Closeup Photos

Glowing Bee
Monday, July 10, 2006
Glowing Bee

Today, when we took The Hound for her afternoon walk we bumped into one of our neighbors. She was working in her garden like she does almost every day. Part of her garden was particularly attractive to the bees, so I took the opportunity to get a few bee portraits.


Ladybug Closeup
Friday, May 12, 2006
Ladybug Closeup

We had a visitor in the backyard today. This little guy is on the tip of one pad of one of our Epiphyllum (a kind of cactus, like a Christmas Cactus, but with bigger pads). So many photos right in the back yard!

Speaking of that, the Epiphyllum themselves are starting to explode! Their blooms are an amazing 3"-6" across! I'll get a good shot of them up here soon.


Minerature Rose XCU
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Minerature Rose XCU

I've been experimenting with studio lighting. Until recently most of my photos have been available or natural light.

This is a miniature rose, the flower is about an inch and a half across. Which explains why the water drops look so big.


Match Smoke
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Match Smoke

Had to put the new camera through it's paces. I started trying to get the match lighting, but the best part of this turned out to be the swirling smoke. Which in itself was a challenge. The best shots were backlit from the right side shooting against a dark corner of the room.


Tweetums
Friday, December 16, 2005
Tweetums

I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by some amazing creatures. This is one of them, a good friend of mine, "Tweetums". Tweetums is a Zebra Finch. He is not the first bird I have shared my home with, but he is by far one of the smallest. (When I lived in Hawaii I lived with an Umbrella Cockatoo named Baby.)

Until I met Tweetums, I lived under the misguided impression that bigger birds had more personality, and possibly even more intelligence, but he's set me straight. Tweetums was pushed out of his nest at a young age. Because of this, he has imprinted more on humans like a hand-fed baby bird. Early on we noticed he was very friendly and mellow compared to most finches. It was not long before we were able to get close enough to him to scratch him on the chin.

Now, we have been friends for many years. He always finds new and interesting ways to communicate with us and he tries to understand our crazy habits. I was tinkering with the rental digital camera from last evening's Pascucci's adventure, I wanted to see what it was really capable of. I took a bunch of low light photos of Tweetums while he was hopping around (this one is my favorite). I was not totally sure how he felt about it at first, but later when I went to cover him for the night, he hopped out of his nest again and started dancing around (not his usual evening behavior). So I grabbed the camera again! Well to make a long story a little shorter, we repeated that several times before I just had to slowly lower the lights to try to lull him to sleep. He is quite the ham, and really likes any interaction with other creatures.

So I have to wonder, are the creatures around me particularly amazing and I am just blessed to be around them. Or, is the potential there in most animals for this type of connection if you look for it. If I had to guess I'd say it's both. Regardless, Tweetums is a credit to his species and I will never look at another bird the same way after knowing him. There is much more going on there than you might think.


Cup of Fire
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Cup of Fire

Another red California Poppy. The dark areas are not shadows, this flower was in full sunlight. That is actually the color of this one.


Award Winning Rose
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Award Winning Rose

Award winning, but maybe not the kind of award you might think.

Last August was the first time I put my photography on display. I was very excited about doing it, but I did not really know what to expect. I have received many kind words and great stories (especially stories about humming birds,) but one of the highest complements yet was on Sunday at the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show.

This rose was framed and sitting on an easel near the sidewalk. A young girl, about 10 or so, walked by talking to someone I assume was her mom. Neither of them were really paying much attention to the show. But, she stopped in mid sentence and said "WOW! Look at that Rose!."

Now that is the kind of complement I like. There are many artists out there trying to impress people (especially people with money) with their "deep interpretation" of things. And, that's not to say none of them have great work. But, as far as I am concerned, the complements of children (and animals) are among the highest you can receive!


Daisy Dew
Friday, May 6, 2005
Daisy Dew

Yesterday was a bit rainy. I kind of like the rain, especially when the timing is right to lay around and listen to it on the roof. Right after the rain is a great time to take pictures and yesterday was exceptional. The clouds were clearing after an overcast day as the sun was slipping down. I'm sure I got some beautiful shots, one of which this is not. I took an uncharacteristically small number of shots so the roll is still in the camera. But I will finish it off soon and upload the results!

In the mean time, the lighting in this photo reminds me of what I was seeing in the viewfinder yesterday.


Floral Fireworks
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Floral Fireworks

Another beauty in my backyard.

Last fall we noticed quite a few butterflies in our back yard. We decided to look for something that they would like to eat. I grabbed a couple of these Passion Flower (AKA Maypop & Apricot Vine) vines in the store because I have always loved them. After some research we also tried another flowering vine.

A few days after getting the vines settled in, one of our visitors returned and sat right on the Passion Flower vine. Apparently I am not the only one who likes them. Of course, they probably were not admiring the blossoms, they must taste pretty good too. (Butterflies taste and smell with their feet.)

Before long, the small vines were so covered in butterfly larvae they almost didn't make it (they must taste really good). We were able to watch them build cocoons but we did not catch any of them leaving.

Happily, spring is here and one of the vines is covered in buds and we have already seen one early beautiful blossom. The other is still recovering from it's fall job as a butterfly drive thru, (errr... fly thru?) But it looks like it will make it.


Lily Curves
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Lily Curves

Another of the beautiful things as close as the back yard. This was right after the sprinklers went off, on a foggy morning. The dim light made the background dark and everything a little softer. But this shot was one of only a few taken as the fog parted a little which made the drops a little brighter and sharper. To see the difference in the light you can see another shot here, taken only minutes earlier.


Abstract Lily
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Abstract Lily

Well this was one of the few days I missed posting. So I'm trying to go back and put something nice in these little holes. This photo was taken at the same time as this image.


Swirling Sunset Petals
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Swirling Sunset Petals

Another print from my first show at the Santa Barbara Public Library, Townley Room. Flower close-ups are one of the first things I started to tinker with when I got a real camera. But, by real I don't mean expensive or brand new. I got a manual Canon AE-1 and some cheap lenses off of eBay. (This was back when I could look through all of the items in the photography section on eBay in one evening) Because of working with anything I could find a good deal on, the combination of lenses I put together causes a slight halo at the edges. Rather than giving up on the lenses, I found the softness makes for beautiful flower close-ups. My friend and I dubbed them my "Fuzzy Flower Filters."

The important thing if you want to get into photography is to tinker and have fun. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on the latest equipment. You don't need digital this and auto-focus that, I have the most fun with my trusty, all-manual AE-1. That's not to say I don't have an auto-focus camera and a small digital for quick shots. But, I find myself more inclined to carry a cheaper camera all over the place with me than I would an expensive top-of-the-line camera. If you don't have your camera with you, you can't get the cool spontaneous things you see on a daily basis. And the combination of an $80 AE-1 from eBay and a high quality slide film will result in sharper images than all but the most expensive digital cameras.

In the end you have to find what works best for you personally so you can have the most fun with it.


Flaming Poppy Close-up
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Flaming Poppy Close-up

It was a wild weekend getting ready for a show, that is my only excuse.

This is the first day I missed a post since I started the site. But, I thought I should put something nice in this place for those of you that have come back to look.

Thanks for your dedication!! :0)

With a little luck you will soon be able to give me feedback on my images too. I'd love to hear what you think!


Lily Drops
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Lily Drops

So, I was sitting at my computer (as I am told I do too often) when my best friend said "Hey grab your camera and come look at this!." Seems that the sprinkler had reached the new Calla Lilies that just came up in the back yard. About a half hour later and a couple rolls of film I was back at my computer, but much happier!