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  1. #1

    • Joe Flowers
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    Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    If you've been following along with our adventures, you know that Theresa's sister Rita and her daughter Aubrey are visiting us from Michigan. Aubrey has been saving money all year and finally bought a DSLR. We spent the day before at Disneyland, and you can read all about that here.

    Aubrey has really been enjoying taking photos of flowers with her new camera so what better place to go on Sunday than the South Coast Botanic Garden!

    The first half of this post is only going to have the photos I took. I'll include all of Aubrey's photos at the end.

    As soon as we got through the gates, she started taking pictures of the first flowers she saw!

    I've taken a few photos of flowers from our last few visits, which I've also written trip reports on. Today, I wanted to focus on all the little critters you happen to see while at the gardens.
    Of course the bees love all these flowers.

    Theresa saw this flowers and thought it was beautiful and possibly even wall worthy.

    She's always a lover of trees and plants that actually produce something and don't just look pretty. These grape vines are producing grapes.

    And this tomato plant is starting to produce fruit.

    It wasn't just the regular bees out today. The bumblebees are also all over the place.

    Catching a bumblebee flying. It's hard to see how they fly around with such a big body and small wings.


    Not only do the bees love all these flowers, but butterflies are out in force as well.

    The butterfly has a really long tongue to get to the flowers juices.

    Aubrey getting in all the right positions to get the shot.

    There is a 1 mile loop around the gardens that leads you through all sorts of different zones. Theresa came to the gardens expecting to hang out at the front section and look at the flowers there. Too bad she didn't tell me...

    As we neared the fig trees, you could really smell the sweetness in the air. The trees have been dropping their fruit and it's been getting crushed by the trams as they drive by. I thought it was a pretty good smell.



    There is a small pumpkin patch fenced off from the critters.

    With small pumpkins growing on the outside. Again, something Theresa just loves.

    The whole day, I've been trying to get a photo of the sulphur butterfly, but these guys just don't land! I joked that they don't even have feet because I never saw one sitting on a flower. Because they never stop, here's one as it's fluttering by.

    Another photo request from Theresa.

    The rose garden has really come into bloom since our last visit.

    The roses are beautiful and the whole area smells wonderful.

    Aubrey had a field day taking pictures of the roses.

    One more critter. A hummingbird was flying around all the roses. I finally caught it when it was still.

    A small moth.

    Near the Japanese garden, a dragonfly was hanging out near the lily pads. Look at those crazy wings!

    I like both of these photos of the dragonfly. The photo above really shows the wings clearly while this one shows the feet and head in sharp focus.



    The rest of these photos are from Aubrey. I don't know the names of the flowers like Fishbulb seems to in his posts, so I'll just be posting the images without much accompanying text.















    These bean pod type things were growing from a tree, though we couldn't find any signs telling us they type of tree.



    A sausage tree, similar to the one seen at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom.




    Here's that same pumpkin patch area I show above. Surrounding it were other fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, cantaloupe, and red peppers.



    Once we got to the rose garden, Aubrey went crazy taking photos of just about everything!













    This final rose had a surprise inside!

    Very nice job Aubrey. The photos are all looking fantastic!

    We finish out Aubrey and Rita's visit by going back to Downtown Disney, which you can read all about here.

  2. #2

    • aka 'KiMcHeE'
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    Re: Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    Wow such great photos! It's so hard to take pictures of critters flying in mid air. I'm amazed you were able to take so many! Care to share any tips? I have the most trouble trying to focus when they're flying sporadically all over the place. Were you manual focusing or auto focusing? Also, the details on some of the insects and plants are outstanding! Were you using a macro lens?

  3. #3

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    Quote Originally Posted by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe View Post
    Wow such great photos! It's so hard to take pictures of critters flying in mid air. I'm amazed you were able to take so many! Care to share any tips? I have the most trouble trying to focus when they're flying sporadically all over the place. Were you manual focusing or auto focusing? Also, the details on some of the insects and plants are outstanding! Were you using a macro lens?
    For things where I really need to focus on a specific thing, I use the "Live View" mode on the back screen, zoom in to the area I'm interested in, and then use manual focus from there. Doesn't really help for flying critters though.

    In this case, I let the camera figure out the focus and shot continuously. For each image you see, I probably had 10 throw-away photos where either the focus was off or I didn't like the composition.

    I don't have a dedicated macro lens, but I do have some macro extension tubes that I like to use with my lenses. They make it so I can use my 70-200mm lens and instead of a minimum focusing distance of 5 feet, I can focus inches from the end of the lens if I want. Aubrey borrowed an extension tube as well to use with her 50mm and 18-200mm lenses.

    I got the Vello Auto Extension Tube Set from BHPhoto for $80, which passes the signals from the camera to the lens so auto-focus and aperture control still work.

    Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  4. #4

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    Re: Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    Wow! Great shot's

  5. #5

    • aka 'KiMcHeE'
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    Re: Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    Quote Originally Posted by mre200200 View Post
    For things where I really need to focus on a specific thing, I use the "Live View" mode on the back screen, zoom in to the area I'm interested in, and then use manual focus from there. Doesn't really help for flying critters though.

    In this case, I let the camera figure out the focus and shot continuously. For each image you see, I probably had 10 throw-away photos where either the focus was off or I didn't like the composition.

    I don't have a dedicated macro lens, but I do have some macro extension tubes that I like to use with my lenses. They make it so I can use my 70-200mm lens and instead of a minimum focusing distance of 5 feet, I can focus inches from the end of the lens if I want. Aubrey borrowed an extension tube as well to use with her 50mm and 18-200mm lenses.

    I got the Vello Auto Extension Tube Set from BHPhoto for $80, which passes the signals from the camera to the lens so auto-focus and aperture control still work.

    Glad you enjoyed the photos!
    Interesting! Thanks for your reply. I'm going to have to check those extension tubes out!

  6. #6

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    Re: Joe and Aubrey's South Coast Botanic Garden visit

    Aubrey your photos are truly beautiful! I would matt and frame many of them and hang them on my walls. I especially love the pink rose with the bee nestled inside. Joe your insect pictures were so beautiful. These pictures really made me happy. I thank you both.

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