Monarch butterflies

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I was just looking back at a shoot from last October at my favorite botanical garden. This year Monarch butterflies had a late migrating season and were still around southern California into late October early December.

Title: Monarchs at the garden
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This Monarch is hiding in this purple flowering bush, but he could not hid from me and my camera.

Title: Purple flowers and a Monarch
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Title: Monarch pollinating purple wild flower
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Title: Resting Monarch butterfly
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

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A walk in the New Jersey woods

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I love exploring different regions and finding what’s on the ground. In this case, it was the woods of New Jersey and I found such amazing mushrooms like this one.

Title: Broken mushroom
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Even morbid subjects can be beautiful, as this skull shows that nature can be quite beautiful in it’s own way.

Title: Fish skull
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A very unique mushroom.

Title: Mushroom on a log
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

There’s always little pieces of grassy moss poking through the strangest places.

Title: Green grassy moss
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Summer garden

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It’s been awhile since we’ve seen some pink flowers, so I think it’s about time we appreciate the pink colors of this world.

Title: Peach Blossom in bloom
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A great example of pink and purple mixing well together.

Title: Erodium cheilanthifolium Heronsbill
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Pink and white is also a great combination, and these anthers make it seem like the flowers are dancing.

Title: Peach Blossom flowers
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A surprise orange flower that pops out like none other.

Title: Bright orange California poppy
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Plant life up close

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Flower macros give us a view we rarely get to see, which is the inner workings.

Title: Pear blossom flower bud
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

What looks like spray paint on this green plant is actually the natural coating it has. It’s amazing how many patterns nature can come up with.

Title: Plant on the beach
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Red is such a vibrant color that it can immediately catch the eye. Did it work for you?

Title: Abstract rose petals
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

I love this Lampranthus flower with it’s unique colors like sun fire yellow and light purple, which both compliment each other.

Title: Lampranthus in bloom
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Pacific coast sea life

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It’s time for more macro pictures of the beach, showing every grain of sand and every detail on this lonely sea shell.

Title: Tan seashell
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This lady bug was climbing on the rock ever so gently, giving me enough time to capture it perfectly.

Title: little lady bug
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

I’m not quite sure what this was, but it definitely looks interesting and shows that nature can intertwine itself with anything.

Title: Strange sea life
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Sea weed bulbs are interesting to look at up-close, they look like they will pop at any moment!

Title: pacific seaweed
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Natural life upclose

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Most people don’t get to experiment with macro photography, so I am very lucky to have the means of capturing natural life in upclose form.

Title: Center of a bell flower
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Some of the most iconic photographs are water droplets, and I feel like this image captures the delicate balance of liquid and solid meeting as one.

Title: Waterdrops on a green leaf
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

More morning dew drops on the flowers bring that extra spice of life to this picture.

Title: Waterdrops on a daisy
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

I love flowers and love their detail, how about you?

Title: Light purple daisy
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Velella AKA sea raft

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I’d like you all to meet Velella, better known as sea rafts. It is said that these hydrozoans float on the ocean and are not visible until they make it onto land.

Title: Blue Velella
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A closer look at the Velella shows many shades of blue, gray, and translucence.

Title: Floating sea raft
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

If you look close enough, you will see the most intense detail on such a small life form.

Title: Velella up close
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Next time you are on the beach, take a closer look and see if you can spot the Velella.

Title: Colors of a sea raft
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Still life flower photo’s

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I love creating art that is functional and beautiful, and today I had the idea to really let out my creative side. I had some beautiful flowers from a local fruit stand and one of my favorite butterfly books, creating some simple yet elegant still lifes.

Title: butterfly book and rose
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A mushroom among a bed of flower petals can give off the image of something completely different.

Title: mushroom among flower petals
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

One thing I love about macro photography is all the detail, as most of us really don’t notice the fuzzy nature of flowers until we get really close to them.

Title: up close of underside a flower
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Facing down, this flower blooms and intrigues with it’s gradient of purple and whites.

Title: purple daisy upside down
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Satwiwa Loop hike

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A few months after getting some rain, I decided to travel to the local waterfall to see just how much water there was. This is where I found a tiny California tree frog floating around the pond near the Satwiwa waterfall.

Title: floating frog
Location: Newbury Park, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This little California tree frog was quite surprised to see me with my big camera, but luckily stayed still long enough to get a good shot.

Title: California chorus frog
Location: Newbury Park, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

In a different contrast is the plant life of this local waterfall, which includes Aspidotis californica ferns.

Title: Aspidotis californica
Location: Newbury Park, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Out in the sun is this bright yellow Chocolate Daisy, is known for is chocolate-like scent.

Title: Chocolate Daisy
Location: Newbury Park, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

ornamental succulents and cacti

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One of my favorite activities is visiting gardens and finding the vast array of plants, including drought tolerant plants like this Barrel cactus.

Title: barrel cactus
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This speckled Aeonium undulatum succulent is very unique in size, it’s a lot bigger than most of the succulents around it.

Title: big green saucer plant
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

These small “Hen and chicks” succulents are actually quite popular in Southern California, and can be as small as dime.

Title: small sage green Hen and chicks
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This green and yellow of this American aloe succulent is actually quite rare due to it’s unique colors.

Title: American aloe succulent
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

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