Saturday, June 20, 2009

Peony Revisited

It's been cloudy all day around here, but for some reason I could not generate the enthusiasm to go back to the formal gardens to recapture the Peony in better light. Jon and I had our traditional Sunday breakfast today instead of tomorrow because he will spend the day with his friends shopping for art supplies to repair a few nicks that his David Bowie painting managed to attract in its last days at the art show at his school. Nice of him to plan such a nice father's day for me :-) ... oh well, gotta work tomorrow anyway ... too many things on my plate at the office.

But still, all was not lost. Because my Peonies are blooming now. I have a large white Peony and a Japanese Tree Peony, which has delicate blooms in pink. It also has started blooming from the root stock (very cool), but those are earlier blooms and have come and gone. They are a dark pink ....

These were shot late in the evening, around 8pm. I had spaghetti on the stove and only managed to slightly burn the sauce, twice. But it turned into the best sauce I've made since I became head cook and bottle washer in this household. So a little burn is apparently a good thing ... of course, I also managed to curb my insane love of garlic and to grind some fresh black pepper in my mortar and pestle, so maybe it had something to do with better ingredients :-)

I digress ... late in the evening ... yeah. The light was beginning to fade because of the cloud cover, and there was little wind. I shot with the Tamron 180mm Macro lens and the Kenko Pro 300 2x teleconverter. This was also a test of that combination to see if they retained their sharpness ... I'm happy to say yes, they did. In fact, I was extremely impressed with the inherent sharpness, especially considering the relatively long exposures in the dim light.

The first image is a very pretty pink bloom from the tree Peony. Lovely petals about to unfold.

I love how the light just touches the outer petals and is much more subtle otherwise. These Peonies are tucked in under several bushes, so the blooms have to fight to be born. There is a lot of shade on and near them.

Still a few to come ...

A portrait of the previous bloom ...

Finally to the white plant. I had to set the tripod to 6 inches from the ground in order to look up into this bloom. Strangely, it has no center ... no stamens. I guess that's the domain of the bowl Peonies.

And then I noticed this little one tucked in behind several leaves from different bushes. This is one of the tree Peony's blooms, and these are bowl Peonies. It was dark in there, and I wanted more depth of field, so I shot this at f22 and 20 seconds! No wind got in so that image is very sharp ... amazing.

There is also a nice, round bloom waiting to open on the white plant. Looking forward to a few of these to capture.

And in a related story, our ant overlords have been discovered in a Peony bush in Ottawa, planning the overthrow of the world's governments soonest .... here, we see one of their lieutenants frantically signaling his imminent capture. Moments after this image was taken, he leapt to his death on the patio below ... he later got up and scurried away. Clearly they are more clever than they first appear ...

No comments: