July 23, 2016


Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography, Photos — Tags: — paul davis @ 3:48 pm

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September 21, 2012

429: Genuflection

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , — paul davis @ 11:14 am

I was driving from southern Iowa to Kansas City this morning as the sun was coming up. I keep an eye peeled for whatever the light might be doing from the east, and another eye on upcoming exits that might coincide with light events. I’m looking at big stuff like barns and hills and trees and clouds, ripping along at 70, but then when I do succumb to the view and park my truck on an overpass, there I am kneeling among the ditch daisies again. The blue spots are chicory—that weeds springs eternal.

August 28, 2012

355: I dream of chicory

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: — paul davis @ 8:53 am

Looks like a bizarro double exposure in front of cactus/sunrise/cloudy blue sky, really just out-of-focus ditch chicory in front of asphalt and cross-lit dewdrops.

August 20, 2012

328: Getting to the bottom of chicory

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , — paul davis @ 6:24 am

It’s just the innards of a weed that grows along every roadside around here all summer long. Why lavish such attention on it?

July 23, 2012

278: Apple, again

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , , — paul davis @ 8:22 am

I’m probably testing your patience, but I liked the composition of this single apple with sun occluded so much that I was back at the same spot and same time yesterday for another try at it. After days of moist heat the sun came up into a haze, and I exposed the apple a little more to show that peach hue (or maybe it’s just colored up since last week), and I let some leaf further occlude the sun disc while peeping a fan of leaf stalks up above the apple.

Anyway, if you limped through the forty days and nights of chicory with me, a few more trips back to the apple tree won’t kill you.

July 9, 2012

225: Blurred blue

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , , , — paul davis @ 12:04 pm

When I was shooting through a throng of chicory into the rising round sun this weekend, I was trying to capture the essence of blue that such a patch delivers. One flower, lit by one sun, is dramatic and easy to compose, but it doesn’t get to the spots of blue everywhere that chicory is. This one has a lot more blue, and more subtle blue, as well as a big gob of unfocused blue–the whole lower half is some kind of blue or another.

Even more blur, and a sun fractillated by tree branches.

Dark enough exposure here that you want to think that globe is the moon. All the blue would have been lost if it had really been this dark.






224: Blue, but not chicory

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , , , — paul davis @ 8:31 am

The couple who sold us our new old house on a handshake are serenely competent gardeners. We didn’t need to get any farther than the yard to know we wanted to live there. The question was, would they keep tending the flowerbeds?

It’s almost like blue blood flows through the veins of this one–who will tell me what it is? (Inspired by all of you wise ones, I tried to find its name with Bing–five blue pointy petals with a blue pistil, thought that should be easy–then tried it by searching images and found it quickly, but all of the images were labeled “blue flower”–that better not be its Latin name.)

I’m not much better at pink than I am at red, but the setting sun coming through the petals made me want to try.

Something’s been chowing down on these–in Washington it would’ve been slugs.



July 8, 2012

223: Blue sunrise

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , , — paul davis @ 1:13 pm

A nice round sunrise this morning. Of course I was out looking for chicory blue to backlight with that round ball. Thought about driving out to the field full of it I saw on my ride yesterday, but found a patch right around the corner from our house. It’s everywhere right now.

Looks like evening coming on, but it’s just an accident of the exposure, shooting right into the sun.

Nice gradient into indigo.

Speaking of photo commentary, my friend Bruce texted me a blurry photo of a granite wall or dirt–can’t tell which–yesterday after his hike in Bridal Trails state park with his wife, Janet: “I took this picture with light reflecting off a fern frond held on a boom by Janet. I used a 17 fstop with a 16 furlong sideways depth of field. It was early dawn, but I used only moonlight. It was postprocessed with Microsoft Word 2010 professional, with extra blur on the horseshit to give purple highlights.”


July 7, 2012

220: Back to the chicory

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , — paul davis @ 8:10 am

I have selective OCD. Anyone looking at this blog for more than a couple of weeks will know the triggers: barbed wire, thistles, the mangled tops of metal fence posts, chain link, anything that intertwines. Lately it’s been the blue of chicory. I have spread out before me right now on the kitchen table thirteen versions of chicory blue, none of them called “chicory” and none of them even close to what I can see on the screen in front of me, let alone what the real flower looks like. If I had to pick one to paint one of the walls in our new old house (which by the way we can start moving into as early as this afternoon, if only southern Iowa weren’t going to be 99 degrees and humid this afternoon), I’d choose one of two from the Water Beads/Spring Breeze Palette, either “Haunting Hue” or “Blue Thistle”, but I admit I am choosing more on the basis of name than color.


June 28, 2012

192: Chicory and York

Filed under: Photo of the day, Photography — Tags: , , , , , — paul davis @ 8:20 am

I’m so delighted to know the name of the blue flowers halfway up this alley: chicory. I’ve photographed them a lot, and I like to know the names of things, but that’s like saying I’d like to play the guitar–as in, “Yes, but not enough to practice.” Yesterday I posted a photo from that patch you can see in the alley, and two people commented that they liked the chicory. Ah! I’d heard of cowboy chicory coffee, but I had no idea this is what the plant looks like.

On the other hand, I might have known what the grain elevators in the middle of this little town look like–I spent the first 21 years of my life walking by them every day, noted when they were processing grain by the chaff that fell from the sky all over town, and listened to the roar of the dryers through the fall. But I never looked at them. In fact, earlier in this paragraph I had to pause to come up with the words to name them. They have just always been there–the tallest thing around, hanging over us all–and therefore somehow unnoticed. I was bent over the chicory, immersed in the chicory, working my way back up the alley through whatever those pink flowers are called, and when I emerged back on Main Street I looked back and then it was that I saw framed in the alley these serious graphic elements. It was the frame that did it, of course. They’re so big they escape every frame.

What’s different about coming home is that this time I’m here for it.

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