Wow, it’s been forever and a day since I posted anything. I have been taking a break from photography this summer, and into the fall. We traveled through Vietnam in October, and just returned last week. Instead of lugging along my Sony A7 with multiple lenses, I decided to try something different — I brought along a small point and shoot, my husband’s Sony Vario-Sonnar T* DSC-HX90V. It’s got a Zeiss lens with a 30x optical zoom. It’s teeny-tiny and great for travel. Especially for capturing people on the sly with the amazing telephoto lens.
It did an amazing job with in shutter priority mode, with a slow setting of 1/5 or 1/6 of a second. The aperture setting is limited, just a few stops, 3.5 – 6.4, so I didn’t use that setting too much. I’d either have it set to Intelligent Auto or Shutter Priority.
The vibrancy of life in Vietnam is amazing and inspiring. In Hanoi, people seem to live on the streets. On the weekends just about the entire old quarter is closed to traffic and people are playing games, jumping rope, singing karaoke, building Jenga towers, driving remote control cars, participating in dance and exercise classes from early morning to late at night. In Hoi An, the city of lanterns, life doesn’t start until dusk, when wooden rowboats ply the river, lit by traditional lanterns of red, purple, blue, gold, and green. In Hanoi, Hue, Meo Vac, and Cao Bang, festive lights hung in the city centers. Bridges glowed in a streams of lights. Truly a photographer’s dream.
I was pleased with how much this small camera could do and I feel like I got some fun, colorful, night shots. Here are are few to check out. And as always, check out the gallery for more.
This year, I spent some time in my yard, planting flowers. I decided that I should plant what I wanted to take photos of! I’m very fortunate to have a few planter boxes, so, this year, instead of vegetables, I planted dahlias, cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias. One thing to know about me: As much as I love plants, I am definitely not a plant person. Plants always seem to die in my care.
So imagine my delight when my flowers thrived! It is such a joyous thing to look out and see orange poppies; purple and pink cosmos; red, orange and yellow zinnias; and the crazy purple, maroon, yellow, and pink dahlias. Wow!
I am also fortunate to have gobs of calla lilies that have spread along the fence. They flowered in March this year, and I was able to get out and take some photos before the flowers completely opened. They are an amazement every spring.
As always, check out the gallery for some more photos.
Last year I did a post on our annual spring camping trip to the Indians, a favored location in the Los Padres National Forest on the inland side of Big Sur. It has definitely been discovered thanks to social media. I liked the isolation of previous years, but it’s magnificent to see so many people enjoying California’s amazing outdoors.
The flowers this year were stunning. We hit a mini super-bloom of lupines and owl clover (my favorite flower). In addition, we saw mallow, poppies, Chinese houses, fairy lantern, frilled monkey flower, vetch, and baby blue eyes. Truly stunning.
I tried something different on this trip: I have been taking a Creative Live class featuring Kathleen Clemons, an amazing flower photographer. For a lot of her shots, she uses a 180mm lens, which completely surprised me. I have an old Nikon 70-170mm zoom lens (my husband’s actually), and I did some experimenting. I found, though, that I preferred the Lensbaby! And now, several weeks past our trip, I have to say, I can’t remember which photo I took with what lens. Such is life.
Anyway, here are a few photos for you to enjoy, with more in the gallery.
I can never get enough of the arboretum at the university. I wandered there again last week and spent most of my time in the South African garden, now exploding with color. I zoned in on two plants: a Leucadendron, which is a genus of 80 flowering plants in the Protea family and Erica, a genus of 860 flowering plants in the Ericaceae family. Seems like all of the Lencadendron species are unique to South Africa and about 680 of the Erica species are also unique to South Africa. (I got all this from Wikipedia!)
These photos were all shot with the 24-70mm F4 Sony Zeiss lens using the 10mm and 16mm extension tubes. I used my 10x or 4x magnifier for some of the photos.
The colors and shapes are fascinating. Love those curves! I am trying to get more selective with my photos, so I’m just posting a few here and none in the gallery. Enjoy!
Glad to be back home, especially now that spring is here (almost, anyway!). I checked back through my posts and realized it’s been over a year since I visited the Arboretum. Wow, time flies.
This time, I knew which plants to look for. I wandered through the Australian and New Zealand gardens, fascinated by the blooming Protea and not-quite blooming Banskia (a family in the genus Protea). I love how the Protea, up very close and with the Lensbaby, looks like ribbon candy.
I also discovered a flowering eucalyptus, Pink Princess, which the internet tells me is also called Silver Princess. The flowers look like pull tassels with bright yellow knots on the ends. I found one blossom on the ground, covered with ants. There must be something yummy in there.
All photos were taken by me and were shot with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 with a 10x magnifier.
Hope you enjoy the photos! Check out the gallery for more.
We’re home now, and I’m sorting through the thousands of photos I took during our two months in India. What an amazing experience. India is incredible.
Here are a few more night photos, the last of the bunch. I took these at the Puja ceremony at the Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi. The ceremony is a dedication to the River Ganges, the Sun, Lord Shiva, and Fire. It takes place every evening, and because we were there for a few days, I was able to see it two times. I stood off to the side, near the front, where the priests stand on raised platforms. My spot gave me good crowd views, as well as a direct line to the priests and to the multitudes on the water in boats of all shapes and sizes.
It is a loud (very loud), joyful ceremony, with incense, chanting, bells, singing, and drums. And fire. Lots of fire. Wicks soaked in ghee are arranged on lamps of seven levels, and are burned in an elaborate ritual. The priests swing the lamps around, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Here are a few of my favorites, and of course check out the gallery for more. I’m not sure how it will be getting back to ‘regular’ photography without the sights and color of India! I’ll let you know!
This post is a collection of night photos from Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer, Jodphur, and Udaipur. All amazing cities, filled with light and color. Strings of lights at night. Blues, pinks, reds, greens. The Jodphur clock tower is lit with pink, blue, and purple stadium lights that seem to pulsate. The forts of Jaisalmer and Jodphur glow on bluff tops above the city. The lights of Udaipur glisten in the lakes. A nighttime tuk-tuk ride was a blast with camera in hand.
Here are a few of my favorites, with more in the gallery.