North Carolina Gardens

(16 and 21 July- The Sara P Duke Gardens on the Duke University Campus and some Arboretum...)

All images on this page are 1000 pixels across. I will be adding links to the full size image beneath each one for printing. Captions (such as they are) are underneath. The FULL IMAGE is the native resolution file, corrected, compensated, and saved for your convenience as a JPEG. It should open in a new window. Or you can right-click (control-click for mac users) and save the "linked" or "target" file wherever for printing without opening a new window.

Butterfly on some flowers. FULL IMAGE

Bumblebee on some flowers FULL IMAGE

Teal and black butterfly landed on a bush FULL IMAGE

Same butterfly on a different bush. You can see the color better in this photo. FULL IMAGE

Yours truly at the end of the trip to the Arboretum. Note the infrared remote shutter release in my right hand. The camera is on a tripod FULL IMAGE

One of the first things you see when you get to the Sara P. Duke gardens at Duke University. A lovely Iris fountain with wavering sheet falls FULL IMAGE

A baby Dragonfly. There will be a Dragonfly theme going on here today... FULL IMAGE

Some lily pads and flowers in the pool ("Peace Pond"?) This one actually doesn't have a dragonfly in it... FULL IMAGE

Another set of lily pads and bright purple flowers FULL IMAGE

Ah, the gratuitous shots of Dragonflies begins... Download the full image (if you dare!) to see all the wondrous detail. I might add that all these shots were taken with a 28-300mm zoom lens (with IS, of course), most of them (especially the bug close-ups) taken at full zoom. For you non-photography types, this is pretty much the most non-ideal situation. If you're going to do macro (close-up) work, you should use a macro lens. The problem with that is that you have to be CLOSE to your subject. These little buggers wouldn't let me get within 5 feet of them, much less two inches of them. Also, a (variable) zoom lens is never going to be as sharp as a (fixed) prime lens which is non-adjustable, but I like the flexibility of having a zoom lens... For you *real* lens weenies out there, you'll note a steep dropoff in the MTF curve for sharpness at maximum zoom, which is right where I was on a lot of these. So given that this is *only* an 8 megapixel camera and the lens scenario was far from perfect, I think these came out pretty well overall. FULL IMAGE

OK, I'm not sure why I put two of these in here. Remind me to take one out... This kind of reflects the way you take photos though- I shoot in RAW format, so I don't really have to bracket for brightness/exposure like ye-olde FILM photographers might, but I'll often bracket for focus, if that makes sense, for subjects that might be moving, erratic, or just fast shots. FULL IMAGE

Close up of purple lily. FULL IMAGE

Water spilling out into pond FULL IMAGE

Another dragonfly. FULL IMAGE

A pink lotus. When I came back a week later, all the petals were gone, so I guess these don't bloom for that long. A lucky shot. FULL IMAGE

Some nice reflections of clouds and pine trees. FULL IMAGE

One of a couple statues a bit inside of the gardens. I'll have to look up the name of this one or what the significance is. FULL IMAGE

I was walking down the path and looked up and saw this bird and thought, "Wow- that's a bright red bird." This has no saturation enhancement, unlike some of the other photos, so yes, the bird really was that red. FULL IMAGE

Here are some concrete fascimiles of mill stones as stepping stones in this pond. FULL IMAGE

Notice the frog? He was croaking and I managed to get this shot off before he jumped away. FULL IMAGE

Another dragonfly. FULL IMAGE

This one (like the last) is near where the frog was. I think it would have been cool to see the frog catch one of these. No such luck. FULL IMAGE

I saw this duck down at the end of the lake by the Japanese bridge and it let me snap away. FULL IMAGE

I'm not sure if this is any different than the last one, but anyway... FULL IMAGE

Preening shot with the head horizontal and eye visible. FULL IMAGE