This Post Is Janet's Fault

Is that what Spring looks like?

How about that?
Is a yellow rose the essence of spring?

Janet emailed me.  Here's a photo contest, she wrote.  Enter it.

I thought my front yard looked spring-like.  How about a photo of that?
 I thought the big blob of green there on the lower right of the frame was boring.  I started putzing around to see if I could get a better shot.  It might be mentioned that it was 6 am and I was wearing pajamas and carrying a cup of coffee.  I decided to add the two potted Agaves to make the bottom of the photo more interesting.  Then I went and got the tuteur from the back and shoved it in there.  Does that give the compostion some depth?  

Then I realized I needed to be up a little to get the top of the new tuteur in the frame.  To the garage for a ladder.  Yep, still wearing pajamas, though it was near 7am by then.  Neighbors of course happened to leave home early and waved at me in the front yard standing on a ladder with a cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in the other.  They exhibited no surprise.

There's more going on now, but the light is really dull.  It was early, but also overcast.  The climbing rose 'Laguna', I noted, needs deadheading.  
Here are some of the lines in the composition, if you can be generous enough to call it a composition.  It was interesting to take the photo and emphasize the lines created by plants and objects. 
 But that doesn't fix the dull light.  After all that, what else did I photograph lately that looks Springy?
 I like this one, but not the house in the background. 
 I like that solitary bee, but is it really springy?
 This seems quite springy-the deciduous Magnolia stellata flower blooming on bare branches.  Not super exciting enough?
 I like this one a lot, but the Agave in the lower left is out of focus.  Pretty scene, though.  Too cluttered?
 This one is springy because the weeping willows are just leafing out.  Could the composition be better, though? 
 I just like this one.  The stems on the Drakensburg daisies should be out of the bottle a little more, and maybe that orange daisy should be yellow, like the limes in the dish?
 This is springtime for Graptoverias, but when you think of "spring", do your thoughts naturally turn to Graptoverias?
 Really pretty, to me anyway, but does it scream "Spring!"  No. 
 Wish the bird's face was in a little sharper focus...
 I love the bee-backside hanging out of the Aloe flower.  Perhaps not everyone has the same sense of humor, though. 
 The Pelargonium flowers surrounded by Golden Barrels I think says "Spring!" and are unexpected among all those spines, no? 
Nothing, though, says "Spring!" the way baby birds say "Spring!"  Too bad I don't have a spiffy shot.  I love the eyebrows on this little guy, though.
 This one is super cool because it is a hummingbird nest.  As a photographic composition--well...and there is a shadow on the baby's face...
Maybe I should wait for better lighting out front?  Janet (and you know who you are, too), what do you think?  Which one says "Spring!" ?  Which one to enter?  This is all your fault, you know. 


  1. I know what you're going through. I used to enter a lot of photo contests and would agonize over which images to enter. Eventually I decided to let my wife pick because I was too emotionally attached. That worked great.

    My favorite is the photo with the two tuteurs. I don't think it's flat. In fact, if you'd had more sun, you'd be dealing with washed out areas. You can always pump up the saturation and contrast a bit if you prefer. But it looks good to me already.

  2. Like Gerhard, I like the shot with the two purple tuteurs. I think it's a good composition, and the muted light works. My only quibble with it is that there is a little empty sky at the top on the right. One of Saxon's 6 tips is to fill the frame of the photo, like that first shot in his post of the forsythia. Can you drag the ladder out again? Maybe even a taller one?

    1. I'll get my pajamas and coffee... ;^)

  3. Ohh decisions decisions! Perhaps let the other half choose like what Gerhard has suggested.

  4. Lots of great photos! The bridge shot says "Spring" to me most strongly, probably because it's closest to what I know as spring.

    1. Oh so true. Location, location, location.

  5. I would be happy if any photo of my garden came out looking like that! As I scrolled through I was saving comments for photos, but the further I got the more comments and likes. Basically loved every photo, even if some of them weren't as spring like as others. I like the catai with flowers in the middle, as those flowers are very spring like to me and it is such a different spring view than we get in the UK.

    1. It's not so common here, either. Your photos are very good.

  6. As composition, not necessarily spring-y, my favorite is the pic of 'Hercules' with gold-variegated yuccas etc. I saved that one when you first posted it, and am blown away every time I study it -- the balance of colors, shapes, textures -- everything.

    For a photo contest with 'spring' theme, the reflected bridge and willow are IMO your best bet. But it seems pretty traditional.

  7. Spring looks different here, but baby birds say spring the world over. I love the way the little guy with the eyebrows is off-center in the photo and the nearer leaves are out of focus. It makes the photo dynamic and interesting to me. Odd choice, I guess, when all of the other photos are so skilled, despite your self-criticisms.

  8. All of your photos are winners in my book. In Saxon Holt's - who knows? I'd probably go with the bridge shot, the exuberant agave/yucca shot or either of the hummingbird shots - but I do love the baby bird...

  9. My favorite is the bird with the bushy eyebrows...I like the way the foreground is fuzzy but the bird is perfectly clear. I think that says spring for me! Great pictures all!

  10. So many wonderful images, so many from which to choose. The baby birds are really sweet, so is the baby bird in the hummingbird nest and so too are those images of your front garden and the garden of yuccas and agave, I cannot decide, they are all great.
    xoxoxo ♡


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