By Ted Grussing
… every where and every moment there are new beginnings taking place. In Hawaii, our planet is creating new land and expanding the island which was created over millennia by this very process … it is on the time cycle of the earth and is natural and welcomed, except by those who forget that this is an active and dynamic planet and some areas are best enjoyed from a distance. It is exciting to be a guest, however temporary, on this little place we call home … and to enjoy all the gifts that are available to us including watching first hand as our home changes before our eyes.
Today, our diminutive Argentinian Giant Cactus began opening its first bloom of the season at about 4:30PM and by 7:30PM it had fully opened. I took this shot at 4:45P as the promise of beauty still to come was being revealed. Spiders surrounded the opening and other insects as well … food to find and consume, pollination to be accomplished … so much to do in such a short life cycle and again our planet/home reveals mysteries of life of which we know so precious little, but we can enjoy watching the process and be filled with wonder … or not.
Out for a long ride on the motorscooter this afternoon … the air was fresh and it felt good to be out riding again. Winds are still up so no flying for a while, but lots of other things to do too. A hour or so out on the back deck with One and that is where I watched with rapt attention as this bloom slowly opened up for the first time.
… making do … typically you would shoot a bloom like this using a macro lens, but I had brought a 1DX with the 100/400 lens out as I decided to shoot hundreds of shots of flycatchers as they swooped down to the grass to get insects and then back up to a perch … a challenge to see if I could nail a few shots and no expectation of anything that would make a print, as small birds at 40 to 50 feet are not big enough targets to get anything worth saving, so it was just a personal challenge … two of them were good.
I could have gone back in the house and retrieved one of my other cameras, but I was already outside, so a few adjustments. I shot this image in manual mode, with the lens at 400mm, stopped the lens down to f/11 to give me some depth of field, bumped the ISO to 400 so I could shoot fast 1/1000th of a second hand held and the wind moving the bloom a bit. The resulting image is nearly as good as anything you can shoot with a macro, so the lesson is to learn how to improvise and use the same equipment for multiple purposes … or just go in the house and retrieve a different camera and lens.
I have tried getting to sleep earlier on the advise of well intentioned people, but it doesn’t work out that well … or maybe it does. In bed at 12M has resulted in staring wide eyed at the ceiling at 3:30AM … pop the synthroid and wait a little more whilst checking email and texts. 4AM it is safe to send a good morning text to my daughter on the east coast and hopefully my west coast daughter has notifications turned off as she gets it too … 4:15AM it is up and brew two shots of espresso and enjoy that treat … then back to sleep until 7AM. Kinda neat in a way as I am getting some extra espresso in I would not otherwise have.
A beautiful week is about to begin and best of all we are here and breathing … wonder what the planet has in store for us today? It will be beautiful … seek beauty and share a warm smile with those you meet and greet.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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