Archive for flower

…Is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by cliffmichaels


Truth be told, my photos on Flickr are at best only moderately popular. The higher hit photos tend to be of young woman – even a sexy head shot garners a significant number of hits. Oh, I’ve got images with tens of thousands of hits and pics with a hundred or more faves, but they are few and far between in my Flickr oeuvre.

A few days ago my secretary bought a dozen roses for me take home to my wife, I get no credit for the flowers with her; she knows its not me buying the roses. There is an upside for me, however, because I normally photograph the blooms. Here’s a collection of sets of rose photographs. Naturally I post what I deem my better efforts to Flickr, usually also creating a set of those images.

So earlier this week I repeated my standard operating procedure: photographed the roses, processed the images, posted to Flickr. I was moderately pleased with the shots. Nothing truly outstanding, I thought, but some nice ones.

Florals on Flickr are a dime a thousand. Search for flower and you get twenty one million plus photos to choose from (rose returns a mere five plus million). I would guess that virtually ever amateur photographer with any pretensions goes through a floral stage. Florals, even if in a pedestrian composition, are normally pretty and pleasing to the eye. With decent light, a steady hand and intact bloom you’ll take a photo your friends and family find pleasing.

If someone had asked me which of my rose images would prove the most popular I might have said this one. Or perhaps this one. Or maybe even  this one. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The first managed twelve  hits and a solitary fave; the second an embarrassing four hits and no  faves. The third did manage 32  hits and three faves.

Submitting to photoshop madness, I took one medium close photo of an orangish rose, turned it blue and then blurred the outside portion of the bloom. It took me maybe all of fifteen minutes to complete my composition. I had done similar work in the past. Cheap and easy, really.

Lightning struck. Thunder rumbled. Within hours the blue rose had garnered hundreds of hits and scores of faves. As of today, less than four days since its posting date and time, its hit count is 2693 , and has been designated a favorite 134 times.  This, for me, is astonishing. The blue rose is now my second most faved photo (out of 15,512!) – here’s the leader. The blue rose is number  21 in hits. The leader – with over 38,000 – is unsurprisingly a photo of coeds in bikinis (number two is of young water polo guys in speedos).

So in a mere four days an image I thought pretty but nothing to write home about has vaulted into my photostream’s stratosphere. Much of the reason is its inclusion on March 25 in Flickr’s Explore. In my entire time of Flickr, coming up on eight years, however, I have had a mere sixty or seventy photos in Explore. Rose made it to #92.

Alright, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. Feast your eyes on the incredible Blue Rose…



Roses Pink RosesMe, You and Roses – Only Roses

Read all of VISIONS

He’s Too Damned Good..

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by cliffmichaels



One Hundred Twenty-Eight photographs of  beauty, each marvelously composed. Imapix, the photographer, should be shot, or at least banned from Flickr. He sets the bar impossibly high for the rest of us.


More photos by Imapix

See his photostream


Read all of VISIONS


Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2012 by cliffmichaels



Fighter pilots with black and yellow stripes
circling around, dive bombing types
One, flies in for the kill
another has his back, just for the thrill

I am innocent, I was just sitting there
timing is everything, humans beware
Humble cologne, enticing-ly perfumed
or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, half consumed

Wasps, bolder than bumble bees
meeker than hornets, dropping to their knees
Either way, these annoying, persistent things
ruined my picnic, with their unprovoked, nasty little stings.



OK, I admit it – when it comes to wasps I’m a girly boy. They scare the shit out of me. I go into ludicrous, hand flapping gyrations whenever a wasp buzzes around me. At least I don’t scream (well, most of the time). I’m not sure why I become such a weak kneed pussy; I don’t remember ever being stung by a wasp.  I think its because the little fuckers just look so goddamn mean. They even sound mean.

Bees sting, too, of course; but the humble honey bee looks almost cuddly as it flits from one flower to another. All bees want to do is suck up nectar and fly it back to the hive. A bee isn’t gunning for me, she sticks to business unless I mess with her or get too closes to her hive. I mean, a bee gives her life to sting you so she’s gonna have a damn good reason to jab you with her stinger. Sure, a swarm of bees is terrifying, but one single solitary honey making bee in the garden just gives me a happy buzz.

Even big bumblebees don’t turn me into jello. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for bumblebees, a bumblebee sting really smarts, but these flying jumbos just don’t look all that menacing and they don’t dart around at high speed. Not like wasps.  Wasps are the the Mig-27’s  of the insect world. Given half a chance, a wasp will try to take you out. Wasp are evil – almost as evil as spiders.

Ugh! Spiders! Don’t get me started on spiders! Got bit once by a Brown Recluse. Bastard damn near ate half my forehead. Twenty-five plus years later I’ve still got the scar. I hate wasps, sure, absolutely,  but I really, really, really, really hate spiders.

But that’s another story altogether…


Wasps, Wasps, WaspsWasp WaistWasps – IchneumonsOutstanding Bumblebee – Bumblebees Bees, Bees, Bees! 

Photo credits: Click on image for link to photographer. Each image remixed by me, each image subject to this creative commons license

Read all of VISIONS

Creepy Cake

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2012 by cliffmichaels


“Hey Cliff – come look at this,” my secretary yelled. Our offices are about twenty-five feet apart, but when she gets excited she forgets about the intercom.

“What?” I yelled back, annoyed by her interruption of my work.

“Come here!” Thinking there must be something wrong I left my desk and walked quickly to her office. “You won’t believe this”, she said, not looking up from her computer monitor. I squeezed behind her and peered down at the small screen. “It’s a coffin cake,” she said as I was trying to puzzle out what I was seeing.

So it was. A large, long cake, made in the shape of a an open coffin with the body of a man inside. The icing on the cake was colored to make the image of the deceased (and flowers around him in the coffin as well). Around the life sized coffin cake sat a few mourners waiting in grey metal folding chairs, I suppose, for this creepy pastry of poor dead Mortimer to be sliced and served to them on somber paper plates.

Unbelievable. The Internet reflects a very odd world…


Coffins Undertakers, Funeral Parlors, etc.Funerals  – Cake, Have it and Eat it TooCakes in Black & White  

Photo by Zimpenfish, subject to this creative commons license
One of his sets

Read all of VISIONS

Another Visions Post You Won’t Read

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2011 by cliffmichaels

Four Gorgeous  Flickr Sets:






I started with a set from my favorite Flickr artist, Patrick Smith, then chose a photo from his favorites and chose a set from that photographer, then chose one of his favorites, and so on.

Read all of VISIONS

Video! Video!

Posted in PHOTOGRAPHY, tennessee with tags , , , , , , on October 9, 2010 by cliffmichaels

Want to waste a lot of your time? Here’s how to do it: download a Flickr set to your iPhone 4, then use the iMovie editing software to make a slideshow video of your images. Oh yeah, add some nice music (don’t bother thinking about copyright), then spend more time tweaking your production before you upload it to You Tube. A good way to kill a couple of hours at least…

Here are two short videos that consumed more of my time than I’d like to admit. The first features some of my florals, the second Cades Cove in the Smokies.

Flickr Favorite(d) Flowers

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by cliffmichaels

Well, so much for the sun and warm weather. The seventy weather gods teased us with two days of sun and sixty plus temperatures. This week we are back to dreary skies, cold, and spitting snow. Depressing. I want Spring! Gentle breezes, blue skies and lovely flowers.

To salve my saddened soul I’ve created a fifteen image Flickr Gallery of flowers. Each image was selected from the Flickr group 100+ faves 123. Enjoy!



Read all of VISIONS