Posts in Category: close up

Bristly Fiddleneck

Sometimes the beauty is in the small stuff…and in the small details. In all the great flower show of the beginnings of an Anza Borrego Desert superbloom, this tiny flower caught my eye. I think it is Bristly Fiddleneck, but there are several possible Fiddlenecks that grow in the Anza Borrego, and I would not be too surprised if it were one of the others. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not an expert. I found it coming back down the Hellhole Canyon Trail at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, near the end of our March 4th flower adventure. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Macro mode. 1/1000th @ f5 @ ISO 100. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr.


I got caught up in photographing the dried flowers and seed heads along the Canyon Trail at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico last week. For one thing I was testing the Macro Mode on my RX10iv, which I had just happened on while teaching a Point and Shoot Nature Photography class the day before. My theory is that if there is a specially designed mode for a particular situation, we owe it to ourselves as Point and Shoot photographers to see if it works. No point in doing it the hard way, if there is an easier way that gets the same results. This is the seed-head of Cliffrose, which grows on dry hillsides all through New Mexico. It is also called, locally, Navajo Diaper. I always assumed, when I lived in New Mexico, that the Navajo somehow used the feathery seed-heads to line their cradle boards, but a bit of research this morning informed me that it is the shredded bark of the plant that they use, and that they weave it into a mat. Still, I have always loved the feathery delicacy of the seed-heads, and the beauty is, I think, particularly visible in this image. Sony RX10iv in Macro mode at 600mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr.

Inca Terns

Inca Terns, Pucu Sana, Peru

I am back from my 20 days in South America…first in Peru and on the Amazon River, and then in Ecuador and the Galapagos. I am not sure I am going to try to catch up here. You will have to take it on trust that I took at least one picture each day and could have posted it if I had had internet. ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually took about 12000 exposures and came back with about 1200 keepers. 

These are Inca Terns…certainly one of the most striking of the world’s tern family…from a fishing boat off Pucu Sana, Peru. Our visit to Pucu Sana was sandwiched in between the Amazon and the Galapagos, and for those of us who went on to the islands, was just an appetizer. Though they do not have Inca Terns on the Galapagos. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. My custom action mode with continuous focus to cope with the motion of the boat. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Brant’s Cormorant

Brant’s Cormorant, La Jolla California

This time of year the cormorants in La Jolla Cove are in full breeding plumage. This is a Brant’s Cormorant. Note the white mutton chops, the white filaments down the back, and the bright blue throat. And, of course, the blue crystal eye. One handsome bird! 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.

Anna’s Impossibly Bright

Anna’s Hummingbird, San Diego California

I pretty much had to force myself to go out yesterday morning in the light drizzle and heavy overcast, but the marsh and dunes behind my hotel at the mouth of the San Diego River Channel were just to tempting. And it was a great walk. Good close shots of Marbled Godwitts, a lone Willit, and a Whimbrel. And some dramatic seascapes off the end of the jetty. But the best treat was this male Anna’s Hummingbird that sat so that even the dull light lit its gorget and cap so brightly that it was just within the capture range of the camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

La Jolla Pelican

Brown Pelican, La Jolla Cove, California

The San Diego Birding Festival show did not open until 3PM yesterday so I spent the morning and early afternoon at two of my favorite San Diego area spots for photography: La Jolla Cove and Cabrillo National Monument. 

At La Jolla this time of year you have breeding plumage Brown Pelicans in large numbers, as well as both Brant’s and Double Creasted Cormorants…and of course, lots of Sea Lions at the north end of the cove, and Harbor Seals at the south end. It is pupping time for the seals and they are out on Children’s Pool Beach. It is a great place for photography and I can spend several hours just walking up and down the path along the top of the cliffs. 

This Brown Pelican is showing full colors. Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4.5. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Bird of Paradiseย 

Bird of Paradise, San Diego California

I always enjoy the many Bird of Paradise plants when I visit San Diego in February. The most common are the smaller varieties with the orange and bright blue flowers, but there are also many of the giant variety, with black, white, and pale blue flowers. The big flowers weather rapidly, and it is rare to see one in its full glory. These are just opening, quite fresh, and still very attractive. It is an odd view, as the flowers on the giant plant are generally above my head. This was taken from the balcony of my hotel room, looking down on the flowers. 

Sony Rx10iii at 435mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. 1/250th @ ISO 200 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Dawn Gull

Western Gull, San Diego CA

I am in San Diego for the San Diego Birding Festival where I will represent ZEISS so I waited for dawn and got out to the beach. Staying in a different hotel this year…right on the beach at the mouth of the San Diego River. My room faces the Channel, but the Pacific face is just down the beach. There, were, of course, lots of gulls on the beach this morning, waiting for the sun. Gulls are not my strong suit, and immature gulls are pretty much a complete mystery to me, but I think this is just an immature Western Gull. The first rays of the sun were just touching him as he looked out to sea.

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 


Downy Woodpecker, Kennebunk Maine

We are in Conneticut for our daughter Kelia’s Senior Recital at Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, but this is from the back deck at home. A nice close-up of a female Downy Woodpecker. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 


Thistle, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville FL

I saw these giant thistles in bloom along the first mile of Blackpoint Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida every time I drove the loop, but it was not until my last visit of the trip that I forced myself to take a moment for a photo. I think they are just Bull Thistle, a common weed, but the specimens on Blackpoint were certainly spectacular. This was my 3rd and final thistle stop. I pulled over because of the particularly intense color but was rewarded with the perfect contrast in the Florida White feeding deep in the bloom.

Sony Rx10iii at 24mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. f4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.