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The cutting room floor is a film industry figure of speech referring to unused footage not included in a finished film. For this site, it's where images pulled from our Desktop Photos pages wind up. Some of the shots have technical problems (focus and/or exposure), some are similar to other shots retained on Desktop Photos, and sadly, some are just plain awful. Other photos found here such as the red pea blossoms below may just be waiting until I have enough to add another table of photos to the Desktop Photos pages.

Red pea blossoms amongst white Sugar Snap blooms

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All photos on this page are copyrighted, but may be used for desktop photos without permission or payment. All other use requires prior consent, massive royalty payments, your left pinkie finger... (Actually, I'm a pretty soft touch on non-commercial use of my photos. Just , please.)

To download an image, select the size photo you wish and click on its link. It should load in a new page or tab in your web browser. Then right click and save to where you want it on your hard drive.

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Sunset Gloxinia bloom Honeybee on buckwheat

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Spica, Venus, Jupiter, Arcturus Alfalfa Hummingbird

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Parasitized hornworm Spider Yellow squash

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Apple blossoms Blue-winged teal Pond in winter

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Evening Sky Petunias mostly Pea blossom

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Sunset - July 21, 2015 Petunias Yellow marigolds

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Grape Tomatoes Red Gloxinia Zinnias and butterfly

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Rainbow Red glox wht bkgrnd Flowers

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...but you probably won't like it

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Since I have a little different forum here than on the Desktop Photos pages, I'll share some images I use in my desktop rotation that probably aren't something most folks would be interested in. The photo below was taken in 1975 out the window of a Boeing 707 en route to Denver, Colorado, with my Canon AE-1. The flight took us over the Mississippi River, producing the opportunity for this shot.

The image on the left is the scan of the slide used to create the image at right and the downloadable images. If you look closely at the full size uncorrected and corrected images, you can tell I made a lot of use of the smudge tool in Photoshop to clean up dust marks and chipped emulsion. Clicking on the image at left will load the full size, uncorrected image.

Over the Mississippi Over the Mississippi

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Note: The apparent discrepancy in dates between the image capture and copyright is because I haven't published this photo until now. Although I'm not terribly consistent with it, but understand copyright law to specify that the photo gets the date of publication, rather than the date it was taken.

Glox shot originalHere's a shot that was left off our Desktop Photos pages because of its dimensions. The original was taken with an old sheet as a backdrop, cropped to a nearly square image, and eventually was cleaned up with Photoshop. I recently added a black background, which added some zip to the image. I've used it online many times over the last 15-20 years, sometimes flipping it horizontally to match the page content where it was used.

Red gloxinia with black backgroundThe blooms shown are on a Double Brocade gloxinia. I've been growing gloxinias as a hobby for around 30 years. While most Double Brocades grown from seed produce lovely purple blooms, sometimes with a white fringe, you occasionally get a red one such as the one above and at right.

If you're into growing plants, especially if you already grow African violets, a distant cousin of gloxinias, you really ought to try your hand at growing gloxinias. They're quite easy to grow from seed, and if given the right conditions, will go through annual periods of dormancy, returning to life with more and more blooms each year. I have pages on Gloxinias, Saving Gloxinia Seed, and Gloxinia Photos on my Senior Gardening web site to help others enjoy these lovely plants.

Canon AE-1
Amazon - Coolpix 4300
Amazon - Coolpix P60
Amazon - Canon XSi

The images on Desktop Photos and The Cutting Room Floor were captured with a variety of cameras. The initial shots from my classroom, such as the gloxinia photo above, were taken with my old Canon AE-1 35mm SLR film camera. After working several years as a wedding and portrait photographer in the 1970s, I sold my Mamiya RB-67 and all of my other professional equipment when I left the business. (My rational was that I could tell prospective customers, "I don't have a camera!) After several years of using dandy Kodak Instamatics, I purchased the AE-1 that after 40 years still works well.

Canon XSi with 15-85mm zoom lensA few of the images were taken with my first digital cameras, a Nikon Coolpix 4300 followed by a Nikon Coolpix P60. Each took excellent pictures, but had serious problems that I would have to classify as design flaws. (Note that Nikon didn't agree, charging me almost the price of a new 4300 for its repair and simply stiffing me on the P60 that was still under warranty. Also note that Nikon reneged on repairing one of my sons' Nikon Coolpix cameras still under warranty as well...seems to be their way of doing business.)

Sound incredible? Check out the Nikon Customer Service Scoreboard!

When I finally could afford a digital SLR, I "went home" to Canon, purchasing a Canon Digital Rebel XSi. Once I ditched its horrible kit lens in favor of a Canon EF-S 17-85mm zoom lens, I had the tools I needed to do serious closeups along with all the general garden shots I take for Senior Gardening. The XSi isn't perfect, as its metering system drives me nuts at times, but it's the best camera I've ever used. The 17-85mm lens is heavy, but since I lugged around a Mimiya RB-67 when doing wedding and portrait photography, the bulk of the unit actually feels pretty good in my hands.

Glox bloom closeup
Cloudy sunburst

After using the 18-85mm zoom lens for several years and over 20,000 images such as the ones at right, I noticed that it had picked up some dust between the lens elements. Normally, there's really not an affordable cure for something like that. Repair and cleaning can be expensive.

Then the electronics in the lens totally failed, making the lens unusable. I quickly replaced it with a Canon EF-S 15-85mm Zoom Lensicon. Even though the new lens is an update of the original one, it's still not a professional, sealed lens. I'll need to be careful out in the garden with it, or I could end up with dust and sand between its lens elements.

I sent the old lens off to Canon for a repair estimate, and found I could afford having it cleaned and getting the electronics fixed. One of our daughters, Samantha, now uses the old lens with her Canon XSi. She'd been kind enough to loan me her XSi for a week when I was deciding what digital SLR to buy. I liked hers so much that it convinced me that I should go with the same model.

A Few Words of Advice

While it's nice to be known as a professional in a field, it's also a great way to ruin a hobby. After turning to professional photography, making some really good money to supplement my meager teacher's salary, and later backing out of it to have my evenings and weekends with my family back, it took over ten years for me to really shed the "professional" concerns and simply enjoy taking pictures. I had ruined a wonderful hobby by stepping up a level into the realm of professional photography.

Two years of self-imposed use of nothing more than Kodak Instamatics got me on the road to recovery, but it really did take almost a decade before I really started taking pictures just for the joy of recording things I liked on film (and later, digitally).

I'm currently walking a tightrope on the same issue, as Senior Gardening has grown into something that is almost a business, but not quite. Since I am a teacher by trade, I enjoy sharing tips and how-to's for other gardeners, but the site has gotten awfully close at times to being a full-time avocation. Possibly the single thing that keeps me honest on making gardening and the web site a hobby are the many emails from incredible gardeners with tips, questions, and just general garden chatter (which I truly love) that grace my inbox.

I really don't want to be a "pro," but just go out in the sun and putter in the soil...and take a few pictures.

Senor Gardening

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mathdittos2.com
Senior Gardening
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last updated - 10/3/2015
©2015 Steven L. Wood