While walking at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms the other day, I spotted what I thought might gleam off the shell of a very small insect on the dried flowers of a plant along the trail. I took a few tel-macro shots at 600mm equivalent, but I was not sure, through the viewfinder, if I was really even seeing a bug at all. In processing on my iPad Pro, I discovered this elegant little beetle. The Fieldguides AI app says it is a Cryptocephalus (Leaf Beetle) of some kind. The closest match on Google Lens, and the only one from North America, is 14 Spotted Leaf Beetle. The photo has received the super-crop treatment: processed as most of my photos are in Polarr, then opened in Pixelmator Photo Pro for enlargement using the Machine Learning Super Resolution tool, then recropped for what amounts to maybe the equivalent 2500mm of magnification from 5 feet, and possibly a 4x macro. This is a tiny bug, less than 1/8th inch long. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed as above. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
Jack London State Park kind of wraps around his vineyard, which is still in private hands. That does not stop the vineyard from dominating the view from his farm house, as the vineyard wraps around the house and outbuildings just as the park does around the vineyard. I had been there in the spring when the vines were lush…they have a totally different aspect in October. The regimented, trained growth of the vines on their supports fascinates me, and makes a strong graphic statement.
Samsung Smart Camera WB800F in Rich Tone mode. Processed in Snapseed on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014.
Not exactly a Valentines Day image, but…
Likely the last of the Jack London State Park series for Pic of the Day. Tendrils of misty fog across the pines and redwoods above the high terrace of vines. Atmosphere. I used the zoom on the H50 to crop in and make the fog the subject of the image.
Sony DSC H50 at about 100mm equiv. F8.0 @ 1/40th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.
Processed in Lightroom to bring out the transparency of the fog, using the Recovery slider. Added Vibrance and Clarity. Landscape sharpen.
From Vallejo and Sonoma.
I took many exposures of this flowering plum against the backdrop of the terraced vineyard, attempting to get the right balance of subject focus and out of focus background. I wanted enough detail in the vineyard so the viewer could identify the context, and so that the terraced vines created an interesting pattern…without distracting from the showy blossoms. This one of several that I like…the most close-up, with the most emphasis on the blossoms. There are other’s around it in the gallery with different effects.
For this series I used Program Shift, to select the smallest aperture available, for maximum depth of field. At the longer focal length used in this shot, that is still not much. The H50 has image sensor shift image stabilization, which makes exposures at the slow shutter speed that resulted from the Program Shift possible without a tripod. I love it.
Sony DSC H50 at an approximate equiv. focal length of 250mm. F8.0 @ 1/30 @ ISO 100. Programed Auto with program shift for max. aperture.
From Vallejo and Sonoma.
Another view of the Jack London Vineyard at Jack London State Park in Glen Elen, CA in the Sonoma Valley on a rainy day. The wet and the subdued light bring out the saturated color of the yellow flowers that grow between the vines, and the deep rusty browns of the vines themselves. Misty fog partially obscures the trees along the horizon. Again, when the light is bad, you have to go for drama.
This image is carefully cropped, both top and bottom. The bottom crop eliminates a distracting foreground fence that ran parallel to the bottom of the frame. It had some character, with scraggly vines growing along it as though it were another contrary row of the vineyard itself, and might have made a subject in itself, but in this image it just distracted. Cropping the bottom meant losing some sky, bringing the ceiling down, so to speak, to keep the mass of trees higher in the image, above center, for composition.
Sony DSC H50 at full wide angle (31mm equiv.). F5.0 @ 1/160 @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.
The image required similar processing to yesterday’s because of the foggy atmosphere. Heavy Recovery, Vibrance, and Clarity, with a bit of added Brightness. Landscape sharpen preset.
From the Vallejo and Sonoma Gallery.
Jack London’s estate in the Valley of the Moon, Sonoma California, in the heart of wine country, is now a State Park. I visited several years ago, and, despite on and off rain yesterday, I went back on this trip to Vallejo (business takes me to Vallejo most years in February).
The light was subdued at best. Wisps of could hung down across the higher trees, and banks of cloud closed all horizons. I got wet periodically, and had to be careful of water on the camera. Still, the vineyard Jack planted, which is not part of the Park and still produces wine under the Jack London label, was beautiful in an moody way. The massive Eucalyptus trees with their bark patterns, the manzanita with its deep brown bark shinny with the rain, the mosses and lichen covering everything…it was indeed atmospheric despite, or even because of, the rain. I had a lot of fun.
In this shot, the plum blossoms set off the green of the terraced vines. This is one of many views. I suspect you will see more in the next few days.
Sony DSC H50 at wide angle (32mm equiv.). F4.5 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.
When shooting foggy scenes I like to preserve as much detail in the fog wisps and the dense clouds above as possible. I have learned that Programed Auto gives me an exposure I can work with in Lightroom. 100% Recovery pulls the highlights down, and brings out both detail and transparency in the fog. That generally means increasing Contrast, and even Brightness (gently). More that usual Presence is added using the Clarity and, especially, Vibrance sliders. Landscape sharpen preset for this image.
From Vallejo and Sonoma.