As we celebrate Earth Day I offer you these images to highlight the beauty blooming profusely from our parks to coastal dunes: the purple wild Douglas IRIS. It is a common native flower in coastal areas of Central and Northern California as well as Oregon. Many clumps are peaking right now in the pastures and the grasslands of Point Reyes.
But this beauty is regarded as a noxious weed in the pastures because it inhibits other vegetation, and its leaves are bitter and unpalatable to the cattle. Fortunately we just eat it up with our senses, souls and sensors.
For all three Iris images I used my 100 mm macro lens with a Canon Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash. Because the background leaves were so busy I used the flash to eliminate the distractions (the light of the flash did not reach them, making the background black). Closer leaves received enough of the light from the flash so that a hint of the environment was included in the image.“We give thanks to you, dear Earth, For your gifts so rich and rare, For new life you bring to birth, Teaching us your tender care.” Hymn by Jann Aldredge-Clanton
The second image is first light shining on an old tug boat. I liked where the shadow of the ladder fell. As well the simple combination of three colors: red, white and blue makes this capture a strong image. Noticing lines and design is a fun self imposed photo assignment. This tug boat was rusting in place but the glowing morning light gave it new life.