Showing posts with label Photographs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photographs. Show all posts

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Review of Sunflower Facts and Photographs

Fields of Sunflowers


Each year during the month of July, I anxiously wait for the sunflower fields to bloom.  Several years ago I discovered some sunflower fields in the Missouri river bottom land about 10 miles from my house.  My granddaughters were visiting and I took them to the fields to take some photographs.  I wrote this article telling about my experience in photographing the sunflowers. Photographing Sunflowers   

Before they Bloom

In reading about sunflowers I have found that there are actually five stages in the life of the sunflower.  Three of those stages take place before they bloom.
 
1.  The first stage, the germination stage, takes places when the seeds are planted.  This stages takes about eight days.  After the seeds are planted the roots develop and seep into the ground and then a shoot will start peaking out of the ground in search of sunlight that it needs to grow.
 
2.  The second stage is called the vegetative phase.  During the first 13 days after the seedling starts its  growth toward the sun it is in the vegetative emergence stage.  Then the first leaf comes and it is now in stage 1 of the vegetative phase, a second leaf comes and it is now in stage 2, this keeps on as  more leaves are added to the stalk.
 
3.  The third stage is called the reproduction phase.  In this stage a bud will form between the cluster of leaves.  It will initially be star like in appearance but in time will grow into the tall beautiful plants with bright yellow flowers that we know so well.  This whole stage takes about 30 days.  In our area I know that this stage should be coming to an end in mid to late July.  This year I was out with friends in mid July and we decided to take a drive to see how the sunflower fields were coming along.  They were right in the middle of the reproductive stage and I got some nice  photos of the flowers in this stage.
Reproductive Phase


Blooming Stage

During the blooming stage the sunflowers are in full bloom. During this phase you will see lots of bees busy fertilizing and pollinating the flowers.  This stage will only last for about 20 days so I knew I had to get back to the fields quickly if I wanted to see the fields in full bloom.  Fortunately about a week after my first visit a friend posted some photos  showing the flowers in full bloom.  I grabbed my camera and hopped in my car and headed right out to take some photos.  I was rewarded with the following glorious sights.




Harvesting Phase

After the blooms are finished the seeds are harvested.  You will want to wait till the flowers turn brown and start to bloom and then you cut the stems about 4 inches from the head of the flowers. Sunflower heads should be stored upside down in a dry and breathable bag.

Sunflowers are annuals so they must be replanted each year.

Fun Facts and more Sunflower Photos

The Sunflower has been named the plant of the year for 2021.  In her review of this information, Olivia Morris shares more fun facts and photos about the Sunflower.  Hope for the New Year Sunflowers Plant

Zazzle Products from My Photographs

I enjoy making cards and other Zazzle products from my photos.  Here are a couple I hope you like.



Here some more Zazzle Sunflower gifts from my photographs.

 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, April 10, 2017

Reviewing Picture Frames for Photos of Grandchildren

Grandchildren are special blessings. And they grow so fast. As a long-distance Gramma, I am amazed at how quickly they grow between visits.  I have many photos of my grandchildren but those photos are all digital. There is nothing wrong with that at all. After all, it's fun to be able to change the desktop photo from favorite photo to the next favorite photo.  However, recently I've had a desire to have printed photographs in frames on display. I've started to narrow down the frame choices and I am sharing a couple of these wonderful picture frames with you.


Desktop Photograph Frame for Grandchildren


This desktop photograph frame has good reviews. It is simple yet unique.  It visually displays exactly how I feel about my grandbabies - a metallic word "Grandkids" followed by a heart. 

I like that this desktop frame isn't a typical frame with four sides. And that it has a base.  I think it is a perfect frame for the office. An interesting way to display photos on my desk or file cabinet.


wood and metal picture frame

Photograph and Frame Gift for Grandparent


A wonderful gift idea is a photograph of the baby in a "Best Gramma" frame. Or, even better, in a personalized frame. These wooden frames are handmade.  

This is the "natural wood" color choice, but there are several color options. You can also specify the name - "Grandma", "Gramma", "Nana" or something else. And note the personalized "love, Raven" on the bottom right corner. How much fun is that? Each grandchild can send their own framed photograph to grandparent. 


personalized handmade wood frame for grandma

During my next visit with the grandbabies, I am sure to take many photographs. That is a given. But this time I will print some and display them in frames. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review of Photography book by Scott Kelby

 

The Perfect Gift for the Photographer on Your Gift List

Do you know someone who loves books and photography? If so, I have the perfect gift idea for them. I too love both books and photography, so reading about photography is a natural for me.
My favorite series of photography books are written by Scott Kelby. Scott gives tips to the reader as if he were on a photo shoot with them. He doesn't bore you with tons of details but rather gets right to the point and says "try doing it this way". Whether you are a someone who just likes to take photos for fun or you are a new or not so new photographer trying to get the most out of your photos, Scott has some great tips for you.
I invite you to look over the books on this page and then think about those people on your gift list. I bet you have someone who would really love these books!
Happy Shopping
all photos by the author-mbgphoto

The Digital Photography Book - Scott Kelby

This book was my first introduction to Scott Kelby and I can tell you the pages are getting rather worn from all the times I have read and looked at this book. I love the way Scott gives you step by step instructions on how to perform various photography skills.
Scott starts out the book with a basic chapter on telling you how to get really sharp photos. The following chapters tell you how to shoot like a pro whether you are shooting flowers, weddings,landscapes,sports, or people. Scott also includes chapters on avoiding problems, traveling with a camera and printing. All of these chapters are great and the way they are designed you can review a certain chapter right before you are going to shoot that subject.
The last chapter in the book shows beautiful photographs and then gives you the formula for shooting the photo. The book has great, easy follow instructions.

Predawn Sky in Minnesota 
colorful predawn sky


This photo used a tip found on page 62 of The Digital Photography Book . It is entitled The Golden Rule of Landscape Photography and states a landscape photographer can only shoot during two times each day; dawn and dusk.

The Digital Photography Book -Volume 2 - Photography Tips

Book two is written in the same format as book one and gives you many more great tips for photography. It adds a chapter on using flash, one on setting up a studio and a great chapter on shooting portraits. In addition it has chapters on landscapes, weddings, travel, and macro that give you more great tips on these subjects.
One of my favorite tips from this book is found in chapter 4 on page 114 where it tells you not to stop shooting after sunset. It states if you are patient and wait, after many of the photographers have packed up their bags, you will capture some magnificent shots. On many nights just after sunset the sky turns a deep,deep blue and beautiful colors appear. These will only last for about 10-12 minutes so you must be ready.
In September, I went to the grounds of a nearby college and I was shooting sunflowers at sunset. I had gotten some great shots, but then I remembered the tip about waiting around after the sunset for the great colors in the sky. I waited about 10 minutes and the sky broke out in beautiful colors. There was a fountain nearby and I photographed the beautiful sky reflected in the water of the fountain and pond. The resulting photo is seen below.
Beautiful Sky after Sunset
Beautiful Sky after Sunset
Beautiful Sky after Sunset

 

The Digital Photography Book- Volume 3 - Tips to Shoot Like a Pro

Volume 3 picks up where book 2 stopped. It has two more chapters on using a flash and using your studio. This book also has a great chapter about tips to using different lenses. it tells which lens to use under different circumstances. It also includes chapters on shooting products, people, outdoors and sports.
I have always found the fisheye lens to be fascinating, but was never quite sure when to use it. In chapter 3 of this book, Scott explains that he like to use a fisheye lens if he is sitting up high in a sports stadium and if he is shooting skyscrapers and wants to get them all.

The Digital Photography Book Part 4 - more advanced photography tips

This book is on my wish list for Christmas. It has great reviews. It picks up where volume 3 leaves off. One of the reviews I read said that if you are a beginner you will want to start with volume 1, but for the more advanced photographer part 4 is by far the best of the group. I can't wait to delve into this book.

The Digital Photography Books - boxed set

This set contains volumes 1-2-3-and 4. It also includes a new #5 that I have not read yet. It would make the perfect gift for the photographer on your list. Whether they are a beginner or someone who is more advanced, they are sure to find helpful hints in Scott Kelby's series of digital photography books.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Puzzle Review- Create a Puzzle from a Favorite Photograph

Do you have a favorite photograph that you would like to use for a gift?  How about turning it into a puzzle?

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Jigsaw Puzzles
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Jigsaw Puzzles by lighthouseenthusiast
View more jigsaw puzzles

You can make your own puzzles on the Zazzle website or you can choose from a wide variety of puzzles that Zazzle shopkeepers have listed on their pages. You might choose a favorite photo from a trip or perhaps a photo of a flower from your garden.  Another great use for the Zazzle puzzles is to make a puzzle for a child with a photo of them on the puzzle.  

 The puzzle above was made from a photo I took of Cape Hatteras lighthouse in North Carolina.  This lighthouse is often called "America's Lighthouse".  I love the black and white spiral stripes.  It looks very classic.

Puzzle Features

Zazzle puzzles come in two different sizes.  The 8x10 size has 110 pieces and the 10x14 size has 252 pieces.  All of the puzzles are made of sturdy card stock and are mounted on chipboard.  They come in gift boxes and are easy to wipe clean.  

Here are some more puzzles I have made of my favorite subject Lighthouses.
The first one is on Hilton Head South Carolina.  This is a fairly modern lighthouse, having been first put into service in the 1960's.  It is often seen as the iconic symbol of Hilton Head.


Hilton Head Puzzles
Hilton Head Puzzles by lighthouseenthusiast
Browse more Hilton head lighthouse Puzzles at Zazzle
The next puzzle has a photo of Split Rock lighthouse in Minnesota.  This lighthouse sits high on a rock overlooking Lake Superior.

Autumn at Split Rock Lighthouse Puzzle
Autumn at Split Rock Lighthouse Puzzle by lighthouseenthusiast
Browse Lit rock lighthouse Puzzles
Nova Scotia has many beautiful lighthouses.  I photographed this one at Peggy's Cove.  It is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in Canada.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mugs make Great Gifts

Mugs for Everyone

Mugs are great gifts for everyone on your gift list.  They come in all sizes and shapes and can be customized for your recipient.  Take a look at the blue hydrangea mug below.  This is one I made on Zazzle with a photograph I took of my daughter's hydrangea bush.  Wouldn't it be great for the flower lover on your gift list?  
Zazzle has mugs available in a variety of designs or you can design your own mug.  The mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe and come in 11 and 15 oz sizes.  Just click on the link above to order a pre-made mug, there are hundreds to choose from,  or customize one of your own.


Fill Your Mugs with Goodies

Now that you have picked out a  mug, how about filling it with goodies to present as a gift.  Here are some suggestions for fillings.


  • Packages of hot chocolate mixes, small bag of marshmellows, and a few cookies.
  • Specialty coffees and creamers.
  • Special tea packets and perhaps a nice tea strainer
  • Christmas candies
  • Chocolates
  • An assortment of holiday cookies


Travel Mugs make Great Gifts

Zazzle also has a line of travel mugs that are great. These 15 oz. mugs have a spill proof lid and are great for people on the go who like to take their favorite beverage with them. Design one of these mugs with a photograph of a favorite hobby or perhaps someplace your visited in the past year and you have a real winner. I love to travel and photograph lighthouses so this lighthouse mug of Round Island lighthouse in Michigan is a favorite of mine.
Round Island Lighthouse Coffee Mug
Round Island Lighthouse Coffee Mug by lighthouseenthusiast
Put your photos on mug designs at zazzle.com

Mugs from Review This Authors

Several of the writers on Review This also have Zazzle stores.  Here are some favorite mugs created by the RT staff.

Moon Angel Mug
Moon Angel Mug by Heather426
Check out other Moon Mugs at zazzle.com
A Day Without Coffee Mug Design
A Day Without Coffee Mug Design by BuckHawk
Check out more Coffee Mugs at Zazzle



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photographs on Calendars

Are you struggling with find a gift for someone?  How about a calendar?  It is a great gift that keeps on giving all year long.  I love turning the pages of my calendars each month and enjoying a new picture.

There are many different options you can do with calendars.  Here are some suggestions for you.

  • Pick a subject you know that the person who will be receiving the calendar loves.  Perhaps it is a favorite hobby, animals, or anything they really enjoy.  I love lighthouses and would always love a lighthouse calendar.  Here is one I created on Zazzle from my lighthouse photographs.  You can also purchase many lighthouse calendars on Zazzle.
Browse for another calendar at Zazzle
  • Another option would be to use family photos to create a special memory of photographs in your yearly calendar.  I use Shutterfly to do this.  I save up photos all year and then I make a calendar for special people.  Here is the cover of one I made for my Mother a couple of years ago.
  • A fun option for a calendar is to use favorite vacation photos to relive your trip.  This would be a great gift for a family member or friend who accompanied you on the trip.  We visited Quebec City this year and I made this calendar.  It is also available for purchase on Zazzle. 
Scenes from Quebec City Wall Calendar
Scenes from Quebec City Wall Calendar by mbgphoto
Find more Calendars
All of the calendars shown on this page can be ordered in various sizes and styles.  Think about the people on your list and pick a calendar that will be special to them for the coming year.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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