08/12/17
Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: the smell of roasting chiles, frequent afternoon monsoon showers and occasionally heavy rains, the last days of the rufous hummingbirds, and a view toward the State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, and arrival of the sandhill cranes and other migratory birds. August suggests the coming of fall in New Mexico, one of the truly magical seasons here. But, August has magic of its own!

A typically beautiful sunrise one August morning, calm and colorful. The afternoon brought a 1.5 inch rain to my house, very welcome and needed moisture! However, the flash flooding that followed resulted in one known death yesterday. Stay away from arroyos, and don’t drive through running water on a roadway!

Albuquerque August

August Sunrise. Late Afternoon Brought a Monsoon Rain!

I planted cosmos somewhat late this year, and they are beginning to bloom. They are a lot of fun to photograph. The goldfinches will soon be playing in them, eating seeds. The black-chinned hummingbirds, who stay later than the rufous, will enjoy the nectar of these flowers until they head south. I just enjoy photographing cosmos.

Albuquerque August

Cosmos – Another August Flower in Albuquerque

The sunflowers are in full bloom, and attracting many very busy bees. These bees are laden with pollen!

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: Bright Sunflower and Busy Bees!

Albuquerque August

More August Sunflowers

06/3/17
Price Garden Corrales

The Price Garden, Corrales

The Price Garden, Corrales

The Price Garden in Corrales is as interesting and as beautiful as the Rio Grande bosque on which it is located. Those of you who read my other blog, Susan Brandt Graham Photography, know how much I love to photograph there. Gardening on their property presents benefits and challenges that are different from those in the NE Heights sections of Albuquerque. On the positive side, given its location along the Rio Grande, the water table is not so far from the surface. They have irrigation access, a part of the old New Mexico acequias system. Those of you who read Tim’s blog, Off Center and Not Even, know that he often is up in the middle of the night to open the gates and later to close them. Sometimes there is adequate water, sometimes there isn’t. More challenging, at least in my opinion, are the temperature extremes at night, especially in the winter. “Cold air sinks,”and that is readily observable at their home. I always keep a jacket handy, even in summer, if I plan to be there in the evening. Winter nighttime temps are often 20 degrees colder than at my home. In other places I have discussed the microclimates and environments of the area, and the abundance of Dr Huey roses in Corrales. With a lot of hard work, Tim and Laurie have a beautiful garden that fits well into the natural landscape. I was fortunate to be able to photograph it twice in May, 2017. These are just a few of the images.

Price Garden Corrales

Colorful Beauty

Price Garden Corrales

Garden Study in Orange

Price Garen Corrales

David Austin Rose

Price Garden Corrales

Betty Boop, Fourth of July, and Purple Salvia against Adobe Wall

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a very hardy hybrid musk

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a very hardy hybrid musk

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a Very Hardy Hybrid Musk

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Roses

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Peonies

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Dr Huey, Bamboo, iris, gorgeous light!

This just a glimpse at the Price Garden, and over time I will post more images of their wonderful, peaceful, inviting garden. This is the best of natural, sustainable gardening in a very challenging spot in the Desert Southwest, Corrales in the bosque. I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour.

05/22/17
spring 2017 roses

Spring 2017 Roses

Spring 2017 Roses

Spring 2017 Roses is a small collection of images of roses mainly grown by me. ‘Austrian Copper,’ the species rose R. foetida bicolor, was grown by Tim and Laurie Price. If you wish to see any of the images at a larger size, click on the image.
You may also watch a slideshow containing these and other images.
Additional post will be made throughout the season.
I hope you enjoy the varied beauty of the roses.

Miniature Rose, ‘Incognito,’ after a gentle overnight rain
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Incognito'

Species Rose, R. foetida bicolor, grown by Tim and Laurie Price
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Austrian Copper'

Spray of shrub rose, ‘Route 66’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Route 66'

Spray of miniature rose, ‘Bees Knees’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Bees Knees'

Shrub rose, ‘Pike’s Peak’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Pike's Peak'

Shrub rose, ‘Othello’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Othello'

Miniature rose, ‘Spring Fling’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Spring Fling'

Floribunda rose, ‘Betty Boop.’ Rose shows now frequently have a class for “Rose Art,” and very often what you will see are images that use photoshop filters or other editing that leads to the destruction or loss of beauty of the rose itself. I want to show that images can be greatly edited, and/or enhanced, without destroying the integrity or the beauty of the rose.
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Betty Boop'

04/26/17
gardening challenge

Gardening Challenge Coming

Gardening Challenge Coming

A gardening challenge in the way of a very late and possibly hard freeze this weekend is headed to the Albuquerque area. The “average frost free date” for much of the time I have been here has hovered around April 15. Late freezes are not entirely unknown, however. We had a hard freeze in May of 2005. An Arrangement School was held at the same time as the Albuquerque Rose Show at the end of May. I still smile at the number of “Betty Boop” roses featured in rose arrangements that year, as well as in the show itself. That happened before we had rose photography in our rose shows. Floral photography does allow shows to thrive even with all the challenges of gardening.

This year, many of my roses have bloomed earlier than usual. However, I have a couple that I have babied that will be damaged by a hard freeze now. I’m also a little worried about the developing peaches and pears in my yard. I’ll keep an eye on the forecast and see what I can do to protect some of the plants.

Tim and Laurie, whom many of you know, face more difficult and frequent challenges in their gardening in Corrales, along the banks of the Rio Grande. However, once the freezes end in the spring, their property is full of lush floral growth.

These following images are from their yard in mid-May of 2016.

gardening challenge

Beautiful Climbing Roses

gardening challenge

Iris

gardening challenge

More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Beautiful Iris

For those in the Albuquerque area, watch the weather forecasts. Good luck with your tender plants if the late hard freeze really happens.

04/19/17
Route 66

Route 66 In Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque may make you think of many things. In addition to “those”things, “Route 66″is a shrub rose that can be spectacular in early spring. The color, when fresh, is dark mauve, and the bloom has bright golden stamens. Another plus for this rose is a fabulous scent. It blooms intermittently throughout the summer. It is at its most glorious at its first bloom. An added bonus here is a little Lady Bug.

Route 66

Shrub Rose “Route 66”

Route 66

“Route 66” with Lady Bug

04/4/17
2017 ANMPAS

ANMPAS 2017 – A Reminder

ANMPAS 2017 – A Reminder

ANMPAS 2017, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show, is now open and runs through April 23. The show is in the Fine Arts Building at EXPONM. Hours are 10:00am-5:00pm daily, except closed on Easter Sunday. If you live in Albuquerque, or will be passing through the Albuquerque area, consider visiting the show. I think you’ll enjoy it. All photographs are framed and available for purchase.

ANMPAS 2017

2017 ANMPAS. “Fruit of Ancient Myths.”

(For those of you who read at my other blog, Susan Brandt Graham Photography: A Southwest Point of View, I am posting the same notice there. I wanted to warn you about the double post.)

For those of you who do not read at my other site, I invite you to see a variety of my other pomegranate images, as well as rose images and two from “Persephone’s Choice: Every Woman’s Dilemma.” These were published in the March/April Shadow and Light Magazine, Tim Anderson, editor. Tim was kind enough to allow me to use a pdf of my portfolio published there, as the Featured Photographer and Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Color It Red Contest. Thanks, Tim, and also to the jurists.

02/8/17
2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS in April

2017 ANMPAS: “Fruit of Ancient Myths”

2017 ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show – will open with a reception on April 1 and run through Sunday, April 23, 2017. The show will be held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPONM, the State of New Mexico Fairgrounds.

This April I am pleased to be showing “Fruit of Ancient Myths” as a 16×20″ print. I thank the 2017 jurists.

2017 ANMPAS

2017 ANMPAS – “Fruit of Ancient Myths”

The Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show features photographic artists who are residents of New Mexico. Accepted entries have gone through a rigorous jury process. LeRoy Perea began ANMPAS as a way for photographers in New Mexico to showcase their work in a gallery setting. Begun as one show each year, it rapidly expanded to two shows a year, and may, at some point, reach three. Until 2017, the “main” ANMPAS show was held in December. √Źnsight New Mexico” for women photographers was added in April several years ago. In December of 2016, things were mixed to add variety. The December show was a pure black and white show. The main 2017 ANMPAS show will be held in April. I do not yet know what the show in December will feature.

You might be wondering, “why is this on a gardening site?” I began this site years ago about growing roses. Over time, I became interested in photographing roses, which led to the PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photographs. My interest in photography has branched into many areas, but I still enjoy pushing the envelope with botanicals. These pomegranates were grown by my mother. I photographed them – many of them – for the conceptual series, “Persephone’s Choice.” Now I am taking time to enjoy the pomegranates themselves, apart from the conceptual series.

For those of you in the Albuquerque area, I hope you’ll visit 2017 ANMPAS this April.

07/26/16
Sunflower and Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Update from Baldo Villegas, regarding identification:

this is not a carpenter bee. This is an anthophorid bee. This group of bees are famous for pollinating sunflowers. The males have longer antennae than the females and this is usually how I recognize them right away. Unfortunately, I can’t see the antennae from the picture so my guess is that it is a female.

I’ll be working to get a better image showing the antennae!
Thank you, Baldo!

Sunflower and big bee, and a beautiful blue New Mexico sky! I was out photographing goldfinches playing on the spent sunflowers and cosmos, enjoying the seeds and showing it. This time of year I see a lot of pollinators on most of the flowers in the yards, buzzing around, very busily. Sometimes I specifically photograph them. But, this particular day I was focusing on the goldfinches.

As I sat on my porch enjoying a quiet afternoon, I saw what, at least from a distance, appeared to be a HUGE bee. I’m used to the black and yellow “bumble bees,” and the smaller brown and yellow bees. But this had the appearance of a brown and yellow bee, but very large, and spending a lot of time working a sunflower. Finally, I had to investigate more closely, even though I knew the birds would fly, at least for a bit.

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

As you can see, this was, indeed, a very large bee. And, it had been very busy! It was covered with pollen it had collected from the sunflower. I think it may be a male carpenter bee, although I need to check this identification.

Under any circumstances, it was a new bee for me, and certainly caught my eye even though I thought I would focus on birds that particular day.

08/16/15

Beautiful Spider and Web

Spider and Web

This beautiful spider and its equally beautiful web greeted me one recent morning. The web had been woven overnight, and blocked my way from the patio to the remainder of the yard. Oh, well… I went in to get my camera, and then walked through the round garden to get to the other side, where the light was better for a photograph.

spider

Beautiful spider and web

Close up view:

spider

Beautiful spider and web, up close

Spiders of a wide variety are found in the gardens of the Desert Southwest. Here in Albuquerque, I expect to find beautiful webs such as this one, some stronger, some less strong, from August until a heavy frost. They may occur at other times, but this is the time I expect to see them. At times, I have had access to the front door blocked by a beautiful web I did not wish to destroy. This was the first web I have had that blocked usual access from the patio to the rest of the yard. Although I would have preferred its location to be elsewhere, I was happy to find such a beautiful web in the morning light.

07/30/15

Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge

Photo challenge to myself – go photograph some things you frequently photograph, the way you frequently photograph them. But, use only the jpg, with no editing other than cropping and applying a copyright watermark.

Recently some photographer friends and I had one of the very common discussions floating around since the advent of digital photography. Is editing a raw file (digital negative) kind of “cheating,” or absolutely necessary to realize the full potential of digital photography? Anyone who knows me at all knows that developing my own raw files is something I do as part of my standard workflow, and overall will continue to do. It is one of the things I really love about digital photography!

The discussion with friends, however, made me want to go out and see what I would get with jpg rather than raw files, with the only editing being cropping to an 8×10 ratio rather than an 8×12 ratio, and the application of a watermark.

These are the results.

photo challenge

Miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake’

photo challenge

Cosmos, with “imperfect beauty”

photo challenge

Green bee with pollen, on cosmos

The challenge to myself was a fun exercise, but I am a confirmed “photograph in raw” person, just because I truly enjoy the editing process.

LightStalking has a good discussion of the benefits of using raw files rather than jpgs.