Flowers #515D, 488D, 522B, 485B, 519D & 480B

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June 8, 2013

I have finally modernize.  Although coming to the party somewhat late, I just replaced my old, reliable single lens reflex Canon A-1 that I bought in 1980 with their digital EOS 60D.  In addition to reading the owner’s manual, I also picked up four different digital photography for dummies books from my local library.  However, as I had recently opined to my niece that the best way to learn photography is to shoot lots of pictures, I took my own advice and shot more than three hundred photos in the first four days that I have owned the camera, even though it rained all day long on one of the days.  I will also admit that it took me nearly half an hour just to figure out how to set the date and time.  This statistic made me a bit queasy over how hard it was going to be learning such a complicated instrument.  Both an online camera store salesman and a highly artistic Navy brother told me that what I had bought was a computer with a lens.  With my A-1, all I needed to worry about was setting the aperture and shutter speed all the while making sure the manual focus lens was indeed in focus.  Nothing complicated about that.

The great thing about digital cameras is that you immediately see the results of your work versus taking a roll of film to a camera store and waiting for it to be developed.  The other terrific thing about digital is that shooting lots of photos is very cheap when compared to developing film.  Last night, I read in the manual how to delete bad pictures from the memory card and spent about ten minutes reviewing three hundred photos to see which ones I wanted to delete.  Of the three hundred, I deleted approximately fifty.  Half of those were due to over or under exposure and the other half were out of focus.  I have taken so many photographs in the past four days that I have pain from carpel tunnel in my camera hold hand up through the muscles in my upper arm and shoulder.  However, that’s a small price to pay for my art.

Owning seven lens, and being on a very tight budget, I chose not to buy any new lens, but bought an adapter that allows me to use my FD lens on the digital camera.  Having an available adapter was the main selling point in buying a new camera.  However, the adapter has its limitations in that I believe the aperture must be set manually.  This is something that I haven’t yet quite figured out as up to now I keep the aperture on automatic and make adjusts to either the shutter speed or ISO.  Because the camera does not recognize the adapter, it does not show what the aperture setting is.

For those of you who have never taken a close-up photograph of a flower, it is somewhat difficult to do.  You are always at the mercy of Mother Nature as just the slightest breeze will cause a flower to sway back and forth or an always moving cloud will block out the sun just as you’re getting ready to snap the shutter.  These six photographs were among the first one hundred and fifty pictures I snapped with my new camera.  There is still much to learn before I feel as comfortable shooting a photograph with the EOS 60D as I am with my thirty-three year old A-1.

One thing I do not like about my new camera, and it is not the camera but my photo editing software, however when mating a photograph for posting online, I assume that the digital photos are much larger than the scans of my 4×6 prints and thus the software I use does not allow me to make the outer-most mat any larger than that shown in these pictures.  Other than that, I am loving my new toy!

Calla lilies, whose scientific name is Zantedeschia Aethiopica, are not true lilies, but a member of the Arum family.  This lily is considered a perennial plant in the hardiness zones of eight and higher while an annual in zones seven and lower.  In cooler zones, the bulbs need to be dug up or they will die if the ground freezes.  A native in the marshlands of southern Africa, its preferred habitation is in streams and ponds or along their banks.  Callas grow two to three feet tall, having large clumps of broad, arrow shaped brown leaves growing up to eighteen inches long.  The plant’s leaves can also be speckled with white spots.  The flowers of this plant, which twist and curl into a funnel shape ending in a point, come in pink, yellow, orange, blue, red, dark maroon and even black, flowering from late spring until late summer.

Calla Lilies, also called Trumpet Lilies or Lily Of The Nile, like the bright morning sun and late afternoon shade, particularly in hot summer locales.  In cooler climates, Callas like full sun.  The plant grows best in moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil and especially love a sandy soil.  All parts of the plant are poisonous and may be fatal if eaten.  These plants grow just as well in containers.  If grown in a pot in cooler climates, bring the plant indoors during the winter and keep in a well-lit area.  With enough sunlight, Callas will even bloom indoors during the winter months.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

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