I really don’t intend for this to be a photography blog, but I seem to be doing a lot of photo posts recently. I guess I haven’t been doing many crafts of late. I keep thinking of pulling out some sewing or knitting and then not doing it. It might be time to make a goal – like finishing the sweater for Munchkin that I was supposed to finish last fall. Or finally making that vest I bought the pattern and material for well over a year ago. Or working on my t-shirt quilt. Or using any of the fabric I’ve accumulated from the Kyoto Arts and Antiques sales. Yeah, lots of crafts to do. I even want to do them, but can’t quite get myself actually working on anything. Hmmm…crafter’s block?
Regardless, today is going to be a photography post because of what I did this weekend, of Friday to be exact. Every year, around this time, the Northwest Flower and Garden show happens at the Washington State Convention Center. And every year, Sister, Munchkin, and I go. Sometimes a friend or Mom comes with us. Sometimes, it’s just us. I think I may have missed one or two, but I look forward to it every year. The show goes on for several days, but we just go on Friday night. All of the judging on the show gardens is, and there aren’t any classes at that time, but it’s a less busy. That’s important, too, because I like to take photographs of the gardens. And the flowers. Of course the flowers; we all know I like to take pictures of flowers.
I’ve used the Nikon for the past few years, which gets me a kind of mild respect. People aren’t sure if I’m just another “tourist” or if I’m a professional photograph (hah! hah! so not!), so they try a little harder not to get in my shots. When I’ve had a pocket digital, I can maneuver better (the Nikon is so big and heavy!) but am just another person jockeying for position. I’ve gotten some good photos either way, though the zoom lenses on the Nikon get me some really nice macro shots. Last year, I did the show with the Nikon but only a 35mm lens (because I’d already broken the two zoom lenses). It was a different experience, and required some adjustments to my shooting style, but I still got some good material. This year, I took only my new phone (iPhone 7). I wanted to test out its low light and macro capabilities before I go on a cruise with BestFriend next month. It performed beautifully, better than my last pocket digital camera. Of course, I think it’s technically a better camera in general, but the screen interface on the phone also worked for me. Now I just wish I could find a clip on lens set that works with my case.
So, I’ve nattered on about my cameras and taking photos, but the Garden Show really is about more than that. It’s a fun outing with my family / friends. I doubt I’d ever go alone despite all the photogenic flowers. It’s much less fun when you can’t point out really cool things and debate which version of a concept we liked better. Even taking pictures is a group activity. I may be the most obsessive one, but we all like to take photos. It’s fun to see who took pictures of stuff that the others missed or who got the best photo of a really spectacular flower or who managed to actually get the spot with the tricky lighting to photograph decently. The show also always fires up my imagination on stuff we could do in the yard, so I get excited for a while and bug Sister about stuff we should do outside. Occasionally, we even manage to implement something.
Most important, though, is that we don’t forget about the treasure hunt. We all help Munchkin with that. Every year they have a theme and in recent years they’ve given the garden designers a piece of wood cut into a shape that fits with the theme (for a few years before that it was a random thing like a piggy bank). The designers can then paint them (or not) and incorporate them into their display. Sometimes they’re really easy to find and sometimes they’re not, but there’s a printed list that the kids can fill out describing where in each garden the shape is. Then they can take that list to the information and get a prize. Some years the prize is seeds, some years it’s a plant. This year the theme was “Taste of Spring” (food plants), the shapes were apples, and the prize was a three-inch pot of kale (Red Russian – surprisingly less bitter than most kale I’ve had). Altogether, it’s a simple outing but an annual tradition, and I like those.