July 10, 2007


Black flower



Ruth Anne Adams said...



Meade said...

Chocolate Cosmos

Worthy of Willy Wonka? Incredibly, inevitably, inedibly... not.

Adrian said...

just found this blog, the human flower project, via arts and letters daily, maybe you'd like it!

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse and her fear of death.

XWL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
XWL said...

Sure, you've got pretty flowers, but I've got nothing (lots and lots of nothing, yet I post about it anyway).

Ann Althouse said...

XWL: I've been places like that. I love the desert.

About that flower. It's a really cool flower but if you want to Althousify the photograph, you have to crop it to eliminate everything in the background that has no meaning or isn't part of an interestingly shaped negative space around the flower. For a flower, it will usually end up almost square. Then turn down the brightness a little, turn up the contrast and the sharpness, and readjust the saturation, hue, and temperature until you feel it speaks to you.

Or send it to me and I'll do it!

Fred Soto said...

I took a few recently because my mother was commenting on the scenery in California and how she loved "the purple flowers".

Had I not held her back I think she would have taken a few home with her.

Anyway, I love the "Black" image, very nice!

XWL said...

Be careful in the big nothing spaces, the desert is great, but unforgiving of stupidity (I was pretty stupid on Sunday as this post will attest).

And because Google Maps rock, here's a Google Map pinpointing the places I visited on Sunday, the Hybrid view gives you some idea of what the expanses of nothing at the Mojave National Preserve are like.

In my post I said I have Althouse Envy, I didn't say I have Althouse's obsessive need to turn every photograph into a perfectly composed masterpiece (which a surprising many are, that's not snark, that's sincerity, hard to tell the difference, I know).

I prefer to leave things as the camera found it, the compositional errors and over or under exposures are part of the experience of taking the picture (also, I'm lazy, and don't have Photoshop on my computer at the moment).

Trying to take pictures half blinded by the blaring sun, staring at an LCD that's hard to see, is part of the fun.

The results are what they are.

But, my pics are all up on flickr, and the license is fairly open (and consider this a personal invitation to ignore any license restrictions as far as you are concerned, Prof.), so feel free to alter away, I'd love to see you work your magic (all I ask is a link to my flickr set, and attribution).

[but that's enough threadjacking, that is a very pretty and purple flower, and the composition is really masterful]

Ann Althouse said...

I think digital photos must be tweaked to look right. And cropping is really important for flowers because the standard rectangle is wrong. I take a lot of trouble composing with the camera and believe that's the best way to do it. Most of my pictures are not cropped. But the flowers really need cropping.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, check it out here. This is just doing what I wrote, above, using iPhoto. It took about 30 seconds to do.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the original. Don't you think those simple moves are worth doing?

ricpic said...

I saw a purple flower,
Know nothings call it black,
Hit by a sudden shower
It pours its purple back.

bill said...

at the movies: great moments of photography discussion, by Robert Reford and Faye Dunaway in Three Days of the Condor:

Turner: Lonely pictures.
Kathy: So?
Turner: Winter...not quite Winter. They look like November.
Kathy: I never noticed it before.
Turner: I like them.
Kathy: Thanks.


Kathy: Sometimes I take a picture that isn't like me. But I took it so it is like me. It has to be. I put those pictures away.
Joe Turner: Do you tear them up?
Kathy: ...No.
Joe Turner: I'd like to see those pictures.
Kathy: We don't know each other that well.
Joe Turner: Do you know anybody that well?
Kathy: I don't think I want to know you very well. I don't think you're going to live much longer.
Turner: I may surprise you. Anyway, you're not telling the truth.
Kathy: What do you mean?
Joe Turner: You'd rather be with someone who's not going to live much longer. At least someone who'd be...on his way. The man in Vermont wants to stay. And you're afraid.
Kathy: I'm not afraid of Ben.
Joe Turner: You joke. Instead of...taking it. You take pictures. Empty streets. November.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, I would prefer to take pictures of human faces, but I don't think it's right to do that to strangers and the people I know don't really like me taking their picture, especially not to put up on the internet. The plants and landscapes don't protest.

Ron said...

Yes, it is impressive how much more color depth you get with a few simple moves!

I can't see what your friends are complaining about; I like your photography enough that I'd trust you with my wretched mug!

bill said...

wasn't meant as a criticism or directed at your photos.

Ruth Anne Adams said...


My solution: Althousify swatter.

XWL said...

Don't you think those simple moves are worth doing?

Good question. I'm not sure, for me personally. The end product looks better in this example given your instincts, and as long as the original remains available then tweaks make sense.

But, I just see myself tweaking every picture to within the last pixel, and spending hours deciding the saturation level, hue, etc., so it's a road I don't travel.

Knowing when you're finished is the difference between a good composition, and a better one.

I'm not good at knowing when I'm done, so I choose the route of not messing with the shots in the first place.

Conceptually, tweaks are better, but personally, it's not.

Ann Althouse said...

I enjoy doing the tweaks, but I don't belabor them. I'm not obsessing, just trying to see what's really there. I spend less than a minute usually.

XWL said...

I enjoy doing the tweaks, but I don't belabor them. I'm not obsessing,

Not suggesting that what you do is obsessing over the photos, but I know that's what I would do.

It's all about me (as is this thread, sorry about that).

Ruth Anne Adams said...

XWL: So is that flower really a narcissus?

Verso said...

Beautiful, like nearly all of your photos.

But the flower is red. Why call it black? I could see calling it maroon, but then maroon is just another word for red...

George said...

The plants and landscapes don't protest.

That doesn't make it right, not for one second.