Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro

My 97 year old mother

My mother was 97 yesterday

Los Angeles, California. Another year, another birthday. Amazingly, my mother is still going (a bit less strongly) at 97. I couldn’t get her to sit for enough shots to get a bit of a non-forced smile out of her so this rather serious look was the best image I got. Trust me, she still has her (naughty) sense of humor and still surprises all of us with her verbal wit.


Eastern tiger swallowtail


Sharon, Connecticut. The Sharon Audubon Center has over twenty injured raptors that we love to visit from time to time. The bald eagle is magnificent as are the great horned owls.

This summer, on our way to the raptor cages we passed a small butterfly garden and given that we had some rented camera gear with us we figured we’d spend some time there.

This was shot, handheld, with a rented Canon 1D IV and my macro lens. I thought this camera might be too big and heavy for me but in fact, it’s a joy to use and feels quite good in hand. The images it can produce in the right hands (not mine) are stellar and I can see why it’s been a popular camera.

Poppies at the Huntington Gardens

Unopened poppy

Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California. It was windy and I couldn’t get close enough to use my tripod and the Huntington didn’t have a lot in bloom except these poppies (excuses, excuses), so, I shot a lot of poppies.

The one above is dedicated to Georgia O’Keefe (grin).

These were all taken with a Canon EOS 5D DSLR and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. Processed with Lightroom.

Poppy sideview with watercolor bokeh

Paper poppy

Paper poppy

Poppy dish antennae

Paper poppy

Paper poppy

Orange poppy on bokeh background

Fern with stitching

Fern with Stitching

Pasadena, California. The Huntington Garden. This fern has an interesting embossment on it that reminds me of the stitching on a pair of jeans. I wonder what purpose the embossment serves on the leaf structurally. Could it be like the "creases" in the sheet metal of car bodies, put in to give those large expanses of metal more strength? Or maybe it has to do with guiding water down the leaf to the roots. Could it be that these bumps are caused by insects who, in some symbiotic way help the plant? I also wonder where the embossment came from in the evolution of this plant, and where it is going. After all, a photograph of a plant is a snapshot in evolutionary time: a single frame in a long life history linked to many others, or should we say "stitched" to many others.

Naked oriental poppies

Naked oriental poppy

Pasadena, California. The Huntington Gardens. Out of all of the places to photograph at this photographer’s paradise, two places should not be missed: the herb garden where this was taken and the desert garden with all the cacti and succulents.

While most of the tourists are off photographing roses you can have both of of these gardens to yourself. Anyone who lives within driving distance should not miss this place.

Two naked oriental poppies

Nice to get two of these babies in one image.

If I ever get to Afghanistan, you know I’m going to be photographing opium poppies, I just love these totemic forms.