Project ‘Dandelion’ continues …

Colline inspired me with her lovely post and her gorgeous project she’s been working on :  A Joining Decision,  and as I could not think of how to showcase the next series of shots I took of the Dandelion’s process, since I started taking photo’s of it from last week, I decided this would be my project.  Thanks Colline. :D

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This was the seed head on the 17th from my previous post :
Macro Monday – Dandelion.

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On Monday it turned into a beautiful, white fluffball sphere. :D

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That’s when the fun started .. for me at least. :lol:
I sprayed some water on it and started taking shots from different angles, using different settings on my camera.

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This one was taken with the Auto setting – Super Macro (Close-up) Mode and I used the sun’s light to add some effect.
In the Auto Mode the camera chooses the ISO automatically.

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The warm sun quickly dried the drops on it and I kept on shooting, but from different angles.

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Even the wind started to play along and loosened a few of the seeds …

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One of reasons why I love Close-up shots so much, is because it always opens a magically new world to me.  It really transforms something so ordinary looking into something quite unique and as usual, I can’t find the right words to describe what I see in front of me.  :D

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A few of the seeds fell off and I used one of hubby’s fly-fishing tie tools to clamp them together, and also used his fly-tying lamp as an extra lighting source indoors.  Afterwards I saw I even managed to capture one of the little aphids crawling around on it. :D

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Still using the light, I placed them on a black piece of material and took some shots.

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It became boring inside and the outdoors and warm sun beckoned again. :D

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This time I held it up to the sky, with the camera setting on Shutter Priority AE – Super Macro (Close-up) Mode.  With this setting I can choose the shutter speed while the camera adjusts aperture for optimal exposure.
One of my favourite settings on my camera. :D

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The B/W setting is also one of my favourites. :D

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Playing around with the exposure settings …

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On B/W setting again, but here I used the Aperture Priority AE – Super Macro (Close-up) setting. 
In this mode I can choose the aperture while the camera adjusts the shutter speed for optimal exposure.

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Taking a shot directly into the sun after I sprayed water on it again …

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Playing around and doing some editing in Lightroom ….

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Did you know …

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Taraxacum seeds are an important food source for certain birds.

Food for wildlife

Dandelions are also important plants for northern hemisphere bees, providing an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season. Dandelions are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). See List of Lepidoptera that feed on dandelions. They are also used as a source of nectar by the pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), one of the earliest emerging butterflies in the spring.

Benefits to gardeners

The dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for gardening. Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.

Cultural importance

Four dandelion flowers are the emblem of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The citizens celebrate spring with an annual Dandelion Festival.

The dandelion is the official flower of the University of Rochester and “Dandelion Yellow” is one of the school’s official colors. The Dandelion Yellow is an official University of Rochester song.

Dangers

Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten, or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Contact dermatitis after handling has also been reported, probably from the latex in the stems and leaves. Due to its high potassium level, dandelion can also increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics. The consumption of dandelion leaves has also been implicated in occurrences of fasciolosis.

As source of natural rubber

Dandelions secrete latex when the tissues are cut or broken, yet in the wild type the latex content is low and varies greatly. Using modern cultivation methods and optimization techniques scientists in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Germany developed a cultivar that is suitable for commercial production of natural rubber. The latex produced exhibits the same quality as the natural rubber from rubber trees. In collaboration with Continental Tires, IME is building a pilot facility. The first prototype test tires made with blends from dandelion-rubber are scheduled to be tested on public roads over the next few years.

Quite a lot to think about, I would say …. :D

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Someone once told me she is so envious of my photography and if she had my talent, she would make lots of money. :lol:

I told her it’s not so easy to make money from it and that I have no interest in working with strangers or taking photo’s of them or do what they pay me to do.  I do prefer nature and animal photography and also prefer being alone when I do it.   Also, there are too many professional photographers out there, that takes way better photo’s than I do and that she should stop wishing to do what others do, and go out there and do it if she wants to.  I didn’t just pick up the camera and started taking photo’s.  It was hard work learning, but I enjoyed it and still do.  I also like trying out new software and their add-ons and have lots of editing software on my computer.  Learning programs like that also takes a lot of time and patience.  It doesn’t come easy.

When hubby got me this FujiFilm FinePix 2960, I studied the manual, went outside and took shots using different settings and I still do that.  Then I would upload them to my computer and look at the differences and effects.  I also googled and learned more about Aperture, Shutter priority, Lighting, Composition, etc. on the internet and I still feel as if I don’t really know anything.  I also learned that the best camera is the one you have with you and that owning a fancy and expensive camera, doesn’t make you a ‘photographer’ or better than other photographers.  In the end your camera is just an extention of you.  You are the one pressing the shutter.  :D

The minute you start taking photo’s, a new world awaits.  Look around you, look closer at everything around you and you will discover how much fun it can be.  You learn something new every day and there’s magic in every moment. 

View your world through a lens of Gratitude …

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