The Sasanqua’s return

I suppose they just knew to wait until Hurricane Florence did its worst before deciding to come on stage.  Sasanquas are delicate blooms and it doesn’t take much wind at all to tear them off the bush. .

.  Sasanquas are in the same family as Camellias but are not as tightly constructed as their cousins.  Each bloom is just a little different and for my money, they catch the light better.

I shot these with my usual setup for flower photography: a Nikon D700 camera and a 6omm Nikon Micro lens.  “Micro” is Nikon speak for Macro.  The D700 is a 12 mp camera but it more than holds its own in flower photography.  My view is that those 12mp spread across the full frame catches the light better.

Sasanquas don’t bloom long only into mid-October.  Camellias have a much longer stay, first blooming in mid to late November and continuing right on up to March.  After the devastation of Florence, the Sasanquas were a welcome sign that life does indeed go on.  Thanks for the visit and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

Photo Of the Day: The Camellia Expedition

FAA 1/1/2016 Flickr 1/3/2016

I always look forward to reading about those exotic photography expeditions that grace the slicker photo magazines these days.   There are a couple in this month’s Digital Photo Pro that had me drooling with envy.  Oh to be able to do something like that, I thought!   I’m not complaining.  I had my innings in my younger days traveling to upstate Maine, Alaska and so on.  I just wish I knew then what I know now and that I had the gear of today back then.  Such is the drumbeat of life.  The reality now is that at my advanced age, the infirmities that go with it, not to mention the  cost and rigors of travel,  such exotic expeditions are just the stuff of daydreams.  Just driving the 45 minutes to Emerald Isle on the coast of  North Carolina for a few snaps at Lands End is my idea of an expedition these days.  And so it was this past weekend when I gathered up my gear and my boots and ventured out into the Camellia patch here on the farm.  It was no cakewalk.   The boots were a must.  The farm is like a swamp these days thanks to the constant rain which has turned the good earth into a muddy, black soup.  The plywood gave my tripod something to “sit” on.  Otherwise it would have sunk to the ball head.  It really is that sloppy here.   Once I got all set up, I waited for the sun to rise over the canopy of towering lob lolly pines that shade the camellia beds.  The trees provide a sort of natural neutral density filter which allowed a long exposure.  Three shots and I had what I wanted.  The result is the shot above.  I was right pleased with it.   It’s not Acadia National Park in Maine or the Grand Tetons, its just a Camellia bloom but at my age, you really do learn to make do with what you are able to do or to dance with with what brung ya as the old timers say.  I’m one of them.  Thanks for the read.  Stay Nimble.  See you next time.





Photo Of The Day: Christmas Rose

11 28 15_4970_edited-2Actually a scarlet red camellia bloom photographed in late afternoon light here on the Farm. Nikon D800E.

Well, when we last met, I had decided to give Paint Shop Pro 8X a whirl as my photo organizer with an eye toward  replacing Photoshop Elements 12 as my primary editing software.  Elements, you might recall me saying, had been giving me acute migraines with its constant freeze ups and crashes.  There’s more to report on that side of the story but first, some  Initial thoughts on Paint Shop Pro 8X.

I shelled out 49 bucks for PSP8X and have been trying ever since to negotiate the mother of all learning curves to use it.  The instruction manual is just as daunting.  It’s another one of those “missing manuals,” as David Pogue titles his books on the Windows operating systems which are, by the way, fabulous. I have every edition from Windows 98 on.   David, please do one for Paint Shop Pro!    The only manual now is a PDF File.  Of course you can print the whole thing out but be warned, it is more than 800 pages.  Having spent a “kings ransom” on printer ink, I decided to go with the PDF.  A book would have been better but I’m old and not into reading ebooks.

No doubt my calcifying brain has a lot to do with my difficulty.  Perhaps I am a 70 year old suffering from ADHD and need a dose of whatever they’re feeding the kids these days.  Frankly, I just got totally lost in the maze of brushes, graphics and so on.  Perhaps if they had made the graphics part of it another section or something, it would have been easier to grasp.

I did, however, find my way to and through the RAW Conversion Panel and it is quite good though I think Elements is more thorough and easier to use…..that’s probably a cheap shot because I am so used to Elements.

Suffice to say, I’m still messing with it and will, from time to time, give further progress reports on my schooling.

In the midst of all this, my 4 year old desktop began sending distinct warning signals of hard drive failure: Constant pleas to run “Check Disc” to repair damaged sectors and repeated messages that windows “has stopped working” etc and etc.  So I did a little cyber monday shopping and picked up a Lenovo H-30-50 desktop machine with 16 gigs of ram, a 2 TB hard drive and an Intel I-7  processor at a reasonable price.    The Windows 10 Operating system is a big improvement over Windows 8 but then anything would be an improvement and best of all, the learning curve isn’t as steep as Paint Shop.

I also reloaded my Elements software and so far, knock on wood, its working swimmingly. Perhaps I gave Adobe a bad wrap. Old guys can get crabby.

Now that I am back in cyber space, I will try to be a bit more productive blog wise.  Keep the Faith everybody. See you next time.

Photo Of The Day: Spring Salsa

FAA Hard as it is to tear myself away from the Sunday New York Times, my easy chair and a cup of Chock Full Of Nuts Coffee,   I was determined to keep to my self imposed vow to stick to my blog schedule,  so here you go.     I shot this just the other day in some Oscar  winning light that had penetrated just about every nook and cranny of the camellia beds here on the farm.  The blooms, and there are hundreds, had the look of a sizzling cauldron of color.  Lord have mercy it was Kodachome reincarnated;  pushing all of  my painter wanna-be buttons.  Put on your shades  and click on the photograph to get the “Full Monty”!

I shot this with a Nikon D7100 and the workhorse 18-200mm DX lens.  Have a great Sunday evening and thanks for the look.

Photo Of The Day: Pink Perfection

Prime Time Posted to Flickr January 16, 2014 A Camellia Bloom on a very cold morning here on the farm.  According to Southern Living Magazine,  A Botanist to King Louis XVI of France brought Camellias to Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1700’s.  This one glowing in the just risen sun is called ‘Pink Perfection’.  Very formal looking I think.  It’s been a tough winter for the Camellias here particularly for the white Camellias which fall victim to the subfreezing nights as soon as buds form.  I suspect this one will bite the dust tonight when another frigid front rolls through.  The weather people say we could have some snow.  That would be nice.  Winters without snow cheats us I think.  Thanks for the look and have a great evening.

Photo Of The Day: Red Camellia

Red Camellia  Blogged November 13, 2013

A brilliant Red Camellia Japonica bloom.  Has a rather festive air about it I think. Thanks for the visit and have a great evening.  Click on the photo for the larger view.   Nikon D600, 24-120 f/4 lens set at 24mm.


Gabriele Stabile’s striking images of newly arriving refugees & their transition to the US, now on display.  For a look, click on “Lens” in the list of links on the left of this page.  Lens is the New York Times Photography Blog.