May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #6 A Field of Yellow

Donna has been wandering around the countryside looking for wildflowers and she found her pot of gold… or should I say, yellow?

“When the challenge was issued, I knew I had to go out and shoot the famous Texas wildflowers. I found a patch of flowers along Hwy 205 one Saturday afternoon and started to shoot. After about 30 minutes and what seemed like 50 shots or so, I got back in the car, looked at the photos and thought so so; however, I thought, like Fay says, “put them on the computer to see what you shot.” I pulled down the road to make a U turn back to the highway, and to my left was this beautiful field covered in YELLOW (my favorite color). So of course, I got out and shot some more! And this is what I got!”

Field of Yellow (Photo by Donna)

Field of Yellow
(Photo by Donna)


May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #5 Merrie’s Hibiscus

I was thrilled to get an entry from Merrie for this challenge, but I was surprised it was not a purple flower as all of us who know her, know how much she loves the color purple!

“Here is a picture I took at the Dallas Arboretum the day I went with you crazy women. I chose this one as it is a hibiscus, and having lived in Florida for 21 years, I saw a lot of them. Also, this was my very first attempt at taking a close-up shot of a flower.”

Merrie's Hibiscus (Photo by Merrie)

Merrie’s Hibiscus
(Photo by Merrie)

May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #4 My Rose

Debbie, a.k.a. “Abstract”, also sent a rose photo my way and what a beauty it is! I wasn’t quite sure if she would send an abstract image or the real deal. This is the real deal!

“This is one of my peach color roses growing in my flower garden. It was the only one so far that has turned out perfectly. Nothing is more beautiful than a perfect rose!”

And how true that statement is. So here is Debbie’s “perfect rose”…

My Rose (Photo by Debbie)

My Rose
(Photo by Debbie)

May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #3 Grand Opening

Crazy woman Lorraine is at it again!
When I get her submissions, there is always a story to go along with it, and so it is with her flower photo!

“I made several outings to find the “perfect” flower. Some of my adventures included walking down the alley to shoot some irises, going to a park, and I also went to a nearby cemetery that had some natural flowers blooming. While at the cemetery I really got excited when I found a really nice and unique flower that was just in perfect shape and so beautiful. I shot a few photos of it and then realized that it was a silk flower!! Talk about a crazy woman in action!

On one of my outings to look for wildflowers, I noticed some really pretty roses around the Rockwall County Historical Foundation Museum. I found some of the budding roses to be interesting and so this is what I have chosen to present for this challenge.”

Grand Opening (Photo by Lorraine)

Grand Opening
(Photo by Lorraine)

May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #2 Bluebonnets

There is something magical about blue in the garden and how lucky we are to live where the state flower is bluebonnets. We anticipate their return each spring obsessing over whether or not they will be as beautiful and plentiful as the year before or whether the drought will be responsible for a lackluster show.

Each spring we take the children, the grandchildren and our pets and photograph them in the bluebonnets. Next year, I think we will head over to Kristen’s place! It appears that Kristen has a green thumb as well as the ideal place for bluebonnets to proliferate…

“This picture was taken in my front yard. I planted the bluebonnets about 6 yrs ago. It was originally three plants and now it covers the whole area!”

A Bumper Crop of Bluebonnets (Photo by Kristen J.)

(Photo by Kristen J.)

May Challenge: April Showers Bring May Flowers… Entry #1 Summer’s Gold Delight

The challenge I have given you for this month is…
April Showers Bring May Flowers.

The flowers have been quite beautiful this year… both cultivated as well as wildflowers, and I felt that this challenge would be relatively easy as there seem to be flowers everywhere you look… even in strip malls in planters as well as wildflowers at the edge of the roads. It just takes a few minutes to grab your camera and see what you can find.

We will begin this challenge with a photo from Linda, our poet in residence and she has treated us to her creativity with both her writing as well as her photography. Linda… it is a pleasure having you in the club!

And this is what she says:
“This was taken in my back yard awhile back. I let many of these wild sunflowers grow each year. If you look closely at this picture, you can see that a bee has stopped by for lunch. In the fall, the birds come to feast on the seeds. I am an avid gardener, buying and planting many varieties of plants each year, but these sunflowers do their own thing without any intervention on my part.”

Summer's Gold Delight (Photo by Linda)

Summer’s Gold Delight
(Photo by Linda)

Something BIG is Happening in Dallas!

A while ago I mentioned to the crazy women about the ad campaign/contest for Dallas. Throughout the city there were multiple B_G sculptures erected in strategic areas and I challenged them to go out and shoot a photo filling in the “I” ! We had a few adventurous souls do that and I have put their photos in a collage.

You will find a photo of Donna, Lala, and George (Vickie’s husband) and also two unique shots by our new member rebeKah using a coke and a camera! There is no telling where your photography may lead you!
And that is why you are “crazy women”!

A special thanks to all of you who shared your BIG images!

BIG (Collage by Fay/Lala)

BIG Things Happen in Dallas
(Collage by Fay/Lala)

Shooting Market Photos…

I love shooting farmers’ markets!
I have shot them in this country, France, Italy, and Mexico and on one of our trips, the entire trip was planned around visiting another market in another village, day by day. I like the freshness of the products that are grown locally and I like the social aspect of a market… talking with friends, sharing something to eat or drink, and meeting the people who grow the food. They are festive affairs and in Europe, they are a way of life.

Be aware, that not everything you see in a local market will be locally grown. Some things will be no different than what you find in the supermarket and indeed, may have their prices raised with people thinking it is locally grown. Know what is in season when you shop the market.

One of the wonderful things about local farmers, is the fact that they might grow a small crop of an unusual vegetable that you would not find in your grocery store and so it was when we visited the Rockwall Farmers’ Market.

Crazy Rick, the organic guy, (“no chemikills”) brought some rat-tailed radishes on the day we visited. He and Vicki know I like to try different things and gave me a taste, and sure enough… they tasted like radishes but looked like stringbeans and they grow on a vine and not underground. I had never heard of such a crazy thing. Since I particularly love food photography, I shot my rat-tailed radishes after I got home.

Rat-tailed Radishes (Photo by Fay/Lala)

Rat-tailed Radishes
(Photo by Fay/Lala)

It is fun to include photos of the growers. Always ask permission and most people will be willing to let you take their photo.

Crazy Rick (Photo by Fay/Lala)

Crazy Rick
(Photo by Fay/Lala)

Rick is a particularly photogenic guy with his beard and his hair pulled back in a ponytail tied with a piece of string. He gives character to the foods he sells and is great fun to talk to.

A problem you may have when shooting at a market is the bright sun or even worse, the combination of shade and bright sun in the same photo. The camera does not see like our eyes and more than likely you will be disappointed with your shot due to the contrasty light. If you can shoot a shaded location or on a day with diffused light from an overcast sky, your results will be more reliable. Sometimes you can even use your body to shade the subject.
And always look for the freshest vegetables to shoot.

Red Ripe Tomatoes (Photo by Fay/Lala)

Red Ripe Tomatoes
(Photo by Fay/Lala)

When shooting, be aware of your background. A background that is busy, will be distracting and will draw the eye away from the subject. If need be, get in closer and use a shallow depth of field. Shoot in aperture priority and remember, the smaller the aperture number the shallower your depth of field will be. As you increase the aperture number (your f-stop), for example from 5.6 to perhaps 10, you will increase the depth of field and thereby will increase the area from front to back that will be in focus. Shoot the same subject at different angles and also vary your f-stop and then you can choose the best one when you put it on the computer.

The Twisted Carrot (Photo by Fay/Lala)

The Twisted Carrot
(Photo by Fay/Lala)

So get out there and shoot the local markets and have fun!

Vickie visits the market…

I no sooner got out of my car with Mollie Sue the pug, and there was Vickie in the parking lot. She was fired up and ready to shop the market as well as shoot it.

Vickie came home loaded down with plants and vegetables as well as some fun photos. 

I like how she has included this sign along with the stools and the twisted carrot as it tells a lot about what Crazy Rick sells.  He is an organic farmer from Rockwall county and he always shows up with something new and different… more on that later! 
And he advertises his produce as grown with “No Chemikills!”.

Stools and Twisted Carrots? (Photo by Vickie)

Stools and Twisted Carrots?
(Photo by Vickie)

Twisted Carrot (Photo by Vickie)

Twisted Carrot
(Photo by Vickie)

Rustic Bread from Liberty Bakery (Photo by Vickie)

Rustic Bread from Liberty Bakery
(Photo by Vickie)

Bud Rager Entertains (Photo by Vickie)

Bud Rager Entertains
(Photo by Vickie)

Fay/Lala and Mollie Sue (Photo by Vickie)

Fay/Lala and Mollie Sue
(Photo by Vickie)

For those of you who have not shot at a farmers’ market… get out and do it. There are lots of markets in the area and each one has a bit of a different flavor, so to speak. I also like the White Rock Greenspot Market on Buckner. Get to know the people who grow your food and eat fresh food according to the seasons. And make it a social event as you meet new friends along the way!

Donna visits the market…

Donna has shared several of her photos from the Rockwall Farmers’ Market. She shot these with her 50mm lense which is a very versatile lense as it is small, lightweight, and excellent for low light situations. Being a prime lense (in other words, not a zoom) the sharpness is superb.

Red and Green Tomatoes (Photo by Donna)

Red and Green Tomatoes
(Photo by Donna)

Root Vegetables (Photo by Donna)

Root Vegetables
(Photo by Donna)

Okra (Photo by Donna)

(Photo by Donna)

Basil (Photo by Donna)

(Photo by Donna)

(Photo by Donna)

(Photo by Donna)

Thanks Donna for sharing your photos with us!