Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Trees or Leaves

I am still loving my new Canon Rebel T4i.  No, I have not started rocking outside of the presets.  I'm a slacker, I guess.

I'll confess I was not looking forward to the "Trees or Leaves" theme in the middle of winter; I am tired of the bare branches.  Everything looks dry and bleagh.  Why would I want to get up close and personal with moldy, dead plant material?

Then I realized that even with the preset macro setting (Thank you, Cari, for the clue-in with the tulip symbol!) things could look different and interesting up close.  Consider these ugly husks of Rose-of-Sharon, for example.  They are literally in my face every time I come into or go out of my house; they have grown past the porch railing and daily beg to be cut back.  (I ignored them all of last year.)  Up until today, I have seen them as annoying and unsightly, and have repeatedly kicked myself for not pruning them away in the fall.

But holy microscope, Batman!  On that funky tulip preset, they actually stopped looking drab and started looking a bit cool.  Almost artsy, even!

Another tree in my yard that is unsightly to me in the winter is this birch tree, which is continually broken in every major storm, yet still hangs in there and refuses to die.  I had not planned to take photos of it, until this morning when my kids excitedly called out that Barnabas was climbing a tree.

The following photo is two weeks late on the sun glare score, but since it has a cat in the tree, and a dreamy/misty effect from the fact that I don't wash my windows, I thought it had poetic interest.  (Nothing sets the internet ablaze like the photo of a cat.)

And then I figured: you have a theme.  Run with it, Lee.  Find beauty in that imperfect tree.
Broken birch, sans cat.

Same birch, different setting.

The birch with a lurch.
I think I have a new appreciation for this tree.  And for the speckled husks of the Rose of Sharon.  OK,  OK: I am sold on this "Trees or Leaves" thing after all.  Good call, Cari!

Now you should really check out the Theme Thursday scene at Clan Donaldson.  (Some people there  even speak camera and live a wild life outside of the presets!)


  1. Oh, I think I might like the very first one the best! Also? "Nothing sets the internet ablaze like the photo of a cat." Awesome.

    1. The first pic is my favorite, too. I liked all of the husks packed into the frame, entering from different directions.

      And maybe its just me, but there's something "Little Shop of Horrors"-esque about those husks on the left; they look like gaping mouths. I can almost hear those buds calling, "Feed me, Seymour!"

  2. Isn't that tulip setting the best? I love it so much, just for the reason you wrote- it makes even the most drab and blah look so much more interesting. And what it does to the light in the background! These amazing blobs of color and dark are made! So beautiful.

    Thanks for linking up. See you next week.

    1. Yeah, the light in the background is amazing. That is why I posted all three Rose of Sharon shots; the first was my fave, but the light in the others was just so interesting.

      Thanks for hosting the link up! This is a blast.

  3. Um, that cat totally freaked me out! At first I was like, "Cat? What cat?" Looking on either side of the trunk. And then I saw it staring at me and jumped.

    Something I love about photography is how much it helps me appreciate different vantage points, and how in certain lights, even ugly things are pretty. Or at least interesting.

    1. Micaela, lol! That is actually in the physical make-up of this cat; he sort of stares into one's soul. I almost fainted when my husband brought him home last year, because Barnabas is *huge*, big-faced and wide-eyed.

      He is also a total and complete love, with a disarming kitten-ish mew. Hope that erases your nightmare vision; he won't stalk you, I promise!

      I totally agree with your observations on photography.

  4. Uncanny!
    That first photo just looked so familiar to me!
    Photography twins!

    1. Too funny, Meghan! Perhaps we've uncovered some subconscious winter trend. *What does it mean?!*