Tag Archives: juxtoposition

Weekly Photo Challenge: Floral

I’ve noticed flowers everywhere lately!  Even the little rain we’ve had lately (and this photo was taken last weekend on a rainy day) has brought out the wildflowers–especially the natives.  These bush sunflowers crop up whether or not they are invited.  I love the juxtaposition of the warning sign and fence behind the brilliant flowers.

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Most of the native flowers seem to come in yellows, so this purple thistle caught my attention.  The raucous wild fuzzy head atop the grayish-green prickly stem seems too beautiful to be a weed!  (And the more I notice weeds, the more I notice their beauty!)

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A walk at the lagoon this week (in preparation for next week’s field trip) brought more wildflowers into view. The hillside was ablaze with orange nasturtiums, bush sunflowers, and these other white and yellow blooms. If you look in the distance you can see the ocean where the lagoon meets the sea.

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There were also these spiky white-ish flowers laying close to the ground along the salt marsh.  In this shot I managed to catch the bee buried in the blossom.  I pulled this in close to make the pollinator even more evident.

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I had caught a glimpse of some prickly pear cactus in bloom–but was too far away to take a photo.  But as I began to drive away, I noticed prickly pear growing in front of a house along the road.  I just had to stop and snap a few pictures.

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And my sweet hubby brought me home some flowers from the market this week, a treat to brighten the house.  I love arranging them in simple clear vases in the dining room where the afternoon sun creates the perfect lighting.

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And who can resist these crazy blooms?  Orange and wild, in perfect contrast to the prim and proper red roses.

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So what’s floral in your life this week?  Grocery store flowers, blossoms from the garden, wildflowers in untended places…or a painting, upholstery, or a new favorite outfit?  Take a look around and see what you can find.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #floral for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Be on the lookout for all things floral…I can’t wait to see what you find through your lens!

Gardeners and Art: A Juxtoposition

I love museums!  These spaces highlight opportunities for learning and encourage an appreciation for curiosity and inquiry.  I’ve learned to not just look at the exhibits for what they hold, but to also think about how they are constructed and curated to tell a particular story.

Earlier this week I was in Los Angeles at the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum which sits adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  On a sunny, warm winter day I had the luxury of wandering the grounds of both museums, enjoying the exhibits, the outdoor sculptures and art, the beautiful gardens, and the expansive well-groomed lawns.

As I explored the sculpture gardens I noticed the gardeners hard at work, mowing and raking…making sure the museum grounds were pristine.  They also seemed highly aware of the museum visitors and tried to avoid obstructing camera views or otherwise interfering with the visitors’ experience.

And I found myself wanting to capture the juxtaposition of the celebrity of the art with the unassuming work of the gardeners.

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I noticed that the gardeners were highly aware of the visitors and made every effort to be unobtrusive as they went about the work of maintaining the pristine landscape.  I actually had to work to capture their photos…especially this first photo where I really wanted both the sculpture and the gardener with the lawnmower in the image.

And then I worked with editing apps to create images that featured the gardeners and captured the essential, beautiful nature of their work.

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Why is it that we celebrate the work of artists and scientists, but ignore the work of gardeners, cleaning staff, waiters and waitresses?  These are the people who make our places comfortable and beautiful.  They make sure that things are in working order, that trash gets deposited out of sight, they make our places smell nice and look nice.

So this post acknowledges the juxtaposition…and celebrates the work of those whose work is just under the surface of our attention.  These gardeners are essential to the experience I had on the museum grounds earlier this week.  They contributed to the aesthetics of the art and are essential to the museum experience.