Monthly Archives: April 2006

Dahlia Darling

This photograph in very close of a Dalia outside our kitchen window interests me because of its three-dimensionality. I didn’t really realize when I took the photo the extent to which the flower petal would appear almost as a raised relief.

Posted in Flowers, Photography


Oxalis is a tiny plant originally imported from Africa–and now found all over North America. Most garderners–present company included–generally regard it as a weed.

But what really is the difference between a plant and a weed? Up close like this, backlit by the sun, with emphasis provided by shadows, this “weed” is as beautiful as any designated “flower.”

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Magic Within Water Drops

This photograph reminds me of a magical dream. The dream is a kingdom like faerie within the minature flowers and water drops.

I have been photographing water drops a great deal lately. To some degree this is an issue of making lemonade with one is given lemons: the Bay area has seen an incredible amount of rain this spring.

Besides this, I love to photograph water drops. Each water drop is a world, complete with shape, color, reflections, and change. I believe that if one spends a long time looking at a single water drop, one can see all that it is important to see.

You can see more of my photographs of water drops by browsing my Flickr Water Drops set, or by having a look at the Water Drops category on Photoblog 2.0.

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

Water World

This photograph of an Isopogon Formosus in my garden up close reminds me of this quote from Thoreau:

All things indeed are subjected to a rotary motion—either gradual and partial or rapid and complete—From the planet and system to the symplest shell fish and pebbles on the beach. As if all beauty resulted from an object turning on its own axis—or others turning about it. It establishes a new centre in the universe. As all curves have reference to their centres or foci —so all beauty of character has reference to the soul—and is a graceful gesture of recognition a waving of the body toward it.

Posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

Fog Rising, Yosemite

The rain that’s been falling in the San Francisco area translates to snow in the Sierras. Here’s an image from last month in Yosemite Valley, looking sideways at Yosemite Falls from the banks of the Merced River.

A viewer has called my treatment of this photo “monochromatic”–meaning nothing but good by it, and that I manipulated the image in post-processing to remove chromatic effects. Not really so. Essentially, when I took this photograph the world was low on color (but hardly monochromatic). I do have a standard way of processing these winter low-color images that involves boosting saturation, and manipulating the levels. But I’d hardly call it monochromatic.

You can see more of my Yosemite images on Flickr–and in the Yosemite category on Photoblog 2.0.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Photoshop Techniques, Yosemite

Shooting Star

I photographed this beautiful shooting star on a hillside in the Sunol Wilderness, part of the East Bay park system to the south of Pleasanton.

This time of year, Sunol Wilderness is a beautiful green valley full of cascades and wild flowers. No doubt, later in the season it will be dry, brown, and golden. Stark and beautiful, or stark and terrible–depending on how you look at things. But for now it is gloriously lush, green and colorful.

The photo was taken a couple of weeks ago during a brief respite from all the rain we’ve been having. I went hiking in Sunol with my nephew Peter and two oldest sons, Julian and Nicky. The kids were excited but a bit afraid of the wild, muddy creek crossings, and Peter helped them across. What fun!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Garden Gate

As they say, “when you have lemons make lemonade.” It’s been raining a great deal here in Berkeley lately. You’d almost think we live in Seattle. So I’ve been photographing water drops. Water drops on flowers in the sun, but mostly water drops in the rain. (Click here to see a whole bunch of my water drop photos on Flickr.)

My front porch makes a nice protected “water drop studio” where I can work without getting my camera and lens too wet. For this photo, I lined up my white cymbidium (it’s an orchid in a pot that comes from the lower Himalayas and likes it outdoors here) so that the gate to our garden is reflected in the water drop. (You may have to view the photo larger to see the garden gate.)

Posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

Sunrise in the Freesia Forest

On my hands and knees, covered with dew, 200mm macro lens on the tripod, I photographed drops of water on these freesia buds in my garden. Imagine my surprise when I opened the photo in Adobe Photoshop and saw the sunbursts. This is one I really think worth opening in a larger size. Also very different from my earlier Freesia series! Although I do seem to photograph this Iris relative first thing in the morning…

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Water Drops


We’ve had so many rainy days lately, it’s fun to think of being on a sunny beach. Well, here’s a beach on an island on another island…right in my garden. So life is a beach. Kind of like life is a cabaret. And all contained in a water drop!

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Water Drops