Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One Thing Leads to Another, Part Four

Blogging is a great way to share what you love with the world.  Some of you are beginning, just beginning, to do that with your independent posts.  And some of you aren't quite there yet...  I want you to really OWN these blogs and make them truly yours.  I've certainly done that with mine.  
My 'chids live inside a small pop-up greenhouse in the winter
when the indoor humidity is low.  A couple grow-bulbs in a
floor lamp provide light during these dark winter days, & a
seedling germination heating pad underneath provides some
warmth.  Queen Vic has a bud (her 4th) beginning to open. 
You can tell within a couple seconds of scanning my blog that I love orchids, Lady Slippers in particular.  What do you love?  I want to be able to tell, immediately.  

Ok, so everybody loves a lot of things.  I do, too.  But think deeply about your life and all that you love...what could you focus on, here in your blog, that would serve as a lens through which you could write about the other things that are important to you?

Notice how, in so many of my posts, I've used the topic of orchids to write about lots of other things.  I've made lots of connections, and that's the kind of thinking I want you to strive for! 

I really enjoy sharing with others what I know and like about orchids. Photography is one way I can do that. I've always liked taking photos, maybe because I grew up watching my dad take lots of pictures.  

He was an English teacher for many, many years at Central High School, and for a time, he was their yearbook advisor, so he took lots of photos at school events.  He got so interested in photography that he built a darkroom in our basement so he could develop his own photos.  I used to watch him as he moved the photos from one chemical bath to another.  
Only this Moth Orchid, or Phalaenopsis, is blooming right now.
It's the first orchid I bought, & this is its 2nd set of flowers.
I love the contrast of its color against the snow outside.

I've never owned a really good camera.  I do still have a little digital point-and-shoot camera, but I don't use it anymore. And I don't really want to carry around a big, complicated camera, like Mrs Kosmatka and Mr Anderson do (though I admire the really great shots they get with theirs!).  

Getting my first smartphone (an iPhone 5) last year really made taking good photos easier for me.  It especially made it easier for me to take better photos of Lady Slippers when I go out hunting for them.   

Showy Lady Slippers on the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway, July 2013
I post my Lady Slipper pictures on Facebook, and Flickr, and here on my blog, because I want everyone to see how beautiful these flowers are--isn't it amazing that such exotic plants grow right around where we live?  Some months ago, I submitted one of my photos (the one above) to the "photo of the week" feature on the American Orchid Society website.  Soon after, I joined the AOS and subscribed to their magazine, Orchids. About a month ago, I received word that my photo would be featured in the Orchids magazine annual end-of-the-year article that includes a "selection of the best" orchid "photos of the week."  

I was asked to write a brief description of the photo/orchid, which I did, and just the other day, the digital edition of the magazine was released (see screenshot below).  I expect I'll get the hard copy soon; I'm eager to see if an iPhone photo really looks good on the page next to photos that were obviously taken with much more sophisticated cameras. [Update:  On 12/19/13, I received the hard copy, and the photo looks great!] 
AOS Publication Committee. "Orchid Photograph of the Week:  A
Selection of the Best."  Orchids December 2013:  733.
Web.  4 December 2013.

This experience has been a lot of fun, and I plan to submit other photos in the future.  

So, your assignment is to find a focus for your blog, and start writing about it because you love it, not because I tell you to!  

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