>Day 050 – 02192011

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Most of the fruit trees in the rose family (such as almonds, peaches, and cherries) have already begun to blossom around these parts.

This morning, taking advantage of the break in the foul weather we’ve been having, we ventured outside and paid a short visit to the Burbank Gardens. There, I captured this beautiful nectarine blossom covered in fresh raindrops.

Something I learned today: contrary to popular belief, the nectarine is NOT a crossover between a peach and a plum. Nectarines have the exact same genome as peaches (Prunus persica) however, it is the presence of a recessive gene that creates the lack of fuzz in nectarines.

I used NIK Viveza 2 to enhance the center of the main flower. Everything else (sharpening, contrast, white balance) was handled inside Adobe Camera Raw.

Technical data: f/4.0 at 1/125th sec, ISO 100.

>Day 037 – 02062011

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We made our biannual pilgrimage to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, CA, and we couldn’t have picked a better day to visit. The weather was a balmy 70 degrees F with a light ocean breeze. And, as it is usual during our visit, we were greeted with a variety of plants in full bloom.

I found this calla lily plant (Zantedeschia aethiopica) growing under the shade of a pine tree and almost hidden from view. As I took the photo, this helped me out for two reasons:
1) I use the trunk of the pine tree to steady myself and my camera (I wasn’t carrying my tripod).
2) I deliberately exposed for the white of the flower, which in turn made the background quite dark, helping the flowers to stand out.

The raw file was processed in Adobe Camera Raw where the yellows and greens were enhanced using the Adjustment Brush.

Technical data: spot-metering at f/8.0, 1/125th sec, ISO 100.