One of the things we did on vacation is visit the Hernandez Botanical Gardens, which is conveniently located here on the same property as the Hernandez Bed and Breakfast(San Antonio location). Arianna is the staff photographer. If you click on each photo, you can see the full resolution version(be patient if you do this):
Timing is everything, as she shot the squirrel in midflight.
One of many pretty ones at my mom and dad’s
I know this one took a lot of patience, and she took many photos of them eating, and then, finally, of them launching.
There are lots of these firecrackers all over the yard, but this shot shows their ‘teeth’
This is one of a series I decided to call “X or Flower?” because the image could resemble either. In this case, if you Google for images of the Azure Butterfly, you’ll see what I mean.
Snail or flower?
I call this one Suspended Animation because it seems like it’s suspended in the air; you can’t see what’s holding it up, due to the bokeh(an effect that Arianna is getting pretty good at achieving).
I took a photo a few minutes before this, where I put the sunlight behind the flower. Arianna did one better by somehow putting sunlight both behind and to the side of these flowers.
After documenting the Hernandez Botanical Gardens(I only picked a very few photos to share here), we were off to spend a few hours at the
San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Ok, this is one of those embarrassing moments where I fully admit that despite growing up here, I’ve never been! It was really quite beautiful. Arianna shot dozens and dozens of photos, and I only chose a few here. I think we need to set up a Picassa account and throw all of them up there. In the meantime, please enjoy these:
Beauty and The (little) Beast
Definitely a butterfly! To appreciate this one, you MUST click on it, wait for it to download, and then click on it again to show the native resolution. She really nailed him.
Butterfly or clover? You decide. This reminds me of the opening sequence of Fantasia 2000(Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, with the butterflies)
This is the Wisteria Tunnel. The backstory is pretty funny: Arianna kept trying to get Cyndi’s attention, in order to move her out of the frame. Cyndi thought she needed to move a little, but stay in the frame. It took one HUGE eye roll from Arianna to communicate she didn’t want mommy in the photo at all…
If there’s anything that photography teaches, it’s the concept of patience. She took plenty photos in order to get this one with the beak immersed. Unfortunately, she didn’t get him taking off. But she got those pigeons earlier, didn’t she?
Still Life. I don’t think she takes many photos like this, but I like the wall falling away into the far field. This was in a section of the Gardens called Kumamoto En.
Sea Slug or Flower? This caption only makes sense if you click on the photo to download the full resolution and click again to see the ‘tentacles’
Sea Anemone or Flower? This caption, too, only makes sense if you click on the photo to download the full resolution and click again to see the ‘tentacles’
Old Man or Cactus? This is a trick question, as the name of this is actually Old Man Cactus.
This is one of the B&W photos she took. She’s got a great eye for B&W! This was also taken in the Japanese Garden. I can see things here I didn’t see when I was standing in the same place in full color.
American Chameleon. A few minutes earlier and a few minutes later, he was pumping his throat red and marking his territory, but we missed it on film. This was in a part of the garden built for the blind, where you can touch and smell all the plants. This is where we started to get hungry for lunch…
This was in The Conservatory, and area with artifically different climate to cultivate unusual species. Here’s a gorgeous B&W of the water lillies.
I really like the composition of this one, with palm trees in the foreground, and one of the enclosures of the Conservatory in the background.
Another patience shot; she “burned a lot of film” to get this guy. This is another one you should download to take advantage of the full resolution version.
I was just inside the Fern Ghetto(part of the Conservatory) before she took this shot, and I didn’t even notice this. I guess I was looking but not seeing.
How to enjoy a hammock
How to enjoy a hammock, alternate interpretation.
Water or window? Another one where see saw something I couldn’t see.
Hand Blown Glass or Water? This is one of my favorites. I see all kinds of shapes and animals in here, but not while I was looking at the water fall in person.
This is my favorite. It was at the end of our day, and she was hungry and very frustrated with a particular lens she was trying to use, and even broke down in frustration, trying and failing to get the shot she wanted. After some encouragement, and a minute to recover, she made a few more attempts, and finally got it. I hope you appreciate it as much as she does.