Tag Archives: roses

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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Are You In A Summer Frame Of Mind?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Played hooky from my blog today. I blame the nice summer weather and escaping from the day job to get the brakes done on my car. Waiting for Subie to get her new shoes, I read one of my favorite romance books while the scent of rubber tires and popped popcorn drifted through the waiting area.


Who knows how to relax better than a cat? Nobody!

By the time I arrived home, all I wanted to do was continue to laze around in a summer daze. So that is what I did. Spec Ops Cat helped out too; he’s a pro at relaxing. Some days the best thing to do is to enjoy the summer breezes and slow down. Read, relax and recharge.

Are you in a summer frame of mind?

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Got Favorite Spring Break Memories?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

The traffic on the way to the day job yesterday was light, the parking lot half full and the phones quiet; must be Spring Break! For those of us who don’t get Spring Break, it does bring back happy memories and carefree days of Beach Boys songs and the promise of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

Had two teasing days of sun the end of last week, but sure as can be the rains are back for the school break vacation. So while it seems this gray cloudy weather will never leave us alone, I don’t want the record breaking temperatures of last summer either. Let’s go for a middle, normal type summer this year okay?

So with that in mind, I want to jog Mother Nature’s memory with reminders of what great summers look like. Here are a few pictures to give her some summer ideas.


The beachfront at Lahaina, Maui. Always a winner!



The red Veteran’s Honor and pink Fairy roses, two of my all time favorites in bloom.


Taking the time to enjoy a spectacular desert sunset.

So note to Mother Nature; feel free to repeat any of the above this summer. Spring break dreams just might lead to summer days of happiness. “If everybody had an ocean……” Got fun Spring Break memories?


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Signs of Spring?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Spent part of Sunday dragging things out of the house into the garage between football games; some folks call it cleaning, I call it pile management. On one such trip I heard a chorus of birds that sounded like an invasion. Looking up I tried to find geese, but no birds.


A reminder of one of my favorite roses, the Double Delight. These blooms will return right after Spring!  


Following the cacophony around to the front of the house, I spied a bird convention taking place across the street in a very large tree. Birds were packed in like sardines; which is an odd visual if you think about it.

Too dark outside to grab the camera, I fished the camcorder out and tried to focus and get the sound. Got a few clips, but still couldn’t tell which kind of birds. Maybe crows? Either way, it’s a sure sign of Spring when the birdies start to return and congregate.

I noticed the heads of daffodils peaking above the ground over at my Mom’s house on Saturday. Since she’s in a warmer area her daffodils always beat my daffodils out of the ground. Her yard maintenance folks had also trimmed the roses, which I wait to do until President’s Day. Yet another sign of Spring.

Since we were drowned in December with 17 inches of rain, any sign of the round yellow orb causes us to rush out of our homes like Meerkats and squint at the sky. Monday was a no rain day and I had to scramble to find my sunglasses. That sun thing is bright!

Of course, according to the retail world, Valentine’s Day shopping started two days after Christmas. I kid you not. I went to the store to find holiday bows and wrapping on sale.

The bows had vanished and the only gift wrapping paper left was the weird designs, you know the ones, grumpy Santa’s, odd elves and goth reindeer. I walked around the end of the holiday treats on markdown and smacked into the Valentine’s Day candy. Rows of it. On December 28th!

While I can’t wait for Spring, my favorite time of year, I think I’ll pay attention to nature’s calendar and ignore the retail buying calendar. On Jan. 4th we had snow and ice. This past weekend the retail ads had bikinis on sale. Stock up on flip flops now!

Got signs of Spring?


Filed under Garden

Time To Hide The Gnomes And Trim The Roses

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Last week was a bit nuts. Came home on Feb. 9th during the Pineapple Express rainstorm at 8 p.m. and found the gusting winds had flattened part of my backyard fence. Oh joy. So while I was out making macrame out of my orange extension cords and using my black and yellow caution tape to secure the kinda upright fence sections from killing someone, it occurred to me that might be an odd thing – that I didn’t have r0pe, but I had Caution tape.

Gnomes, rabbits and frogs sequestered at an undisclosed location. Gnomeo seems too happy Juliet is gone. What's up with that?

Gnomes, rabbits and frogs sequestered at an undisclosed location. Gnomeo seems too happy Juliet is gone. Suspicious?

One never knows what supplies are about with a writer in the house. After an hour out in the “Dark and Stormy Night” as Snoopy would write, I came inside, peeled off wet clothes, gave Spec Ops Cat thirty minutes of lap time and hit the sack.

Later in the week on Friday the 13th our Governor resigned, on Saturday we all celebrated Valentine’s Day, Oregon’s 156th and my Mom’s birthday, plus tore apart the damaged fence with help from big elves. A fun time was had by all, assisted by the fact there were not one, but two birthday cakes to eat.

I think cake fixes everything. Except fences, but you don’t care when you have chocolate cake.

Because part of my yard was unsecured, I had to round-up the gnomes, bunnies, flamingoes, turtles, polar bear and frogs. I’ve been the victim of a gnome kidnapping before and the trauma still haunts me. During the big gnome relocation I realized I’ve got a herd of yard art.

Then I got really paranoid and moved the lawn swing inside for safe keeping too. There was one casualty. When I reached to get the mega-hammer from the tool box to break apart the fence with my elf helpers, I hit Gnomeo with my foot and he hit Juliet who fell over and broke in two. Rats!

Now she has to go to the hospital to get fixed. I’m thinking Gorilla Glue and red Duct Tape. We shall see. So what did I do until I can get Juliet to the hospital? I went ahead and trimmed the roses, which is what we do here in Portland Rose Festival land on President’s Day.

Regardless of politics, rain storms, damaged yard art and flat fences, it’s time to trim the roses! But everything is fine here because there are leftover chocolate birthday cupcakes. Life is good!


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