Monday, 30 November 2009

UBC Botanical Garden & Macro Photography - Part 1

In an attempt to remain active this autumn, the Fella and I have been looking for ways to combine a bit of exercise with the things that we enjoy (photography) and that I have needed to do on a weekly basis (photography homework projects).

So a little while ago, we headed over to the University of British Columbia with our cameras and tripods to see if we could snap a few images of autumn while exploring their botanical garden.

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Just as background, the UBC Botantical Garden is a lovely mix of West Coast forest and lawned areas. It even has a little physic garden, a kitchen garden and a forest canopy walk (if you have a head for heights)! It is well worth a visit if you live in, or are visiting, Vancouver.


We really enjoyed our afternoon out in the gardens. It helped that we were really lucky with the weather. For me though, one of the best things about our walk was the idea it sparked for my macro photography class final project.

I cannot show you my whole project yet. I did not have time to photograph it before I handed it in. However, I can share the images that I submitted. To amuse you while you look at them, I have included a bit of chat between me and the Fella while we were taking the photographs.

As you may be able to tell from our banter, we are not botanical experts! However, the walk did generate a lot of discussion between us which led me to the idea for my final project. So it is sort of relevant!

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Me: Oooh Fella, come look at the inside of the flowers on this shrub - it is sort of looks like king scallops complete with roe or brains or something! I wonder what this shrub is, I cannot see a label for it.
Fella: Me either, we'll have to ask someone or look it up when we get home?

Fella: How many pictures of a water droplet on a berry do you really need to take?
Me: About just as many as you need to take of that extremely small brown bird in that very large, dead bush?!
Fella: Hey! I like birds. You are right though, this is one dead-looking bush - I wonder why it's here?
Me: Perhaps it does something really interesting in the Spring or the Summer?

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Fella: I do not like hydrangeas.
Me: I do. I find the one in our garden really difficult to photograph so I thought that I would give it a go here.

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Fella: I wonder who gets to eat these cabbages?
Me: (spots a sign) All of the produce goes to a local charity who distribute it.


Fella: These seed heads are amazing - I wonder what this plant looks like when it is flowering?
Me: Do you know? I am not sure. I wonder if we would recognise this plant at another time of year?

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Me: I like how there is still a lot of water around in the shade of the trees even though it is a sunny day.
Fella: Rainforest by name - rainforest by nature!

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Me: Crumbs look at this! Talk about determined, the rest of this Verbascum has died back but it is still trying to send up one final shoot - even though it is nearly November!
Fella: What's a Verbascum?

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Fella: Look at these metallic blue berries.
Me: Ooh, I love them.

(However, I did not love the composition of this image, so I went back to the garden two weeks later to reshoot it - only to find the tree devoid of any leaves or berries. They were all on the ground, in the mud underneath the tree. I had missed them!)

Fella: (reading a sign) Dead Man's Fingers.
(looks up and sounds disappointed) I cannot see anything?
Me: Here! Look, here's one! It's split open and you can see its 'seeds in a thick viscous, edible pulp!
Fella: Urgh, that's horrible - I wouldn't eat that!
Me: (laughing) Just think, if you had not been here today, you might not have ever seen one and known what it was like!

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Fella: I don't like hydrangeas. Why are you photographing another one?
Me: Just to annoy you.
Fella: Really?!
Me: No, of course not but if you complain again, I'm going to look for a third one to photograph!

At this point, your two not-so-intrepid botanists from Vancouver retired gracefullyfrom the gardens in search of a warm place serving hot coffee!


Julie said...

wow, absolutely stunning photos!!! look slike you've found a great exercise/hobby combo.

Roobeedoo said...

Those pictures are amazing! I am thinking of a similar walking / sketching routine with my son, in the vain hope of sprucing up his art portfolio and getting him out of his fetid pit.

Shannon said...

Really lovely photos. Botanic macros are probably my most favourite thing to photograph.

cheap dsi r4 said...

Marvelous photos! Superb!
Hope I could download them.