Category: Glimpses

At the Edge of the Garden

The Edge of the Garden

The botanical garden is just gorgeous right now! It’s had its spring cleaning done, and all the undergrowth has been cleared away. Between the trees is simply leaves, new plantings, and trees budding out and in bloom. I went there yesterday in search of the bulbs, primarily the narcissus, but they were past their season. Ah, well! There was still plenty more to see.

The rocks you see above for a long time were overgrown and not tended. Now they have been cleaned up and I think later on the Matilija poppies will show up. I noticed a lot of new growth where I know they grow, so that will be a sight to see. These rocks are on the edge of the garden, with a fence separating them from the nearby condos and the hill beyond, which I really should climb one day!

I brought the X100V along with me, and no dogs as the last time I did I went flying down a hill, camera in hand. We all survived, but as there are other dogs here and squirrels to chase, it seemed prudent to come alone – this way I could look and wander a bit.

An Orchid and Its History


I took this photo back in 2011. I had bought my first DSLR, a Nikon 7000, after using a friend’s D70 for over a year. Back then I was not only learning to take pictures, managing ISO, exposure, aperture, etc., but also learning editing software. Lightroom was at version 3 I think, not the CC or Classic of today. Since then I have played with a number of different post editing programs, but in reality don’t use any of them to the maximum potential. Do I want to?

Certainly I am better at editing than I was 12 years ago. Then HDR was sort of “the thing” and I pushed things a lot, and often with rather dreadful results. Before having my cataracts removed, I also starting pushing colors as my vision declined. Now I still look at color as a very important part of photography, but of late I am looking more at contrast, complementary colors, and the sorts of things you look at in painting.

Pictures are still what I look at more than anything, whether photos, paintings, drawings, or just the world around me. The visual is always what intrigues me. Some people are sensitive to sound or scent or taste, and I wish I had the ability to experience them as deeply as I do the visual. I wonder what synesthesia would be like – does it enhance or confuse?

Anyway, back to editing. Below is the above orchid edited in 2011 in black and white.

And below is a new BW edit of the same . . .

Interesting how times and experience change us . . .

The Other Side

The Other Side

With spring here, the hills are green instead of brown, there are flowers by the roadsides, and we have been enjoying 50+ F for several weeks – more to come, and perhaps even rain! Living in a dry land is dull at times, and as it becomes dryer, it becomes duller. So, when the poppies and lupines bloom, it is indeed a time to celebrate.

I came to Wildwood Park looking for them. Did I miss them? I think I must have, but I have seen them along a nearby road.

Despite that, it was good to get out. I took one of our dogs, too; they always enjoy an outing. Today was cool enough for a jacket and shoes and socks. The wind kept blowing my hair into my face and sometimes I would line up a shot only to see my hair in the viewfinder instead of whatever.

Here, I am one side of a deep ravine while the houses in the distance are on the other side, easily a half mile or so from my viewpoint. The bottom of the ravine is a creek which fills with flood waters and can easily kill anyone foolish enough to be in it – a few people have died over the years when the winter rains come. Today, no rain, but the sky was rather leaden, the breeze quirky, and the day just glorious.

Stalking the Photographer

Stalking the Photographer

Out for a walk the other day, camera in hand, and at the local park, I noticed this mother and her kids rock hopping in the creek. I saw her husband and tried to keep him out of the photo since he was taking pictures, too. Little did I notice his shadow, camera in hand, until I took a look at my photos! I think this is pretty funny, and I certainly doubt I would have ever succeeded if I had tried!

Ivy and Woodpile

Woodpile & Ivy

With the esposo off to Disneyland with a few old co-workers of yore, I am home alone, unsupervised, and bored. With that said, what else is there to do except get out with the camera, no dogs, and go for a brisk walk in fine, cool, clear winter weather?

I stayed fairly close to home and thought it would be fun to look for things that are part of my daily life and try to see them a bit differently than I might if I was just out for a casual stroll. Looking and seeing, taking time on the small bits of my environment, always give me a lot of pleasure. And this is one of the things I “found” – a bit of our neighbor’s yard. The light was gorgeous – later afternoon, but not quite evening – and by cropping to a square and enhancing the image a bit, I really liked what happened.

Taking time to look and not having a leash or two pulling me along, much less pulling me off my feet, was fun. Suburbia is quite boring at times, but other times it produces a lot of great visual gifts. I got a few today, and that makes me rather happy.

Wine Country, Paso Robles

Wine Country, Paso Robes

This is from a summer or two ago. We drove along Hwy 49 in the central coastal area of California. It is a lovely drive – quite unpopulated in many ways. The hills and valleys spread out on either side of the road, with trees dotting the grassy slopes. Grapes are grown here, and the Paso Robles area is known for its wines. If you take some of the side roads off the highway, which is a nicely paved two-lane roadway, you can find yourself under the canopy of old oak trees, deep in the gloom of shade on a bright summer’s day.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta, Tri-X 400 by Kodak. Scanned and processed with Epson V600, VueScan, and Negative Lab Pro.