California poppies

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. I’ve missed you all! I have been busy. I had to look through some old archives to find a picture and felt the need for some flowers. I took this shot in May.


California poppies are the California state flower. I stated before they are protected, but they aren’t any more than any other flower not on your land, which you aren’t supposed to pick.

I enjoyed how they are growing in among the rocks here, with the spear-shaped leaves of another plant in the background.


I love that people grow these. The couple came out of the house when I was snapping shots. The man was the gardener. He was pleased I was admiring them and explained many gardening details about what he had done to create the beautiful collection. Apparently if you plant too many, they don’t grow as high. He has another crop of starter  plants ready to go when this crop dies out.


Agapanthus, Sony A300 versus Panasonic DMC-ZS40

This is a little sad. I am starting to wonder if I’m going to continue using the DSLR. I still like its color hues more, but I know I can adjust that in the Panasonic. In fact the Panasonic does bracketed exposure. And you can also adjust brilliance.

The first shot is with the Sony DSLR. I just couldn’t get it to focus any closer.


The second one is with the Panasonic. I learned how to adjust the depth of field. I had to do that after looking at the macros I took yesterday in which the only things in focus were the tips of the stamens. Wow, that’s powerful, but I didn’t want the stamens as the subject. (Although it is good to know it’s possible to get that tight of a macro.)

I did put that shot at the end so you can see. I think the f-stop was 3.3 on that one at the end.

Adjusting depth of field is very easy. I think this was about 4.5.


Here is yesterday’s shot at 3.3.


Here is a comparison of leaves: the DSLR first, followed by the Panasonic.



So, I’m having a crisis over whether or not I’m going to find myself ever using my DSLR any more. My husband says not to worry about it. It’s five years later and the technology has simply improved.


Flower, apple, Panasonic DMC-ZS40

My “out-of-the-box” experience of the Panasonic DMC–ZS40 is that it is optimized for zoom photography. This seems like the ideal camera for travel. However for around home base, I would definitely want to have the DSLR, just like Suz Jones said in a comment on my last post about the new camera (Butterfly bush), I’m going to love having both.


I had to do some work on the flower. The light was not balanced on it and still isn’t, however I’m sure that’s photographer error.

I didn’t touch the apple.


What is your out-of-the-box experience of the new photos?



Butterfly bush and look what the Panasonic DMC-ZS40 does

I was telling my husband how pretty I think the butterfly bush is now, but it doesn’t seem to attract butterflies. I was so wrong!

Yesterday I was outside trying to get good shots of the butterfly bush with my DLSR, when my husband came trotting out with the Panasonic DMC-ZS40, which we had just received in the mail. I decided to try it. Look with it can do.



Great zoom, great autofocus and auto functionality, very quick to use. Also it’s light. We bought it for travel.

Here is a shot using the Sony-A300 digital SLR:


I love the gorgeous color saturation in the Sony photos. I won’t be giving it up anytime soon, but I think I will be very happy with the Panasonic for travel.

I’m going to want to get a camera to convert for infrared photography after seeing the post on Leanne Cole’s blog by Infrared Robert. To me, that is really beautiful art. Check out this beautiful house and amazing river.


Still life and agapanthus



Okay, not all the flowers were cooperating this morning. There is a lovely flower outside the kitchen window, but it seems to only open later in the day. Who knew? The agapanthus wanted to be featured today, I think. I love these, they look like fireworks and they are always blooming at their peak around the 4th of July (American Independence Day). They provide a quiet and lovely version of celebration.  DSC02377


My sister-in-law put together this arrangement on her kitchen table. There’s a little waterfall in the background, outside the window. She really has the decorator’s touch.



Good morning busy bees

I haven’t posted in a few days. I was lacking motivation, but this morning I went out with the camera. Here is a compound photo, created using my favorite aspects of three photos and three software applications. SONY DSC

I was up and out early enough to catch wild bees at work.

I have a visual image in my mind I want to create. I wanted to do it with a tulip, but I have noticed in looking through my photographs of tulips, that tulips grow straight up. In fact, it seems like almost all flowers aggressively seek the sun with an unequivocal upward open thrust. This was a thought-provoking and enlightening realization, however, I wanted a lazy floppy flower. This morning to my surprise, I found one right outside my door. Oleander!


For some reason, it had to face to the left. No problem. I took the picture as it was, then flipped it. This approximates, somewhat, what I had in my mind.


Lake Tahoe as a canvas

I think I finally figured out how to work with water as a colored texture. I like the idea of textures, but I wanted the water color. The key was to select just the subject from the photo you want to paste onto the texture. For the pinecone I did this with freehand select using my digital pad and pen. For the bush I used select by color, copy, paste, as many times as I could stand. I was okay with a little bit of an abstract bush. It’s not all filled in, but that allows more water to come through.

The pine cone was very small! I put it on a post to photograph it. I should have changed off my telephoto lens, but I managed to clean up the slight blur on the cone afterwards by using sharpen. The bush is from the East side of the Sierra, growing at around 5,500 feet above sea level. (Lake Tahoe is 6,000.)