Phoneography Challenge: Macro…Milkweed

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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A small lake, a runoff lake for flood control, lies a few blocks from our house.  Despite the utilitarian sound, a walk around the just-over-a-mile path bordering it exposes all sorts of natural beauty.  The glory of the seasons is on display year-round, making it the perfect place for photos.  It’s so inviting that when I go for an exercise walk, I have to leave my iPad/iPhone at home.  The continual stops keep me from getting any real exercise.  They do, however, net some good pictures.

Although I don’t usually think of milkweed as being a winter plant, its sturdy beauty continues to fascinate through all four seasons.  Here’s a sample of what I saw as Bill and I on Saturday alternately splashed through melting snow and plunged into drifts still as deep as almost a foot in some places.  I tried my best to step in Bill’s footprints, but still managed to get snow in my shoes and wet the bottoms of my flannel-lined jeans.  It was beautiful and, in the next week, the warmth of spring will be descending on us.  Soon the colorful spring bulbs will begin growing, but the elegance of the milkweed will remain, a study in contrasts of silkiness and spikiness left over from the previous season.

The Phoneography Challenge is for anyone taking photos without the traditional camera.  You can read more about it, link to all the entries for the week and learn from Sally’s blog by going to this week’s Challenge:  Macro.

Edited in Picasa 3 with Boost and Sharpen

Edited in Picasa 3 with Boost and Sharpen

Edited in Picasa 3 with Pencil Sketch and Drop Shadow

Edited in Picasa 3 with Pencil Sketch and Drop Shadow

Edited in Picasa 3 with Tuning and Museum Matte

Edited in Picasa 3 with Tuning and Museum Matte

  1. What beauties all–I’m so glad to see the milkweed, which is necessary for the Monarch as a host plant. We’re in winter too, but the plants are long gone. Thanks for the spirit of renewal and what is around the corner. Happy Phoneography Challenge.

    • These plants around the lake seem to be quite sturdy and no one disturbs them. I hope to see some monarchs there this summer. When I was little, I remember monarchs being everywhere and even being able to have one sit on me if I stood still enough. Were that there were so many now and bees as well.


      • Oh, it breaks my heart. I’m on a campaign, along with many, to bring back the milkweed. One of the issues with the monarch is loss of habitat, and therefore their host plants.

  2. viveka says:

    Janet, just beautiful … I love to work with Macro and with my new camera I can set two personal settings, so I will use one for Macro.
    I read somewhere that we often goes too close to the object when we shot in Macro. Instead of crop the image to get closer.
    I have the lens nearly inside the flower on the bug ..

    • I know that with the iPhone or iPad, if I get too close with the camera, it sometimes resists focusing. So I hold the camera a bit farther away and then zoom in. After that, cropping’s a great choice. I’d love to have a macro lens for me “real” camera (which I barely know how to use), but for now, I’m good.

      Have a wonderful day.


      • viveka says:

        Amazing how good photos those smart phones take … but I don’t owe one .. and I don’t want one neither – only want a phone that rings *smile – Smartphones makes me stressed out. *smile
        Wonderful gallery!!!!

      • Thanks. We just got our first smartphone at the end of last year and I have to say that the only reason I even thought about one was for the camera and the ease of taking it with me. I have a shoulder bag that I often use as a purse because I can put my iPad in it and was using that for photos. The phone’s so much easier. But I’ve found the phone to be very useful, although I make it a point to not be one of the people who is always on the phone, always checking email, etc. And you can have it ring if you want. 🙂

      • viveka says:

        I was at a restaurant a while ago … and there was people eating together …in parties and while they where waiting for their food .. they were all on their smartphones, didn’t talk to each other. Not only one table .. nearly all. That was scary to watch .. so I stick with my old Nokia .. so long as it wants to be around *smile

      • That’s one of the biggest things I avoid–my phone as the third person at a table for two. 🙂

      • viveka says:

        Have a friend .. when visit her .. and her partner, and we are eating dinner together .. she answer the mobile and walks away from the table while talking – if it’s important they will leave a message or phone back. Hate it .. truly hate it.

  3. Honie Briggs says:

    Picasa is a great tool, isn’t it? These photos have frameability and remind me of botanical sketch art. Who knew the humble milkweed was so photogenic? Nicely edited.

    • Good morning, Honie. Yes, I like Picasa and especially appreciate that it’s free. I’m just getting into the editing process, having always felt that my photos should stand on their own. But I realized that so many amazing photos have been edited, so I thought I should join the fun.

      Have a wonder-filled week.


  4. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Beautiful, Janet! I love them all, but especially the middle one. The look so other-worldly!

    • Thanks very much, Cathy. I’m enjoying my foray into editing and I’m glad others like the results. I think milkweed are beautiful but often overlooked so hopefully the photos will help. :-). Have a great day.


  5. Angeline M says:

    Wonderful photos, and beautifully edited with Picasa.

  6. Sandra says:

    Nice editing there Janet. Terrific photos.

  7. DCTdesigns says:

    Janet I love macro photography. The first one is my favorite. It is practically an action shot.

    • You’re right and I hadn’t even thought about it as nothing was moving the day I took the shot. This is what’s good about feedback–you often find out things you never imagined were in either a photo or a piece of writing.


  8. Lovely photos Janet. Macro is my toughest challenge for these Monday posts and yours are always so nice. 🙂

  9. M. R. says:

    I must say that not too many people would even thing of photographing milkweed, let alone making it look so good …

  10. Madhu says:

    Fantastic angles Janet! I love the sky as background in the first. Brilliant.

    • From someone who does photography as well as you do, Madhu (sorry for the rhyming sound of that!), I very much appreciate that compliment. Thanks.


  11. Looking/thinking small turns out big – nice!

  12. Su Leslie says:

    Hi Janet; these are stunning images. Just gorgeous.

  13. UreshaM says:

    These are amazing Janet! My favourite is the first one 🙂

  14. Great photos! I have always liked this weed in all it’s transformations to wishes!

    • The milkweed is home to the monarch butterfly so long may there be many such “weeds.” They are also things of beauty, aren’t they.


      • says:

        Your photos are just spectacular and I did not know that fact ! When you say home , do you mean they form their chrysalis on them?

      • Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed and that’s all the caterpillars eat. So that fact that people are cutting milkweed down is bad news for the butterflies. So our spot around the lake should be a haven for monarchs.


      • says:

        I had no idea! That is very interesting and more folks need to know this fact ! Photos please???

      • No photos of monarchs, sorry to say. Just milkweed. I wish I had some of monarchs there. Maybe this summer.

      • says:

        Awesome! Love to see them in flight across the world !

  15. I had a monarch butterfly try to visit a very bedraggled milkweed just last week. I don’t know if she was coming or going, quite a nice surprise.
    Your photos are superb! I like the last one the most!!!

  16. Janet — You really milked those frames for all they’re worth. Very nice set of macro images. Well done!