Images & Observations

Posts tagged “garden

Corn Patch Foiling Mother Nature

Nikon D80 18-135mm 48mm ISO 200 1/20 f/11 +2/-2 Lr3 HDR Efex Pro

The corn patch is in the Cahuilla Indian Ethnobotanical Garden on site at The Living Desert, Palm Desert, California.  The brush and branch fence demonstrates the ingenuity of the native Americans in how they kept marauding herbivores out of the corn patch, but if you look closely, you will see the helping hand of the Industrial Revolution, there is chicken wire strung between the fence “walls”.  Funny, I didn’t know chicken wire was manufactured in Native American hogans. 😉

I had never come across the term “ethnobotanical garden” before, but it actually does describe something quite interesting.  Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the re;ationships that exist between humans and plants.


Desert Garden Gate

Nikon D80 18-135mm 18mm ISO 200 1/10 f/11 +2/-2 Lr3 HDR Efex Pro

This gate is one of the entrances to a garden with a water feature just outside the Palo Verde Garden Center and Nursery which is located on the grounds of the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.  Despite being situated in the Sonoran Desert, the Living Desert property is an oasis, whether natural, or as I suspect, helped by man, and that is most notable in the shaded areas, which feel at least 10 degrees cooler than the non-shaded areas.

I was attracted to the adobe like wall and the weathered wood and rusted iron gate which fit perfectly in to the curved arch.  Since I have been practicing my HDR skills, the tones and textures in this image have pleased me the most.  The detail and texture were enhanced with a custom application of Nik Sharpener Pro.


Huntington Gardens: More Greenery

Two more images from our visit to The Huntington, Saturday.

Nikon D80 27mm ISO 100 1/15 f.9.5 +2EV -2EV PSE8 PMXPro 3.2.9

The image above was captured on the walk way leading up to the Entrance Pavilion, and every time I look at it, it brings to mind how green and inviting Mr. Huntington and his successors were able to create in a normally very arid landscape.  The benches in the image are significant, as the represent the many benches that have been placed in strategic locations throughout the property, providing an inviting place to stop, sit and contemplate anything.

After HDR and tone mapping my processing consisted of jut lightening the mid-range shadows and doing a little overall image sharpening in Photoshop Elements.

Nikon D80 18mm ISO 100 1/4 f/22 +2EV -2EV PSE8 PMXPro 3.2.9

This is the obligatory tourist shot of the Japanese Garden, taken from a driveway, there is actually a shaded viewing gallery with a long line of benches just above and behind the position where I was when we captured this image where visitors can contemplate the Japanese Garden in comfort..


Huntington Library, Art Galleries & Gardens

Nikon D80 44mm ISO 100 1/6 f/22 +2EV -2EV PSE9 PMXPro

We spent a few hours, yesterday, at The Huntington, in Pasadena, California.  This property was originally developed in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, a railroad magnate.  The house in this image is Mr. Huntington’s original home on the property, and it currently sits in the middle of 120 landscaped acres (out of a total 207) which consist of the Library, (a world class research library holding many original first editions), art galleries and botanical gardens.

During post processing of the image above I lightened the leaves of the foreground tree, and lightened the tree trunk in order to bring out some detail.  The lawn and the driveway directly adjacent to the tree trunk were “burned out” and I, rather crudely, painted in the lawn.  I have not yet mastered the ability to correct the sky tones, as seen in the image above, and as seen in the “glow” between sky and tree tops in the image below.

Nikon D80 24mm ISO 100 1/8 f/22 +2EV -2EV PSE8 PMXPro

As with any proper manor house, the house is surrounded by a huge expanse of lawns, with a large slope on the south side of the house, and a long tree and sculpture line “alley” on the north side of the house. We elected to not get any shots of the alley, as impressive as it is, because it was too hazy a day and we would not have been able to discern the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. The various gardens are spectacular and require 40 full time gardeners and 100 volunteers to maintain.