Category Archives: Gardens

Bonsai Water Drops

I have to say that when it comes to design and art the Japanese are often onto something. The Chicago Botanic Garden has many examples of Japanese horticulture but the Bonsai is special.

When the sun goes down and these displays are lit from underneath, they invite me to think of them as completely different displays and sometimes I think of them as completely different worlds. But this time it was a little rainy and that really made them special.

This Bonsai tree was lit from underneath at an outdoor display while it was raining.
This Bonsai tree was lit from underneath at an outdoor display while it was raining.

Chicago Botanic Garden Waterfall

This is the main waterfall at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is displayed just before entering the Japanese gardens.

For this photo, I took a bracket of three ND filtered photos so the long exposure would help the water to look the way it does. I also experimented with layering the images so I could further limit the ghosting. It’s exciting to try these techniques. I am glad I get a chance to try this out before going to Yellowstone this Saturday.

Chicago Botanic Garden Waterfall

Indoor Displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden

At the Chicago Botanic Garden, they have the Regenstein Center and in one part of it is an indoor atrium. They really know what they’re doing.  This atrium has a skylight, it’s long and has pools of water at either end. This arrangement of color and texture was really fun to look at.

I set this as a panorama with my 50mm lens. The full resolution image is nearly 10000 pixels wide! If you click on the image the link will bring you to my smugmug page where you can see the full resolution image.

The Chicago Botanic Garden's Regenstein Center's indoor flower garden.
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Center’s indoor flower garden.

Dahlias open and Dahlias closed

I like Dahlias. They express their colors so dynamically. Pinks, reds, magentas, to a blazing yellow and orange fire deep inside the flower.

A Dahlia in bloom and another waiting it's turn to open up.

A Dahlia in bloom and another waiting it’s turn to open up.

I have to admit that I had to post this one because I saw Anna Ryndak (a Google+ Photographer) post her picture of one of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Dahlia’s and I just had to show mine, too.  This one was from a few days ago.

Ground Lit Palm Trees in HDR


What happens when I have a tripod and take my time!

fivedayquest Day 4, thanks Mihoko Yamanashi for the invite

On this fourth day at the Chicago Botanic Garden in a row, I had an initial feeling of boredome. NOT THAT! KISS OF DEATH! I dreaded my results.

I needed an idea, inspiration, a LIGHTBULB! Lucky for me the lights came on at the garden again! I knew that the green house would need the lights and this time, I had the tripod because I didn’t need to carry an umbrella.

Tropical Green House at the Chicago Botanic Garden. After the lights come on the green house shows a different character.
Tropical Green House at the Chicago Botanic Garden. After the lights come on the green house shows a different character.

This last weekend I purchased Photomatix for HDR processing. When this bracket first processed, my jaw dropped. I know there’s a few things that can be done to push the processing further, but one thing at a time! 🙂

Who do I invite?  Since I have a short attention span and I just liked Wendy Baker ‘s awesome photo of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring… well, I pick YOU Wendy Baker .

The rules are simple, post photos for 5 days in a row. Tag me in each post, tag 1 new person to do it each day, and use the hashtag fivedayquest . You don’t have to start right away. Start whenever you want! The idea is that it’s daily life.

hdrphotography 20mmprime sonynex7 bluehourphotography palmtrees flowers gardens botanicalgarden  (it was after sunset, btw!)

Ground Lit Palm Trees at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Ground Lit Palm Trees

+Chicago Botanic Garden    #fivedayquest  Day 3.

+Mihoko Yamanashi invited me to participate in this and I accepted.

Today was rainy and crappy out. Generally not ideal conditions for photography. BUT! I am going on a vacation to several National Parks starting with Yellowstone on 6-21-2014. I am fully aware of the fact that weather could be crap there too. So, I went and bought a new pair of waterproof hiking boots and a rain jacket and they both performed excellent while walking around the Botanic Garden.

So, I went through their tropical rainforest green house. And because the sky was already so dark, all the ground lights of the garden were coming out and I saw these palm trees lit. BUT I didn’t have a tripod. This was handheld. It was noisy as heck. But I felt that it was fun to look at.
Tropical Green House gound lit

For this day, I want to invite my twin brother, +Anthony Dooley . I gave him my old camera and he’s not let go of it since. It’s a point and shoot, technically speaking, but he’s got a good eye for it.

Tony, you can start this at any time. The idea is to show daily life for five days in a row. All you need to do is tag who invited you, and use the hashtag, #fivedayquest.

Stargazer Lilly at the Chicago Botanic Garden

I really like lilies. I believe that this is a Stargazer Lilly. It’s in a central atrium at the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I was surprised by the dynamic range of the setting! So many rich colors and dark tones that I had to use multiple exposures.

I hope you enjoy this one. It’s just nice to look at.

Stargazer Lilly CBG

Chicago Botanic Garden Sunset: The Lawn Party

Chicago Botanic Garden Sunset : The lawn party

Mihoko Yamanashi invited me to run the fivedayquest again. And I accepted. This time I’ve decided to run to the Chicago Botanic Garden for each of these days after work, take photos, process them, and post them.

Botanic Garden Sunset

I turn in my assignments late. Always have. My teachers in high school failed.

Karina Kaefer , I CHOOSE YOU! You are invited to the 5 day quest. I hope you understand this. But since I saw your stream has a lot of flowers in it and I’m going to a botanic garden a lot lately, you, get the invite.

The fivedayquest is simple. You must use the tag, fivedayquest , and you must also tag the person who invited you. You can start whenever you feel like. You post for five days. And each day you invite someone new. That is all.

Lauri Novak you’re not invited to do the quest again, you’re popular enough. And you’re actually on your way to Germany by now, but really, you need to go to the Chicago Botanic Garden .

The Five Day Quest from G+

Today I’m copying a post I made to G+. If you don’t use G+ and you’re a photographer, I HIGHLY recommend it! In a lot of ways it’s the best place to interact with other photographers, period. It’s not the be-all-end-all of photographic social media, but it’s something you can’t do without!

Anyways, this thing called a FiveDayQuest has been running around on there and it’s been fun and popular. Here is the begining of another 5DQ!

+Mihoko Yamanashi tagged me for the FiveDayQuest. This is the second time I’ve been tagged for this. The first time was by +Lauri Novak . (See what you’ve done, Lauri?)

So, Mihoko is from Japan! I am surprised and honored to fulfill this request. And, because I’m not wanting to redo my last 5DQ, I’m thinking I’ll focus on the “Quest” aspect.

Today I finally plunked down money to become a member of the Chicago Botanic Garden! And… They have a Bonsai Display. I decided to make this photo today. Since Mihoko’s been stressed with classes and what-not, who doesn’t want flowers?

It all adds to a flowering bonsai!

Pink Bonsai Flowers

What will the ‘quest’ be for the 5 days? Well, I’ll see if I can visit the garden after work for the next 4 days. (YIKES!)

But what’s a quest that doesn’t have a bit of travel?

Who will I invite?

+Shelby Young , I tag you! If you’ve done this before, I didn’t see it. If it’s your second tag, did you see the start to this post? 🙂 Anyways, she is always up to posting something, it seems, so I doubt this would be a problem for her and it’s always good!

Shelby, the rules are simple. Start this whenever you like, it’s up to you! You need to tag the person who invited you in each post. And in each post, you need to invite a new person, too.

Btw, I’m chosing a theme because I don’t want to be bored by the quest. You don’t have to have a theme.  It’s really just supposed to be daily life, stuff. I guess it’s an unspoken rule (until now) picture taken the day it’s posted.

(I’m posting this with a little more than minutes to midnight)