Plate photos and stock images

About a hundred years ago, iStock accepted me as a contributor, which was a huge honor because iStock is the BEST. (I know, because I am a graphic artist and often go to their site for images.) But the letdown was, they accepted very, very few of my images.

Today I thought I’d give it another shot, and set out to photograph some of my jewelry-making stuff to submit to them. That went OK, but… I soon got distracted with photographing the plates I’d set my jewelry on.

Now, this is what generally happens when I’m making pictures, especially still lifes – as I get more and more absorbed in what I’m photographing, I start to see my subject(s) in a different way. I started out photographing plates, but eventually I was photographing the patterns on them.

I haven’t submitted these to iStock yet, but I feel hopeful that some may be accepted because they have a lot of negative space, so they would be appropriate for ads, and because they are different than just photographs of china.

Here are a few of the images I made today, that I’m super pleased with:

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Orchid Heaven

We went to the Cape & Islands Orchid Show today, and while it was pricy (Ulysse got a hotdog and chips for $6!!!) and crowded, the show itself was beautiful. There is nothing like a room full of blooming flowers in January!

I had been once before, but I hadn’t had my camera long, so I knew one setting – which I had read in a magazine – and that’s what I did for every shot. This time I brought three lenses and some close up filters and went to town!

These were taken using a flash which, of course, captures a lot of detail and the flowers’ “true” colors:

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This is my favorite one, compositionally:

Orchids

These I took without a flash using my 50mm Minolta lens, and I think, of all the pictures I took, that they came out the most interesting:

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And, of the ones I took without a flash, this one is my personal favorite:

Orchid

A Taste of Summer

I’ve been rooting through old photo files, with the thought in mind that I would organize what I’ve taken over the years into some sort of database people could browse and (hopefully) order prints or note cards from easily. Here are three oldies but goodies I’d nearly forgotten – a little dose of summer right before Christmas.

Dragonfly

tiger swallowtail

Spider

Praying Mantis Patrol

I went to Nasketucket, possibly for the last time this year, in search of praying mantises. The end of the summer/start of fall is their season; at least it’s when they are big enough to spot. The first half of my walk, I spotted only one, and was getting concerned that my 45-year-old, never-particularly-good eyes were starting to fail me.

Praying mantis

On the walk back, however, I fared much better, partly because of the direction of the sun.

Praying mantis

I should also give myself a break, because praying mantises are never easy to spot. They’re well-camouflaged, and they stay stock-still, waiting for their prey to come within snatching distance. But once you learn their body shape and where they are likely to be (and the light is right), you have an easier time picking them out from their surroundings.

But… I had an unexpected high when I spotted a female laying eggs on a branch, which I’d never witnessed before. I saw what I thought looked like a praying mantis’s eggsack, although the shape seemed a bit off. When I zoomed in, I realized why: the female was still in the process of laying her eggs!

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

As I’ve found with most of nature, it was cool but oogy. Or oogy but cool. (Twice this year I got to see a monarch caterpillar transform into a chrysalis, and it’s science-fiction oogy, but still a cool thing to see.)

Mini Vacay

I took two vacation days this week, and while I’ve been getting some work done during them (I am closing my antiques booth because it’s just not something I can keep pouring money into), I have also had some ME time. Today was the first chance I got to get out and take pictures – on my way from one task to another – and it was glorious. I went to the water pumping station, which is just this little plot of land but is rich in wildlife. I saw frogs, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars and even green herons.

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Joe-Pye WeedSkipperJoe-Pye Weed and Mint

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Turtle

This squirrel cracks me up – he was digging around inside a hollow tree trunk for edibles.

Squirrel

Does anyone else see the freakishly huge frog I was totally oblivious to?

Turtle and frog

A whole lotta dragonflies

How many pictures of dragonflies can one person take? The short answer is, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. The frustrating thing for me, however, is that the really beautiful ones – like saddlebags, which are my favorites – never seem to want to land anywhere. Even when I ask really nicely…

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