Animal favorites ~

Taking Watch, by Parker Macdonald

Taking Watch, by Parker Macdonald, Benson Sculpture Garden

I went to Benson Sculpture Garden to walk.

Really, I did. It didn’t even occur to me to take my Olympus along. The only reason I had my cell phone with me was that I was expecting a call from the vet. But I couldn’t seem to get very far down the path without pulling out my phone and taking photographs.

Benson Sculpture Garden is a very popular place for people to exercise, and in particular to walk their dogs. How they manage this, I don’t understand. I tried it once, not too long after moving to Loveland, and discovered that there is no “walking” my little dogs, Ginger and Punkin, at Benson; there is only hanging onto them, barely. The scent of other dogs is so strong that acts upon them as an irresistible elixir, causing them to pull and tug and drag and stand rooted on spot after spot. My wrists and hands ached so badly by the time we finished our circuit that I’ve never taken them back. On Friday I watched in amazement as other people walked their dogs quite calmly along the curving paths and past the dozens of sculptures. Are my dogs really the worst? It would seem so, which makes me the worst dog owner.

Anyway, dogs aside, above and below are some of my animal favorites from the sculptures. It was the wrong time of day for the best view of the octopus, so I have a shot with a house prominently in the background. And I could have used a shallow depth of field for the cougar, but: iPhone.

The octopus lends itself to delicious closeups, some of which I’m including here to justify making this post. Hope you enjoy them.

 

The real deal ~

Aspens

Aspens

Took this photo this afternoon at Benson Sculpture Garden. It looks more like a pencil sketch, an effect that’s especially pronounced in the crop below. I assume this is just from pixelation and color noise in the iPhone image—maybe someone else can tell me more. I color-corrected and sharpened slightly.

Aspens cropped

Aspens cropped

Iridescent ~

Iridescent

Iridescent

Even in winter the sun is intense here in Colorado and can really heat up a room. This curtain, which puts me in mind of butterfly wings, was keeping the sunlight out of the hair salon I go to, which has a southern exposure. I cropped the photograph and increased saturation slightly.

The world in a paint stripe ~

Two different versions of the same shot; wondering which one people will prefer. When I opened the original photograph onscreen I was struck by the resemblance to aspen bark. Besides a little extra saturation to the blue, the top version is just as the camera captured it. Later it struck me that a cropped version, rotated 90 degrees, appeared (to me) like a night landscape. There is so much to see even in a parking lot.

Fake aspen

Fake aspen

Starry night/under the snow

Starry night/under the snow

Red stroke ~

Red stroke

Red stroke

When I’m painting (which I don’t do often enough), I use a pie tin for mixing the acrylics. After the paint is dry in the tin I can usually peel it off in large pieces, which I then photograph. This is my favorite of the palette photographs I’ve taken. It’s what I’d like to achieve in painting, but haven’t figured out how to do.