Monday, December 26, 2011


Veronica, 2010

© 2010 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

This photo isn’t the best technically, but I like it for its content.  It features a color combination I find pleasing (purple, brown and green), the diagonal orientation of the flowers guides the eye through the composition, and it showcases the unusual, gradated petal markings of these pretty little flowers with the sophisticated name.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Agave Victoriae-Reginae

Agave Victoriae-Reginae
Agave Victoriae-Reginae, 2010

© 2010 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

On its surface, this is a photo of a Queen Victoria Agave, taken at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was drawn to this lone little plant by virtue of it seeming to grow out of a rock.  The little stream of water emerging from the crevice only added to what I found to be worthy of a photo.

From a compositional point of view, it occurred to me how much I’ve ingrained the rule of thirds.  The photo wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if I had placed the agave in the center of the frame.

Upon closer inspection, it struck me how much this composition embodies Japanese aesthetics:  simplicity, asymmetry, tranquility, understated beauty, subtle grace, humility, etc.*  It’s an aesthetic I would like to incorporate more into my artwork.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Cosmos, Mexican aster
Cosmos, 2009

© 2010 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

Not too many people plant cosmos in my area (a pity), but I was lucky enough to come across a small bed a couple of years ago.

The lighting was just a tad too low when I took this picture, and I remember it was a bit breezy that late-summer day, so getting an in-focus shot was a challenge.  But I liked the photo just the way it was and didn’t change a thing.  The position of the cosmos happened naturally, and they look so otherworldly, as if they’re floating in the air on gossamer petals.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Goldenrod Feast

Goldenrod Feast, bumblebee and goldenrod
Goldenrod Feast, 2009

© 2010 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

Many of my best photographs come to be by virtue of carrying my camera with me when I take a walk.  You never know what you’ll find along the way, even if you often take the same route.

On a fine summer morning, the goldenrod was in full bloom as I walked along the wetlands that are located near my home.  I happened upon this bumblebee going to town on one of the goldenrod plants.  Bumblebees, at least the species in my area, couldn’t care less about your presence, as long as you leave them alone.  They just go about their business, and this behavior allowed me to get really close to the bee in this photo.

At the time, I only had a mid-level point-and-shoot camera, but I was able to get a good shot with it that day.  I love the bright yellow of the goldenrod against the clear, cerulean sky.  The bee looks like it’s wearing a rich mantle of fur and sparkly bronze lamé.  I also got the depth of field just right without even trying.  Point-and-shoots do have their moments.
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