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Being a collection of personally acquired images of all sorts, that feature the color orange, and a few stories. Oh, and a couple of other things I have collected regarding orange.

As a color for art, I really dislike orange. Intensely. But in its proper place, it's wonderful.

For example, orange fruit is very tasty. Give me an orange or a mango, or a tangerine, or a peach or nectarine (fudging there a little), and I'm happy.

Orange flowers show up in scenic shots, though I really prefer blue and purple flowers, which don't show up at all.

Since I prefer blue flowers, I took an orange flower and made a negative. And came up with this photo. Now you may ask, why am I providing an image of a blue flower in a lens about the color orange? Just my wacky sense of humor, I imagine. I just like to be perverse. :)

All photos in this lens are mine unless otherwise stated.

Oh wait! Sunsets are nice. I get lots of pictures of orange sunsets.


Orange as part of a diplomatic mission

At one point, I knew some people. These included a woman and her mother, both from Panama. The woman had a daughter, and she and the father of the daughter were playing tug of war with the daughter. This went on for awhile, at first the mother keeping the daughter away from the father, and then the father keeping the daughter away from the mother. And then the mother decided that this wasn't a good idea, and stopped doing it. In the meantime, I wanted to establish a relationship with the mother.

Panama is a country where a lot of fruit grows, and the people love fruit. So one day, I contacted the mother and said, I have a present for you. May I bring it to you? She said yes.

I had a plastic box full of mango slices. That is what I took her. She met me in the back yard, and we sat and talked awhile. She was very grateful for the fruit! I tried to speak Spanish to her sometimes, and to the little girl. We had a wonderful visit.

That was a turnaround in the situation. For the most part, things have been improving steadily ever since. Slowly, I am working on building a loving relationship with everyone in the family. There have been setbacks, and that can be disheartening. But never give up!

And never underestimate the power of orange. Mangoes, that is.

And by the way, they taste wonderful! But they must be fully ripe and juicy.

without filters, just natural orange

This series of photos are some I acquired here and there, all of them having some prominent orange in them. I have many more to add, so please come back in a couple of weeks or so.

Using orange filters in photography

I don't take filters with me much. I try to travel as light as possible, and carrying some extra filters complicates things. But sometimes I know I want to use some, so I take them. Most of my filters are Cokin filters. They have a rather amazing system which consists of a holder mounted on the camera, which holds square filters (with a few exceptions). The holder slips over a ring, and rings come in different sizes for different diameter lenses. This way, you can use the same filter for many different lenses, which cuts down on the expense. The filters I used for this series of photographs were basically two. One was a graduated orange filter. On one half, the orange is intense, and it fades in the middle to no color at all on the other half. There are many different graduated Cokin filters available, and they have proven to be very useful.

The other one I use is what I call a dichroic polarizer. It is a polarizing lens (filters out light not vibrating in a particular direction, and adds color. These are all circular, and will rotate. They're mounted in a square frame so they'll go into the holder. Normally, most people would use these in subtle ways. Not me! I get downright BRASH with them! I add a linear polarizer to the stack (up to 4 filters in the holder at once) and then rotate that with respect to the rotated dichroic polarizer, to get some very pronounced effects. I used that in some of these photos. The waterfall was taken with just a straight orange filter, if I recall correctly.

Orange Birds

The Rufous Hummingbird is the only orange hummingbird I have had the opportunity to photograph. These are small and rather placid. It's not uncommon to find one that will sit and pose for you for quite awhile.

Orange is not a real common color for birds in Arizona. Most other orange birds are either Tanagers or Orioles.

And I found a few tropical birds to make things more interesting.

Opinion Poll

Digital images

I have many more fractal images that contain orange, but only a couple digital landscapes that do.

Terragen is a landscape generation program. I can put in a real terrain which has been mapped from satellite, and then add various elements to the work to make it look natural, either typical for the region where I got the terrain, or totally different, or I can make a fantasy landscape. I think I tend to make about half and half.

I use several programs to make fractal art. Apophysis is the one I use most often. It is a free program with open source, and several people have contributed to its development.

Dragonflies in the desert

You read that right! We get quite a few dragonflies in the desert in Arizona. There are a few places where we have wetlands, and obviously this is where I tend to find them. At a certain time of the year, if there is water in the arroyo, I even see them on my property. I usually see Flame Skimmers.

I imagine I have seen and photographed about 14 species, give or take. Most of them aren't orange, though. The little Desert Firetails, which are actually damselflies, are more reddish than orange. I have seen them in only two places: Montezuma's Well, Arizona, and Sweetwater Wetlands. They are quite tiny.

The difference between dragonflies and damselflies is as follows. Damselflies hold their wings back along their long abdomen, except spreadwings, which hold them at roughly a 45 degree angle. They are mounted coming from the back of the thorax. Dragonflies, on the other hand, hold their wings at right angles to the body most of the time, though they can hold them at a front-pointing angle. These wings are mounted on the sides of the thorax.

Dragonflies have another interesting habit. They like to hold their abdomen pointing up in the air at an angle. This is called "obelisking". People have theories about why they do it. I have no idea. I do know it doesn't have anything to do with minimizing sun on their bodies, because they will do it when they are sideways to the sun, so their abdomens get full sun along their length.

Obviously, I haven't had the opportunity to ASK a dragonfly why he does this, and neither has anyone else. :)

Dragonflies are among the most amazing fliers in the animal kingdom. They can hover, fly backwards, change direction abruptly, and for their size, fly very fast. They usually eat tiny insects, caught on the wing. When they rest, they usually sit on a bare twig of some sort, or on a blade of grass. They resemble a twig of the plant, and would be very hard to see for any predator, particularly one that doesn't have color vision. But a good many dragonflies are well camouflaged. Others are brilliantly colored, such as the examples I have shown here.

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Knock, knock,

Who's there?

Knock, knock,

Who's there?


Orange who?

Orange you glad I didn't say 'Knock, knock' again?

— unknown

Orange Butterflies

Some local, most tropical. Thank you to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. They run an exhibit called Butterfly Magic, which runs from October through April every year. I have acquired hundreds of photos of butterflies there, between 80 and 90 species.

Visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens web page.

Tired of orange yet? If you are, better go away now. I still have LOTS of orange flowers to show you!

Hibiscus Tea is delicious and medicinal

Hibiscus can help restore normal cholesterol levels. It is loaded with electrolytes and can relieve thirst on a hot summer's day. It also helps cool the body. It is said to be a refrigerant. Mix hibiscus tea with orange or lemon juice, or just drink it plain.