Got Daffodils?

Granville Garden ClubIt must be spring! The 68th Annual Daffodil Show happened last weekend in Granville, Ohio. Granville is where Abby (from Perigee Moon) lived in the old farmhouse. Now Luke is there with her, and I guess they must be living happily ever after out in the country and about to begin their new growing season.

The Daffodil Show, you say? There are more varieties of daffodils than I would have thought possible, and they aren’t just yellow either! Take a look at this beauty.

Daffodill2You may have noticed the springy new look for my blog, and the header picture was taken at the Daffodil Show. I used my Canon Digital Rebel XT SLR camera, because as much as cell phone cameras have improved, they still don’t compare to this baby. The drawback, of course, is that it’s heavy around the neck, and it’s more complicated to use but the results are usually worth it.

I snapped up the pictures of the lovely Daffodils and then edited them using The GIMP. It was a simple matter of cropping, removing the irksome blue cards with the name of the species on it that appeared next to the flowers and which are impossible to not include in the photos, and adjusting the color here and there (hue, saturation, contrast, brightness, stuff like that) to get a better look, one that I considered to be quite nice, although a more seasoned photographer would probably smirk and point while whispering “Amateur”.

So be it. I am an amateur. I discovered by adjusting the hue and saturation you can effect an image that doesn’t resemble the original, but is a blurred, kind of impressionistic version. I liked it. This technique was applied to the header picture, to make it look cartoonish, rather than realistic.

Note this example, the original and edited version:

DaffodilBeforeAfterThe Daffodil Show was held in an old mansion, which is interesting in itself, and of course the visitors in attendance had their special brand of Garden-y quirkiness.

There are the seasoned Daffodillers, who know everyone and glide about expressing their gratitude for the hard work of Mrs. Xtreme-Daffodil who has coordinated the arrangements, the shifts of workers and the refreshments, not to mention the flautists engaged to lend a refined aura to the whole event.

Not too many men were in attendance, and the few that were, were accompanied by their significant others who had specimens on display. Most of the men not with women wore hats with ear flaps.

Always on the lookout for a bit of person-watching, I spied a woman behind the refreshment stand, (which contained assortments of cookies on three-tiered stands and bowls of malted milk balls in Easter pastel colors). Her body language indicated that she was uncomfortable and the smile she had plastered on her face told me that this was her first stint serving up sweets, and in fact, may be the first time she had participated in the Daffodil Show.

I immediately came up with a story for her. She is new in town and wants to become involved, wants to meet people and make friends. She is introverted by nature, which is why she has trouble finding anything to do with her hands, so she crosses her arms across her chest, uncrosses them, puts them at her sides, before moving them to clasp behind her back, at which point she crosses her arms across her chest again. Repeat. She stands beside the seasoned candy-pusher who’s been doing duty for 67 Daffodil shows before this one, and smiles as she’s introduced to this town person and that town person, but her grin is a little forced and her eyes tell me, Just Get Me The Hell Out of Here and I Will Never Do This Again.

I could be wrong. That’s just what I came up with.

My friend was “working the show” and accepting credit cards from anyone who wished to purchase daffodil bulbs, when uh-oh, the computer crashed. Dang old computer program was written by “one of the Garden Club women’s husband”. One would think the Garden Club might install some generic software, but no they had custom stuff. My friend said, “you know, the type where the backspace key means erase the hard drive”.

After several minutes of chin-pulling over what to do, the decision was made to reboot the computer and then all was well, my friend’s shift was over, and we adjourned to accomplish other activities, ┬áinvolving cards and wine.

I snapped, snapped away — while I wasn’t busy spying on other people — and then, because I am relatively inexperienced as a photographer, I did a little touch-up with The GIMP.

Enjoy the show!

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