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 philslens@gmail.com 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.

Centerpiece



These next photos are taken in our garden.

Curves




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




Edging



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 philslens@gmail.com 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 philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Pacifica

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 philslens@gmail.com 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.

Sheen

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




Resting (cropped)




Lost in Thought




Right Back Atcha




In the Ice Plant




In the Ice Plant (cropped)




Gruff?



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:

Bloomin'



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




Oceanswept




Sunset Loving Dog




Beach Hills




Sunset Path




View North




Beach Twilight



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