Japanese Maple Tree

 Maple Tree Leaves

Japanese maple tree is one of my favorite potted plants in the garden.

The tree’s delicate  leaves start out green and then turn into most incredible shades of purple-red;  the transformation is  a joy to admire and, of course, to photograph.

Trees. Image of Japanese maple tree.

I’m currently trying to conquer my new Canon 70-200 mm F/2.8 lens and, for the first time, I feel the equipment fighting back which took me completely by surprise.  After waiting for over a year to get this monster, I got completely intimidated the very first time I picked it up.  It is HEAVY!  3.28 pound in weight seemed like a bit much for me at first but, after seriously considering returning it,  I decided to suck it up, toughen up and find a way to make it work.

This maple tree image is  the product of my efforts and I have a feeling that it’s just the beginning of a very special relationship.

 

Macro Photography

Close enough but not too close:  a simple macro photography hack

 

Photographer or not, it’s difficult not to pause when viewing a really good macro image.

Oftentimes,the first questions that comes to mind when viewing a product of macro photography is: “what is it?”. For me, it’s almost always followed by the “wow!!!”, “that’s incredible!!!”, “amazing!!!” and, moments later, by “how do they do that???”, “I want to do that!!!”and, of course, a random “he-he-he” at the end.

I see macro photography as it’s own entity within the photo world; as with all specialties, it requires years of practice and commitment, love for the subject and the usual amount of pain that comes with dedication. Therefore, I almost feel bad writing how I cheat with macro, but,  I honestly disclose it as a hack; this approach to macro photography is purely experimental and the results are perfectly acceptable to me for their intended purposes (with allowable room for disagreements.)

Flower image. White apple blossom flower image.

All (99%) of my flower/fauna images are shot with my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.  But, there IS a catch.  It has a Hoya X 4 Macro filter attached! The filter reduces focal distance, allowing you to get much closer to the subject and capture small things with greater detail as well a whole new perspective.

I find the my Hoya X 4 Macro filter combined with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 a perfect companion for flower photography. These give me  just enough distance to isolate distractions and the f/1.4 of my lens allows  the added flexibility with light as well as creativity.
In no way do I think that a macro filter is an all-out alternative to dedicated macro lenses, but it is a very inexpensive and effective way to experience the world in a different way: the macro way.   Beware though – macro photography is EXTREMELY addictive. And after my macro photography adventures I will be looking for a macro lens soon since the world of small things has a very firm grip on me that in my usual struggles against my photography gear wants, I find my fighting efforts more and more futile with every shot I take.

Protea flower image

Protea Flower

King Protea flower?

Looks like a  Queen Protea  to me (sorry Proteus).

This beauty is originally from the banks of Limpopo River in South Africa and is also known by the name of sugarbushes.

I find it simply stunning; what a privilege to add it to my flower collection.

King Protea Flower

Protea

Iris flower image

Iris Flower

How to take a picture of an iris flower (or any flower)

Seemingly a monster, it  might look  like one up close,  an iris is a contradiction in many ways. I chose to see  beauty in this flower, but most definitely an edgy one.

So, to accomplish my vision, I went against the most common advice in flower photography, as one of the first words you would normally read is “defuse.”  In this case I say: CONTRAST; every shot is lit from underneath and against a dark background.
My vision, my rules.  Final result: a beautiful iris flower with attitude.

Beautiful Iris Flower Collage

Baby Blue Eyes

California Native: Baby Blue Eyes

After long hours of portrait retouching this week I realized that I touch up flowers the same way I retouch faces: every little detail. And why not? With the name like Baby Blue Eyes nothing else will suffice.

Picture of Baby Blue Eyes Wildflower

Wild Flowers of Angeles National Forest

Wild Raspberry Flower


Photograph of a wild raspberry flower

 

 

 

Wild Flowers Series

Wild Flowers of Angeles National  Forest.

I finally got an opportunity to shoot some of the wild flowers along my favorite trail in the Angeles Crest Forest!

Wild Flowers of Angeles Crest Forest

Standing Out

I love California but I miss the seasons (or, as my friends keep insisting, the idea of seasons).  Small glimpse of Fall is so very welcome, however brief and this little guy really took an opportunity to stand out under all the big oaks.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors on Arroyo Trail

Red vine and green vine on a rock

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