Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Summer at Home


September 12, 2021

This summer was spent languishing at home, not even venturing out with the camera much. With cooler days ahead and some nonphotographic projects mostly behind me, I hope to be paying renewed attention to my surroundings and sharing more often what I see. The following photos are ones I took between the end of June and five days ago.

1 You’ll have to check out the comments for the big reveal about what is depicted in this photo. Hint: The title is Call Me Marcel.

2 Not much mystery here. This is the top of an oil drum spotted in our groundskeeping service yard. I blacked out the context in Photoshop.

3 Not far from the oil drum this creature was slithering on the gravel.

4 Same location, different day, new discovery.

5 “I am laughing out loud at this little marginal cone,” a friend wrote when she saw this photograph. “What a study in oppression!”

6 What a difference the angle of light can make.

7 Googling, I learned that this can be called a strip door curtain or a strip curtain door. This one was at a loading dock in our community.

8 These Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) inhabit a small pond in our community’s Courtyard Garden, which my husband is developing.

9 In summer Island Pond is sprinkled with carnivorous Bladderworts (Utricularia vulgaris).

10 This Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) overhangs the walkway along our ring road.

11 Our community is experimenting with no-mow grass. I’m experimenting with Silver Efex Pro.

26 responses

  1. Anonymous

    Great as always. I love the Turtles. They are so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2021 at 10:08 AM

    • I think I know who you are, but there may be more than one anonymous person who comments on this blog. In any case, thank you; I agree about the turtles. When I was little, I had a pet Painted Turtle named Myrtle. I can still recall the feeling of her little legs pushing against my fingers when I picked her up. I’m ashamed now to think how Myrtle and Beensy, my brother’s turtle, were kept in a small bowl on a table. It was cruelty, but we didn’t know it.

      Like

      September 12, 2021 at 9:37 PM

  2. What a treasure trove of images, Linda. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2021 at 11:11 AM

  3. #3 did look serpentine to me, even before I saw your caption.
    That’s a good angle for the lead turtle in #8.
    In #4, do you know if there’s a name for that kind of green plastic fencing (which I often see in orange)?
    Darkening the background in #2 worked well.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2021 at 11:16 AM

    • The serpent in #3 was still slithering when I saw him yesterday. Thanks; the turtles were angling for food, which my husband was holding out to them. Googling “green plastic fence with holes” finds these names: construction barrier netting, garden fencing, temporary safety construction fence, patio snow plastic roll, plastic safety fence, and outdoor snow fence, among others. Glad you like the black background in #2; I thought it focussed the eye.

      Like

      September 12, 2021 at 9:38 PM

  4. nannus

    I just observed some Utricularia under the microscope, using a dimple slide. I found some in a nearby pond (also with yellow flowers, so I think it is U. Vulgaris). I could not yet observe it catching prey but I saw several of the bubbles containing prey (water milbs, water flea and a mayfly larva). They are really interesting specimens under the microscope. I have also observed a chaetogaster worm (which is a predator) stick its head into one of the bubbles. I don’t know if that was by accident or it was checking if something was inside. Being too large to be cought, it retracted its head from the bubble. Normaly, they are lurking hunters just lying around motionlessly for some time waiting for prey to swim by. There is also a special type of rotifer associated to Utricularia, building a tube it lives in from little “pills” it makes (Floscularia Pedunculata). I found those too. It is fun observing them, especially when they make these “pills” in a special pouch-like organ on their head.
    The microscope really helped me stay sane during the lockdown. I could go bike riding (sports alone outdoors was allowed) and collect some samples on the way, then experience nature at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2021 at 6:20 PM

    • Nannus, that’s fascinating! It must be wonderful to have—I’m presuming here—a deep background into which you can place your current observations. And wonderful also that you were able to survive your lockdown by indulging in these experiences. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of them here. The rotifers, especially, appeal to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2021 at 9:39 PM

  5. nannus

    I strongly recomend getting a microscope. You would like it. A camera can be attached.

    Rotifers are indeed a fascinating group of animals. There are many different ones, they are beautiful and interesting.

    By the way, I just noticed I mixed up my native German with the English in my comment, “milbs” are “mites” :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2021 at 3:30 AM

    • I’m sure I would love looking through a microscope, especially at pond water. This morning I read about another candidate for the microscope. I think, nannus, that you will enjoy the larger message here as well as the scientific one: https://exploringtheinvisible.com/2021/09/12/still-life-a-vase-of-flowers/.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 14, 2021 at 4:42 PM

      • nannus

        Really interesting. If I understand it right, some image processing was applied here, to produce these “traces”. There are countless possibilites here. DIC, however (differential interference contrast) is something I would like to have but it is very expensive.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2021 at 4:16 PM

  6. Love the turtles, and can’t recommend Silver Efex to you too highly – I like this grass study! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2021 at 6:06 AM

    • Thanks, Adrian. Using Silver Efex feels like cheating, but when I love the results, it’s hard to feel guilty.

      Like

      September 13, 2021 at 1:18 PM

      • Now then, there is NOTHING like cheating. You are simply using another tool to enhance your images. A simple thing to do on your blog, which I do on mine, is to mention that SEP2 has been used in the creation of the image – you can just mention SEP2 or go into whatever level of detail you want to about it. I (nearly) always give brief technique notes on my blog, but this is in no way mandatory. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        September 14, 2021 at 4:35 AM

        • You’re right, of course, Adrian. I felt as if I were cheating when I first started using Lightroom also, because it gets me where I want to go so much faster than Photoshop. (I do resort to Photoshop for somethings, however.) I do like giving the credit to Silver Efex when it is doing all the heavy lifting, as it is in #11. I didn’t move any of the sliders.

          Liked by 1 person

          September 14, 2021 at 4:48 PM

  7. Good to see you posting again, Linda! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2021 at 6:22 AM

  8. So no one has made a guess about the mystery object in #1 yet? Dang, I was hoping to find the reveal in the comments, as promised! 😉

    I’d say it’s clearly something ceramic, but the title hint Call Me Marcel is lost on me – I’ve been spending too many years in the wilderness out west and have lost touch with culture, it seems! 😉

    I appreciate your photographic eye and the ability to see interesting shapes, connections and arrangements in items that I would never consider to make a photo of. Very nice!

    Liked by 2 people

    September 13, 2021 at 7:14 PM

    • Thank you, Alex. No one asked until you did, so here’s the answer to the mystery of the first photograph. It is a toilet I spotted in a dumpster. I titled it Call Me Marcel to refer to a work of art created by Marcel Duchamp in 1917. Look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_(Duchamp) and here: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-fountain-t07573. You get partial credit for identifying the object as something ceramic. When I sent the photo to some friends, two people wondered if it was milk.

      Like

      September 13, 2021 at 7:26 PM

      • It IS a toilet! The thought had occurred to me, but I it seemed that there were too many winding elements in it. (I guess I shall best keep any commentary about that unsaid;-)

        Liked by 2 people

        September 13, 2021 at 7:55 PM

  9. Good to see you posting again, Linda. These set the stage, you know…have me looking forward to the next posts. 🙂 I really like the oil drum with its metallic colors and the way you removed the context. Also the Silver Efex Pro grasses.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 14, 2021 at 10:28 PM

    • Thanks, Mic. I have this coming Sunday’s post all ready to go. It was the oil drum’s metallic colors that got me. Leaving the drum surrounded with gravel and a wooden pallet would not have had the same impact. Grasses frequently appeal to me, and I almost always prefer to treat them as B&W images, using Silver Efex Pro to get there—though not always as dramatically as in #11.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 15, 2021 at 2:00 PM

  10. If this is what languishing accomplishes then keep it up! 😉 #2 looks sleek and beautiful on this black background and really shows what can be done with the simplest everyday objects when they’re observed with care. In #4 there’s a feeling of some elevated Parisian fabric emporium – here are the best that can be had, at any price, ready to cut to your specifications. Really, you do such a masterful job of dignifying the subject. I love your friend’s remark about the cone and I’m always happy to see another cone on your blog. The steel grating or whatever it’s called in #6 looks transparent (on the right) – amazing! It’s a magical effect. OK, it must be a reflection but it doesn’t look like one.
    I like your leap from the sublime strip door curtain, quietly elegant, minimalist, and subdued, to the adorable turtles.
    I wish I could see the Bladderworts better – I’m not familiar with them. The Black locust tree is beautifully presented – the weight and color variation of those beautiful, compound leaves and the dark recess of the trunk – very pleasing.
    Keep experimenting with Silver Efex, please. Grass is a great subject, isn’t it? I like what you did. Thank you for the whole shebang, it was a pleasure the first time around, when I didn’t have time to comment, and it’s a pleasure again, just now.

    Like

    September 17, 2021 at 5:50 PM

  11. Well, maybe I cheated a bit on the mystery solution because it looks just like our toilet so I had a hint. And, of course, only your vision would turn that into an interesting abstract so well done.
    As you might imagine, my favorite of the shots is number 8. And the last shot of the grass is great…looks like a ball of fur. Nice SEP conversion.

    Like

    September 21, 2021 at 5:47 PM

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