Photo Of The Week: Up Close & Personal

A few splotches of color returned to the landscape this week. Not that we’ve been living in a totally drab world; the Sasanquas and Camellias have been showing their glory  since late October.  Now the Daffodils and Japanese Quince have joined the chorus.

The occasion prompted some lens changes.  The 60 mm and 105 mm macro lenses were clicked into place as I waded into the Daffodil patch and the huge, very prickly Japanese Quince.   It was a nice preview of what’s to come in a few months.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. _dsc8649_dsc8592-1

Photo Of the Week: Summer Tag Team

Summer Tag Team  Posted to Flickr August 20, 2016

Two yellow flutterbys swoon over a Van Gogh Sunflower. These big, tall blooms virtually light up the vegetable garden here on the farm. These smaller butterflies have the late afternoon swoon shift; the Tiger Swallowtails and the Monarchs do their thing around 10 in the morning.  This was taken in late afternoon light when it is a degree or so cooler but even at sunset, it is blistering hot here.  Hottest August any of us can remember. The Sunflowers could care less.  Have a great week and thanks for the visit. 

Photo Of The Week: Texas Star


A close-up of a Mexican Hibiscus,  perhaps more popularly known as the Texas Star. It’s hard to miss with its brilliant, vibrant red petals. The bloom measures up to a foot across.  I’m particularly drawn to the back of the huge bloom because of its innate symmetry.  The tiny bug  was a bonus.  These flowers are one day wonders. They bloom when the sun hits them in the morning and drop off at sunset. They reseed themselves and can become quite invasive.  Hard to resist though because of that color.  Thanks for the look and have a good week.

Photo Of The Week: Dogwood Days


The wild  Dogwood Trees went from small buds to full fledged blooms in a couple of days.  Our farm here in Eastern North Carolina is thick with them; filling the sky with blooms, like large snow flakes on a blue sky day.   One of the larger trees covers a deck that is perhaps three to four feet off the ground.  It affords an interesting perspective of the blooms high up in the tree.  I focused on the closest bloom at f/6 throwing everything distant into a soft blur; a quick and easy composition of a scene that only comes once a year.  Thanks for the look and have a good week.

Photo Of The Week: Azaleas, Finally!


Our azaleas have been through the wringer this year.  The mild winter, down here a lot of people called it “the phony winter,” brought out the blooms several times in January and again in February only to have cold temperatures kill them off.  Now, it seems spring has finally taken hold, albeit a week early.  March is busting out all over.  These big red formosas seemed to be partying in the sunshine with the still blooming camellias providing some nice bokeh backup.  Floral shots are not on everyone’s hit parade.  Landscapes usually win, but I was so glad to see these, I decided to give them their “15 minutes of fame.”  Enjoy and have a great week.

Photo Of the Day: The Camellia Expedition

FAA 1/1/2016 Flickr 1/3/2016

I always look forward to reading about those exotic photography expeditions that grace the slicker photo magazines these days.   There are a couple in this month’s Digital Photo Pro that had me drooling with envy.  Oh to be able to do something like that, I thought!   I’m not complaining.  I had my innings in my younger days traveling to upstate Maine, Alaska and so on.  I just wish I knew then what I know now and that I had the gear of today back then.  Such is the drumbeat of life.  The reality now is that at my advanced age, the infirmities that go with it, not to mention the  cost and rigors of travel,  such exotic expeditions are just the stuff of daydreams.  Just driving the 45 minutes to Emerald Isle on the coast of  North Carolina for a few snaps at Lands End is my idea of an expedition these days.  And so it was this past weekend when I gathered up my gear and my boots and ventured out into the Camellia patch here on the farm.  It was no cakewalk.   The boots were a must.  The farm is like a swamp these days thanks to the constant rain which has turned the good earth into a muddy, black soup.  The plywood gave my tripod something to “sit” on.  Otherwise it would have sunk to the ball head.  It really is that sloppy here.   Once I got all set up, I waited for the sun to rise over the canopy of towering lob lolly pines that shade the camellia beds.  The trees provide a sort of natural neutral density filter which allowed a long exposure.  Three shots and I had what I wanted.  The result is the shot above.  I was right pleased with it.   It’s not Acadia National Park in Maine or the Grand Tetons, its just a Camellia bloom but at my age, you really do learn to make do with what you are able to do or to dance with with what brung ya as the old timers say.  I’m one of them.  Thanks for the read.  Stay Nimble.  See you next time.





Photo Of The Day: Dogwoods In The Wild


I spent the better part of a day in a section of the farm I call Dogwood Dell.  About a dozen wild Dogwoods thrive there under towering Lob Lolly Pines feeding on the acid earth which is also home to ancient Azaleas and Camellias.  The late afternoon sun finds its way into the Dell and I’ve found that late afternoon is the best time for shooting.  This view was taken into the sun using a Nikon D800E camera with a 24-120 mm f/4 lens which pretty much lives on the camera.  I think it a good marriage.  I usually take several shots of scenes like this running through different ranges of ISO.   On this one, I settled on an ISO of 400. I found the soft light on the fragile blooms and the warmer light in the bokeh rather pleasing.  I put this shot on my Fine Art America site (click on John Harding Art Prints in the upper right)  and immediately got several dozen hits and one sale of a rather large print so it was a day well spent.  Have a great Sunday everybody and thanks for the look.