Saturday, May 31, 2014

Half-hearted pictures

I once saw a photo of an open hamburger with ketchup and mustard on a white plate.  It was brilliant.  A thirteen year old took it.  I thought it should have won a contest.  I thought the photographer could have gone on to a career in advertising.

You can tell things about people by their photographs, whether they know how to use light and framing, whether they have a natural but untrained instinct, or whether they work hard to master composition.

I have a broken camera.

Also, my husband asked me to please photo-document the flowers in our yard and blog about them.  I think he thought I'd been getting down and needed an uplifting project.  I wanted to cooperate, and as a result, below, you will see many pictures of flowers from our yard.  Most of the flowers are past their prime.  This is how it goes for me.  You can tell something about a photographer by the condition of her subjects.  Pictures, outdoors, of flowers, should not have been hard.  Flowers do not pull faces, and sunlight does a lot to make up for my broken light meter.

Flowers are second only to food in terms of how easy and satisfying they are to photograph.

To begin my efforts to be cooperative with my husband's efforts to keep me in a positive frame of mind, here is picture of him, he, himself, rototilling up where we later planted tomatoes.  In the foreground, you see the rhubarb my father gave us the last time we visited Minnesota.  I am gratified beyond measure that we finally have the opportunity to grow some transplanted rhubarb from my father's garden.  Everything about this picture makes me happy, happy, happy!

Then there are the peonies.  We have lots and lots of peonies... red, fuchsia, pink, white and even yellow.  The yellow ones were very nice, but too far past their prime to photograph to any advantage whatsoever.

These (above) are by the mailbox, kind of an odd style of peony,
but cheerful and friendly.  The rest are more "normal."
I can almost see the pink ones (next, below) from my kitchen sink,
 if I stand on my tip-toes.
They are (obviously) fading, but they were nice.

We have quite a few irises in various colors and with a nice span of bloom times.

What is this (below)?  Veronica?  Catnip?

I planted some things by the front door.  These (below) are nasturtiums.  
They remind me of lily-pads, and I think they are cheery and fun.

Also by the front door: these (below) are zinnias and I pray that they will bloom.
They remind me of my Grandma Rainbow.
The begonias were distributed at church in honor of Easter.

These purple flowers were distributed at church in honor of Mothers' Day.
I like them but don't know what they are.


And, while I am sharing pictures, here are two of the gluten free pizza I made last night.

The pizza crust was actually good.  It is from cauliflower, and a tremendous amount of work.  The recipe is here.  It is tasty, and a much nicer texture than the hard, flat, gluten-free crusts sold in pizza places.  Shawn, who hates cauliflower, said: "If you have to eat cauliflower, this is a good way to eat it."

No.  There are no pictures of our kitchen.  Why?

1)  It was finished the day we left to get Laura and Jon from college and attend Laura's graduation.  We arrived home with a van full of things that need to be washed, repacked, and organized.  We are in the middle of this.

2)  I went nearly four months without being able to cook.  Now, I am cooking.  Yes, I am cooking.  A kitchen hard at work is not a kitchen that one generally feels comfortable photographing.  Using my kitchen is more important to me than primping it and taking pictures of it.

3)  Our dogs are sick.  Schubert has a chronic rotting gum condition, and Piper has congestive heart disease.  One counter is consumed with dog medications laid out so that I will not forget to administer them.  I do not want to undo the system.  Another un-photo-friendly circumstance.

4)  My camera is broken, and it is well nigh impossible to get a decent indoor shot of a room with windows and lights, and have anything in balance.

So, enjoy the pictures I've given you.  Over time, the new kitchen is sure to show up at least as a background.  Perhaps I will get the camera fixed or replaced before the wedding.


Shannon said...

I don't think your uplifting blogging project was very uplifting. You seem to have captured the very essence of "letter of the law". This is a Sad Mom Blog Post (TM).

The pictures are pretty nice, though. How did your camera break?

I wish that the dogs were healthy. They never used to be this sick.

That pizza looks good, though. I still am not wild about green peppers, but I would definitely give it a try. I like cauliflower a lot... did the crust taste at all cauliflowery or was it mostly like regular pizza crust?

ruth said...

Oh I didn't mean to sound sad. I just wish I'd been on top of things enough to photograph the peonies while they were in their prime. they were gorgeous.

The crust was good! It has a lot of garlic, spices and cheese in it. It didn't taste much like cauliflower. Jon thought I was joking when I told him that's what I made it out of. The one I baked on a metal sheet came out with a better texture than the one I baked on the pizza stone (I made 2).

Shannon said...

I am of the firm opinion that the pizza stone is not much good. I like pizza off of the pizza pan better. I suppose it has to do with heat distribution and also with personal taste. I would like to try a cauliflower crust.

You sounded like you were pulling out of it at the end, so I think I was wrong and the project ended up being uplifting after all. Hooray!

PS if there's a photographer at the wedding, you probably do not want to photog that much. Maybe just before and after, when the photog is off duty.

ruth said...

Pizza stones are highly over-rated, IMHO.

You should try the crust. It isn't hard, just putzy when you have to wring thew water out of the cauliflower. But, come to think of it, it uses a food processor (which you don't have) and a microwave (which you don't have and I don't believe in, but I gave up and did it the way the recipe said).

So perhaps you will not want to try this crust.

If you find work-arounds for the appliances you don't have, I will offer this one more piece of advice:

The recipe says to back at 450F. You may remember that I don't believe that any good ever comes from running one's oven at temps over 400F. If the temperature listed in a recipe is higher than 400F, I set the oven on 400 and just bake it longer. I have never been disappointed with this policy. A while back I made a roast chicken off the Food Network, and I followed their directions and roasted it at 450F (against my better judgment, but man, the guy was a CHEF). I was sorry. It was NOT a good thing... for the smell ion the house, the oven, or the food. I've made that recipe twice since then, modifying the oven temp to 400, and I have been very happy since going back to what I always said was best. Nothing good ever happens over 400F.

ruth said...

corrections to the above:

(1) not "thew water" but "the water"

(2) not "back at 450F" but "bake at 450F"

(3) not "the smell ion the house" but "the smell in the house."

My fingers don't type well, and then, my eyes can't see anything straight in these little comment boxes. I sure do wish a blogger could edit her comments. Maybe it's time to move to a different platform, where I can...

Laura Murphy said...

I think the purple Mother's Day flowers are calibrachoa (million bells).

I love your peonies! Mine are still small. I over-divided them when I got them from Gramma, and they are still recovering.

Nothing here has bloomed except for lilacs and lily of the valley, and bleeding heart. The peonies and irises are some of my faves, I cannot wait for them to bloom!

Yah maybe you should get a new camera before the wedding? Not that you'll have time to take many fotos.