Sunday, June 3, 2018

One Poppy

This poppy just decided to "pop" in our garden this morning. Though not in the sun when I ventured out to photograph it, I decided to grab several shots nevertheless. Being cloudy or shady is not necessarily a detriment, and can help even the tone. These are taken, handheld, with my 60mm macro lens, and they are all photos of the exact same flower.

Poppy in the Garden

Poppy Center

Poppy Pedals

Sometimes taking away (color) gives more:

Ivory Poppy

Peeking Through Poppy

Shy Poppy

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Colors of Spring

Spring has arrived! We've had beautiful, stunning weather. The trees and plants are very happy and have most definitely figured out that it is time to bloom. It's a great time of year to be a photographer; plants have so much color and they pose very nicely, hardly moving, except when it's windy.

Below are some recent captures, mostly all spring flowers, with an occasional bird, bee, or duck thrown in for good measure.

This first photo is a very tiny portion of the most magnificent pair of trees gracing Wellesley College's Pomeroy Hall in the Quad courtyard.


These next photos are taken in our garden.


Daffodil Orange

Through the magic of the camera lens, we get to see some mid-flight pollination in this next photo.

Bee Work

Late Day Reach


Deb planted some unique daffodils last fall for new color in the garden this spring. I think Deb forgot she ordered these mini-daffodils; they were a nice surprise for both of us.

Standing Pretty

This shot is almost directly into the sun. I'm intentionally causing lens flare side effects. What you see here is exactly how the camera caught the image.

Ray Drenched

Photographers often talk about "bird in flight" shots (because they're so dang hard to pull off well.) One doesn't hear so much about "bee in flight" shots. That's one of our cherry trees above this bee.

Bee Best in the Golden Hour

Glowing Daffodil

The next couple of photos were taken at a nearby park where I frequently walk.

Painted Tulip

I was delighted to come across this fellow. He was having a good old time performing acrobatic tricks in this tree, singing all the while.

Baltimore Oriole

We visited Arnold Arboretum a few days before "Lilac Sunday" and the row of lilacs did not disappoint. They also had a wide variety of wisteria. This one, from China, was the furthest along and outstanding.

Hanging Wisteria

Negative Space

Lilac goodness. They have many unique varieties of lilacs at the Arboretum.

Bunches of Color

Reflective Wading

White Cups

After leaving the Arboretum we visited the nearby Allandale Farm garden center. Deb bought some new additions for our garden while I snapped some pictures.

Petals in the Sun

Rose Layers

Reaching For the Sun

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Half Moon Bay

Our final day of our recent visit to California included some sights in and around Half Moon Bay.

Here are photos taken just north of Half Moon Bay at Maverick's Beach, which is a destination for big-wave surfers. While we didn't see any surfers, likely due to the low tide, we enjoyed the rock formations and tide pools.

Tide's Out

Exploring Tide Pools

Oncoming Wave Crash

Slippery Rocks

Lines of Reflection

The remaining photos are taken at Half Moon Bay Beach.

Western Sun

Clouds Over Cliff

Moon Over Cliff

Sunset Bubbles

Muted Spray

Backlit Splash

Extra Big Splash

Last Minute Beach Walkers

Somersault Goodness

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.


Continuing our California adventure, we met up with my son and daughter-in-law in Pacifica. We enjoyed some coastal views as well as a lovely hike in Pacifica's San Pedro Valley Park.

Ravens and crows are hard to tell apart; I'm going to guess this is a Raven. Raven's usually travel in pairs, and this one had a pal on another branch. Crows travel in crowds. Their tail feathers differ, but I missed seeing the tail feathers' shape when this one flew away.

Coastal Raven

Coastline Looking North

Near the end of our hike at San Pedro Valley Park we came across a deer family grazing off our path in the late afternoon sun. They were strongly backlit, so it made for a slight but overall rewarding photographic challenge to capture some shots at 300mm (600mm equivalent). These are all handheld 1/1000 second exposures at ISO 1600, except for "Looking My Way", which was at ISO 1000.

Young Deer

Deer in Sunlight

Questioning Deer

Looking My Way

Older and Wiser Version

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tall Trees, Surfing, Birds, and Beaches

The day after our Pinnacles visit was filled with wonderful memories including classic California goodness. We started our day at the Sand Rock Farm B&B where we'd been staying - highly recommended, the breakfasts are fantastic - and wended our way slowly northward to Half Moon Bay.

Here's a shot of the open air "wine cellar" that was accidentally discovered underground at the farm, and is now put to good use as an event area.

Wine Cellar Dance Floor

We visited "The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park" in Aptos to see some tall Redwood trees. The park did not disappoint. Here are a few shots looking skyward!

Going Up

Branches in the Clouds

We headed over to the area known as Steamer Lane on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. We went to see the lighthouse with a "surf museum", but the main attraction was the view of the surfers from a high cliff relatively near them. These are extremely experienced surfers enjoying their sport by surfing the remarkably large Santa Cruz waves. I was amused to see several photographers, some with tripods, and all with very large lenses, lined up photographing the surfers. I wasn't sure if I dare join the crowd of experienced photographers. Deb encouraged me to take the time and grab some pictures, and I'm glad she did! I changed lenses from my 12-40mm to my 75-300mm (150-600mm equivalent) telephoto to have a chance of getting worthwhile results.

How It's Done

Carving a Turn

Riding It Out

Pointing In the Desired Direction

Tip Up

For reference, here's a quick shot from Deb's cell phone:

Her Pixel 2 normally takes outstanding photos, but this subject is just too challenging for a general purpose cell phone wide angle camera. You can see how far away we are from the surfers, and why having a real camera with a real telephoto lens is quite necessary to get good surfer photos!

After the surfer photo fun, on our way back to the car, we stopped for a few moments to admire some birds sitting in the Ice Plant groundcover very close to the sidewalk. I still had the 75-300mm lens on my camera. So I grabbed some shots of these friendly flyers. These were all captured at a 179mm focal length. I was delighted with the sharpness of this lens - my least sharpest Olympus lens - in rendering the birds' feathers.

I'm pretty sure these are all Brewer's Blackbirds. The mostly black ones are males, while the brown ones are females or juveniles.


For this and a few other bird photos that follow I've decided to share a closer cropped view as well so you can get an even closer look at these feathery creatures.

Sheen (cropped)


Resting (cropped)

Lost in Thought

Right Back Atcha

In the Ice Plant

In the Ice Plant (cropped)


We then made a quick visit to nearby Natural Bridges State Beach before heading further northward up Route 1.

Natural Bridge

This next photo was taken outside the hostel at Pigeon Point:


We arrived at San Gregorio Beach in time to appreciate a true west coast sunset. San Gregorio holds a special place in my heart as I have fond memories of bringing my son to play in the sand and enjoy the natural beauty of this Northern California beach.

Looking Back


Sunset Loving Dog

Beach Hills

Sunset Path

View North

Beach Twilight

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.