In all honesty this could be any Rudbeckia. There are just so many that look alike and this was in a public garden. Who can know?
They do photograph well.
One of my tips when doing the magnifying glass/box camera trick is to seek out shapes that are large, simple and repetitive. It’s especially helpful if there are lots in a cluster like in this shot and the last because then it doesn’t matter if your focus is exactly where you planned for it to be. If you’re striving to photograph a single subject, chances are good that it won’t be in focus. I carry a retractable measuring tape to check the distance but it’s still mostly a guess.
It’s been a difficult year and every cell in my body has been craving simplicity and play in an effort to rebound. When I’ve had some free time lately, I’ve found myself reaching for box cameras that I haven’t used in years rather than my usual mainstays. These cameras are as simple as they come: no light meter, focus, and no aperture. It’s just a box that holds film with a lens and a shutter. The viewfinder barely functions. Hold the box, point it, and click the shutter.
Oddly enough, this simplicity actually opens things up to a certain amount of complexity and fun experimentation. Most box cameras like this one can’t focus less than 2m. I took this close-up photo by holding a magnifying glass in front, juggling a ruler to be sure I got the distance right.
This photo was taken with an old favourite, the Ansco Shur Shot. I love the smell of the old leather cover. Unfortunately, it appears to have sprung a leak somewhere, which you can see by the numbers and dots from the paper backing that have burned into the film. Of course, some people would see that as an advantage that adds something to the image.
On the plant: Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) aka cowbell is one of my most-loved edible weeds. I’m not a huge fan of the eating part but I do love those bloated flowers. I’ve secretly come to associate the plant with a favourite director, Jane Campion. But given that it’s alternate name is cowbell, I think you could make a case for calling it the Christopher Walken plant. More cowbell!
You can’t eat the leaves at this stage since the leaves are tough and bitter this far into the season. Instead, pick the tender shoots when they first emerge in the spring. Like most edible weeds, it tastes kind of like spinach.
Red currants I harvested from our bush last weekend. It doesn’t look like much in this big basket, but it amounted to about 1 1/2 pounds of berries once the stems were removed.
In early spring the Scilla bloom and I always make a point to get some pictures in the short time that they are around. As previously mentioned, they share a name with my maternal grandmother, although the spelling is different.
I took this photo of what looks like a Kalanchoe daigremontiana aka Mother-of-thousands about a month ago in Austin, Texas.
I have one of these growing indoors in a pot. This warm climate native would never survive our cold Toronto winters. Or rather, I should say that I have thousands growing indoors in a pot since anyone who has grown this extremely drought-resilient succulent plant knows how apt the common name really is. Each serrated leaf is lined in several tiny plantlets, which eventually drop off and take root wherever they can. I’ve found them trying to grow into the carpet!