Web. I’m not sure my photos really depict them well, though.

They kind of have the shape of a fern but are comprised of so many dainty leaves. I’m holding back from using lots of annoying flowery language right now.

BONUS: I saw these ducklings in “my backyard” the other day. First duckling sighting of the year! But I’m slightly disturbed that there were only two. 😐

Thanks for looking! πŸ™‚

Deepwood Estate

Despite taking hundreds of photos at Deepwood this past weekend, there are still so many more I want to take! I realized later that I had forgotten a few places. I’m hoping to do a portrait shoot there soon, so maybe I can get some more shots of the grounds while I’m there. (Not that I mind an excuse to visit again and again.)

This time I can show you more photos of house and general scene, since the clouds gave me better lighting. I know they rent this garden for weddings–wouldn’t it be an awesome place to get married? There are lots of little areas that seem ideal.

Back to close-ups for a bit. I love taking pictures of flowers, as I’m sure many of you do.

There are so many types of plants here. There were lots I had never seen before! I wish they marked them a little better so I can mentally add them to my dream garden.

There are lots of paths that go farther than you think. The tree over the top of this photo is like an evergreen weeping willow. I’m curious what kind it is.

I love these.

I’ve never been inside the house, but one of these days I will. I’m not as interested in touring inside as I am the outside.

Here’s an example of plants I’ve never seen. These little yellows are adorable.

Mom, I think of you a lot when I’m looking at gardens. You definitely need to come to this one with me sometime!

Okay, sure, I’ll take it.

More darlings I’ve never seen. These were just growing around the forest trails.

I have another set that I’ll post soon. πŸ™‚

Easter weekend

Today had probably the most beautiful weather of year, so far. It was both sunny and warm enough to go around in short sleeves, so I went to Deepwood Estate, which has a nice garden that I’ve visited a couple of times before.

Living in Oregon has definitely given me more appreciation for sunny days, and when we first start having some nice weather, it’s like eating when you’re really hungry or drinking water when you’re very thirsty. It’s so good and satisfying. But wandering around a quiet garden on one of those sunny days bumps the satisfaction up to the level of an amazing, home-cooked meal or the coldest, most delicious glass of crystal clear water.

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it was just so good to walk around in that setting. I wanted to text everyone I know and tell them how nice it was. That made me think about how I wish I were as excited to tell everyone the good news of Christ as I was the good news of sun. But, indirectly, appreciating flowers and sunshine and gardens and all of that natural beauty is recognizing God. (I do need to work on being more direct about it, though.) When I’m gushing about nature, I’m also gushing about the Creator.

So here’s to God. Not only did he create awesomeness, but he created us to love it. We’re capable of being inspired and fulfilled, sometimes when we aren’t even looking for it. There are mysteries, and he lets us in on little pieces of them very slowly, and that propels us down whatever path he has for us. I’m sure there’s a better way to say all of that, but I’m not so much with the words.


The usual flower photos

I’m so predictable sometimes. I know that a lot of my flower photos have the same techniques, and you’re probably thinking, “Haven’t we seen these before?” I guess I’m just not tired of certain techniques yet! Bear with me, Lovelies. Here are some more photos I took yesterday.

A closeup of the previous photo because I thought that center part was interesting. I really need to memorize flower parts so I can refer to them by the right name and sound like a botanist.

I was loving this plant because of the lines and stuff, so I took several. (Pictures, not plants.) I’ll dedicate these ones to my sister R, since blue flowers make me think of her.

Plus, by dedicating photos to someone, it makes them more patient about looking at all of them. πŸ™‚ Not that R ever shows even a hint of impatience at my photos–she’s a nice fan.

I’m mixing up the order, just for fun. Oh and these looked better in real life. Colors in the red family are harder to capture in photos, I’ve noticed.

More R flowers!

I’m not sure what this is, but it looks like Star Jasmine and Hydrangea’s love child. Hydrasmine.

I also really like photographing this type of plant. Every time I see it somewhere, I want to take pictures of it. It’s a combination of the color, the tiny buds and the little crooked stems/branches that brings out a photography desire in me.

And one more blue one. The end!