Tag Archives: flowers

A Rose By Any Other Angle?


One of the first rules of photojournalism is to always take a wide angle, horizontal, establishing shot. If you don’t take it first thing, you get wrapped up in the detail photos and can forget. When I’d get back to the newspaper if I hadn’t taken an establishing shot they needed, the editor was not a happy camper. Trust me, practice taking an overall shot; for a newspaper or a blog post.

by Kimberly A. Cook

Spotted the first two rose blooms in my garden Monday morning. My favorite “Double Delight” rose. Grabbed the camera and proceeded to take a bunch of pics. Thought I would show the process of how I frame and reframe a picture to get different angles, light, backgrounds and close-ups.

Digital photography allows me to waste a million pixels and not care.

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Go vertical. Roses grow vertically, so turn the camera. Watch for the growth of the other stems. Leave some open sky. Work to have the rose on a lower third, upper third break for the sky, but this is still too centered. Since rose bushes don’t move, I have to move myself and the camera.


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Now move in closer and cut off the sky, using the dark wood as the background.  Cutting off the buds on the right not great. Rose is still too centered for my taste, but like the improvement in the color intensity.


Don’t be afraid to move in close.  This shot leaves a little air at the top and the sides to let the photo breathe. The background provides some contrast and improves the color hue.


Go close or go home! Get in there! Don’t be afraid to move in on a subject. I can still get closer, but the light might cause it to fuzz out and lose the edges. It’s a little soft focus here, but I like it.


This vertical angle gives some color depth and moves the subject across the photo. The light is a little harsh on the rose bloom, even the 10:30 a.m. clouds can’t help the light diffusion you get between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. But overall, the darker to lighter tones give some interest. Perfect? Never! But I’ve got more pixels to use for practice.

All of this took about six minutes between grabbing the camera after planting dahlias and trimming the hedge outside of Spec Ops Cat’s favorite window. I never used the zoom, only the wide angle lens; I moved me instead.

Get out there and crawl around for some good pictures.  Photography and accidental exercise. Priceless!

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Happy Valentines Day Eve!


Stocked up and ready for V Day. Actually, I always have Dove on hand. Because.

by Kimberly A. Cook

Waiting in lines is golden for writers. Running errands yesterday, my last stop was the grocery store. The checkout clerk was chatting up customers about Valentine’s Day.  Some of my neighbor’s customs shocked me.

“We don’t give candy to the kids,” said one woman. “The holiday is for the parents.”

Say what? My family uses any excuse, er holiday, to give presents, especially candy. At first I thought maybe she had young kids, I could see that. Nope, teenagers. Well between energy drinks and coffee they inhale, how bad could a couple pieces of candy be?

Another lady said she gave her young kids coloring books. That is fabulous. While I love the demon sugar, I too have to ration it. Processed sugar is addictive, but like everything else, if used in moderation; just don’t drive heavy machinery afterwards.


One of the plates I use for Mom’ s cake. Plus research wrappers.

An on air tv personality last night talked about going out with her galentines for Valentine’s Day. Fabo. Sometimes the Valentine’s Day holiday feels like a poke in the eye to all single, divorced or widowed folks. So adapt!

To me Valentine’s Day has always been my mom’s birthday. Tomorrow we get to celebrate her 93 young years at lunch on the river. Not in a boat, a restaurant. Though Mom is game for most adventures.

For me? Stocked up on Dove and Kit Kat candy to share with family. Will bake a heart shaped mini-cake for Mom and cupcakes for the crew. Bought myself a bouquet of pink carnations for the kitchen table; keeping Spec Ops Cat out of them is a different story.

Then threw myself into research for this post by testing the Dove dark chocolate. Actually, I eat two pieces every day so I had plenty of wrappers available.


So you’ve still got time to stock up and treat yourself. Candy, coloring book or carnations? How about trying the last wrapper saying I got this morning?

Hug someone today!

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!


Filed under Food

Grab For The Fruit!

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Managed to pry myself away from the Summer Olympics on tv over the weekend to head to the Farmer’s Market. Love to look at all the fresh veggies, fruit and flowers. While August spirals towards Fall, school supplies are in stores and pumpkins are in the craft aisles, I try and grab for the last rays of summer.


The perfect box for those of us who cannot make up our minds.


Snapping up nature’s fresh bounty is so much fun and supporting local farmers and vendors even better. With an array of items from BBQ sauce to popcorn and pastries and bird feeders, I can’t go wrong.

Wanted some blackberries, strawberries and the last cherries and found what I needed down aisle two. Then off to the Pie Guy to scarf up a mini-pie, marionberry, which I know contains mini calories.


To prevent dreaded pie mistakes, take a taste! There are no bad pies here. 


Then took a longing look at the beautiful flower bouquets and avoided the Donut truck since I had the pie in the bag. Literally. Checked out the bargains on backyard mini-bridges, great deals but too big for my fairy rock garden. Alas.


Plus gorgeous flowers. Amazing!


While I continue to deny the days are getting shorter, there is still time to support the farmers markets and get the last drops of summer. Honey included.

Get out there and shop from farmers and local vendors people!



Filed under Food

How About A Private Camellia Show?

When I motored over to my writer friend’s house April 2nd for writer support group, I arrived a little early and got to wander in her yard. It was a week before the “official” camellia show and I had a private viewing.


How fabulous is this? He told me the name but I forgot, stunned by its beauty. 


These gorgeous flowers are award winners on many levels and they grow them all around their home. With the warm Spring weather and hot days, my friend’s husband was concerned they might not have the best buds for the show. Lucky for me I always have my camera.

Looking at some of the beauties in their yard, he told me about how much work went into making the different varieties and how he had been sought out by growers for plant starts. Seems camellia fanatics check out the winners of these shows and then hunt down the growers for stock, nationally and internationally. Who knew?


This reminds me of candy. Maybe peppermint circles?


All too soon it was time to head off in our carpool to the writer’s group and leave the lovely blooms behind. The amazing symmetry, beauty and jaw dropping designs of these camellias are simply stunning.


The petals on this camellia take my breath away. Certainly a show stopper!


In the backyard of my parent’s house is a gorgeous fuchsia pink camellia with a bright yellow center. I’ve grown up with that bush and it’s still there, blooming away. My friend and her husband have the same one in their yard besides all the other amazing varieties. I had no idea there were so many types. Their camellias are all truly award winners, official and unofficial.

Got camellias? It’s show time!



Filed under Garden

Can’t Get Enough Spring Blossoms?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

After the long wet winter we’ve had, the sight of Spring blooms seems more welcome than usual this year. After thirty long days of rain in December and the wettest month on record, I’m going to cut myself a little slack about being so excited.


This little crocus is huge with the macro lens.


Sunday while taking out the recycling to the garage I noticed the blooms and the perfect morning light. I grabbed the camera and took some shots using the macro lens on my little Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS. Luckily I have a fence so the neighbors didn’t see me running around in my pink poodle bathrobe and slippers while I grabbed the best light of the day.


One of my favorite first of Spring flowers, the saxifraga.


With the clouds whisking around and the sun peeking out, I only had a few minutes to capture some up close and personal posie pics. It was so much fun taking time to follow my bliss and enjoy the treasures of nature.

So here’s to more fun in the sun and taking photos. Get out there and click away people!



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Are You Ready To Take Spring Snapshots?

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last Tuesday Velda the hedgehog at the Oregon Zoo predicted an early Spring. Seems Phil the Groundhog said the same thing, but Velda has a better record than Phil, so hedgehogs rock! True to both their predictions, signs of the coming Spring abounded this past weekend.


Real live crocus. Yes!


On my way to my writer group, I stopped at my carpool buddy’s house. She needed to take her dog Amos, a Corgi, for a quick walk before we left. Amos was not too thrilled about the “quick” part of the walk, he wanted to mosey. I couldn’t blame him. So while they were off finding the perfect tree, I wandered in her front yard taking photos.


How is this for a pink beauty? I have no idea what it’s called besides pretty!


My carpool buddy is a member of the camellia society and you can see why. I could not resist the pictures. So here are a few of my favorites.


Another stunner. How gorgeous is this?

Not to be outdone, these red berry things looked gorgeous too. They felt like the holidays but looked like Spring. How do they do that?



Pretty to look at but I bet you shouldn’t eat them; whatever they’re named.


Then the next day on my way back from the grocery store Super Bowl morning, I took a wrong turn but ended up with a perfect view of Mt. Hood. We say “the mountain is out” around here when we can see it, so this gorgeous sunny Sunday was the perfect time to get a picture of her with all her snow.


Gorgeous Mt. Hood, no longer naked, but with a fresh coat of snow. She’s a beauty! 

So have camera will travel! Right around my own neighborhood. Are you ready to take Spring snapshots?




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