A Pink Flamingo

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

The setting was an invitation to a lake beachfront on an exceptionally warm October day with a blue sky and tawny autumn colors marking the season. The beach was deserted except for a few playing children accompanied by a parent. The young were fun to shoot, openly friendly and exuberant. Observing my shooting, the friend/parent mentioned his daughter’s skill and encouraged her with a few words.

“She can do a one-hand cartwheel,” her dad announced. And his daughter did, with pleasure and consummate skill. In play, she gathered an armful of autumn leaves. Keeping a fast shutter speed, I asked her to throw them over her head. She delighted in the task, as they fluttered down.

When I viewed the day’s images on the computer, I marveled at the beauty of this scenic lake in New Jersey, so close to the city, and on viewing the one hand cartwheel I thought of a pink flamingo.

For fun, I converted the image to black and white in Lightroom, painted her t-shirt pink in Photoshop, and emailed the image to her father with the title “A Pink Flamingo” in the subject line.

It made a hit! “Could I make a canvas print to hang in her room with that title on the picture?” asked her dad at the request of his daughter.

Of course I could, that was easily done in Photoshop. I was happy to oblige and doubly happy that they liked the image and that she would have a record of this feat to boast about for years to come. The beach scene I processed in Lightroom and Color Efex Pro 4 from the free Nik Collection with the Glamour Glow filter to give it a dreamy and painterly effect.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro; the leaves at 12mm, 1/6400 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400; the flamingo handstand at 17mm, 1/6400 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400; and the lake scene at 20mm, 1/6400 sec at f/7.1, ISO 400.


Mildred’s books Winter Garden and Seedhead and St. Agnes Public Library Exhibit are available from MagCloud in print or digital form at most affordable prices.