Mum Petals In Black & White

It is on the colder, drearier side today as we are well on our way to seeing the end of the nice weather. We do still have a day or to this week that might allow me to open my windows again, but those will most likely be the last.

It will be a good time to be in the garage starting to play. I have some practicing to do, playing with all my new tools so by the time I actually start working on building cabinets, I actually know what the hell I’m doing.

I’m still on the fence about buying a table saw as it is really expensive and I think I can get away with a circular saw that is much less expensive and will most likely be used more after this project is done than a table saw would. There are certain things I need to be able to do that a table saw is apparently the best tool for the job. It can be done using a router (which I have), but it is supposedly a little harder.

I have ordered the router bit I need (could not find it locally) and it should be here today. My goal is to play around with it using some of the wood scraps I have from previous projects to see exactly how difficult that may be to work with to get the desired result.

It’s exciting because it feels like I’m moving forward and making progress even if what I’m doing is just messing around.

Now, if I could just get the bid back from the last guy, I’d actually know what was going to happen and when, or (and I REALLY don’t want to go this route) I start looking into electricians and figuring out how the hell I’m going to frame this damn thing myself.

Black & White Glow

This rose is surprisingly hard to photograph because it so rarely ever comes out looking like it does in real life. Part of this is because of the lighter, near white core and the deep, dark, vivid pinkish red outer petals. The stark contrast between the two often blows out the white and makes the pink do weird things in photograph form.

It does make for some amazing transitions to black and white because of that natural high contrast. I don’t have to work too hard to push it to emphasize that contrast, especially when the flowers start to get speckled like they tend to do.

This one is still pretty solid in color (no speckles), but as soon as I turned it to black and white, it looked like it was glowing from within, giving it almost a photo negative kind of quality.

For a tiny, miniature rose, this one packs a wallop of personality.

Cold, Rainy, And Dreary

I could really do without this nasty cold snap. Pretty sure this entire week is breaking records on the low temps. Mother Nature really doesn’t need to take those records as challenges to break them. She definitely doesn’t need to work so hard to break so many at once. It really isn’t helping me stay out of cranky pants mode.

Between the cold, the rain and the general time of year, I’m struggling to find good photo subjects or the motivation to go find them.

Black & White Daylily Stamen

Yesterday was probably the most bizarre first day of school I’ve ever seen. It was weird enough having BG at home, but the weather felt like a cold Halloween night, making everything feel completely out of sync.

We shattered previous records by something like 10 degrees. No, 56 isn’t exactly cold, but for a high temp during the first part of September and the day after hitting near 90, it felt frigid. I threatened to turn the heat on last night (didn’t, but came damn close.) I don’t know that I’ve ever turned the heat on this close to the beginning of September. The very end of the month, maybe, but not anywhere near the beginning.

Today isn’t going to be any warmer and it is rainy and dreary on top of it. That isn’t very conducive to motivating me to do anything other than snuggle down with a book and a pot of coffee.

Peony’s End Series #8

This is probably going to be the last of this series and also just so happens to be one of my favorites.

One of the things I love about this one is that there are three separate flowers, all in very different stages of life. It just almost has that maiden/mother/crone kind of thing going on, but narrowly misses that symbology.

When I first pulled this one up on my computer, it gave me the feeling of the kind of image you’d see in the background of a rustic wedding theme. Like something you’d see on a wedding web page or even in the background of an invitation, especially if it were to be softened and faded out a bit. Of course, that made me want to play a bit.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Version

Some photos just really work with that softer focus kind of look. I really like both versions and couldn’t decide which I’d rather post, so I’m doing both since this is the end of the series.

And just because… I have the soft one in a pretty black and white as well.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Black And White Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Black And White Version

Black and White Drops and Ruffles

I had such a hard time deciding if I wanted to post this version or the color version because they are both amazing. So…

Peach Iris Coated In Rain
Peach Iris Coated In Rain

Yesterday went well for BG. She feels so much better about everything now that she knows how the new normal looks and runs at dance.

The masks were an absolute hit and cracked me up to no end. BG hadn’t been in the studio with them for 5 minutes when I see the owner walk out with one on. Less than a minute later the teacher for that class also walks out with hers on (all the students were greeted with hand sanitizer outside the doors of the studio before they were allowed in). It was funny and sweet and I’m over the moon thrilled that they are enjoying them.

Another upside was that all the kids going into the studio had their masks. The parents standing around socializing outside weren’t as good about keeping theirs on or keeping their distance, but it could have been so much worse.

The sad thing, and we don’t know yet what it means going forward, was that probably half or less of the class showed up. It is going to be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out as this was the very first of all the classes back. I’m especially concerned about how many older girls will show and how that will impact routines and recital.

BG was absolutely stunned to find out that her assistant friends from last night had either not practiced AT ALL or only a tiny bit. My girl has been dancing nearly every single day. As soon as a video for one of her routines was posted, she added it to her schedule and started working on it.

It is going to make an already chaotic and different recital even more so.

In some non-dance news, I’m working on making some changes for me. I’m sure it has already been noticed that the book reviews have dwindled down to almost nothing. There are lots of parts to this and I may still work up a post about that, but for now, I’m stepping back from most of that, including writing them for Envie!

This blog has been and always will be a space for me to share the things that bring me joy with the occasional rant or emotional outpouring thrown in. When things start to feel like that isn’t the focus anymore, I’m going to make changes. It seems like now is one of those times. I’m still not 100% sure what all will be changing or how much. It may not even be all that noticeable because the photos will absolutely still be coming.

Life is so full of stress and frustration and uncertainty right now, the last thing I need is for my blog to add to that so I’m going to make sure it isn’t.

Reds In Black & White

This is the same one I posted yesterday, just in black and white. Of all the things I’ve played with in the new Photoshop, the ability to tweak color levels to effect the tones when going to black and white is one of my favorites (along with the HDR toning). It allows a little more control over what works and what doesn’t and gives a phenomenal level of control over contrast, but in subtle ways.

It’s fun to go in and see what you can push and the kinds of results you can get playing with that feature. I’ve only done a couple so far, but I love the results.