12/17/2007

My favorite pictrures from 2007

I don't have anything to enter in the Kew Gardens photography contest, but I've been planning to make some year-in-review posts. Why not start with my favorite pictures from 2007.

Notes: I generally do not take much care when I take pictures. I'm strictly a snapshots kind of guy. I might take two or three snapshots of a subject that really interests me, and pick the best one. But I rarely stand and compose, or consider the light, or anything like that. I certainly don't do any kind of post-picture taking processing or alteration. It is what it is. Until August, I didn't even know how to use my camera's close-up function. I have a Canon PowerShot A610 set on 'foliage'. Unless I'm running out of memory, I like to use the largest file size.

Okay then...

You know I love this one. I made it my icon. (Hmm...after a year, maybe it's time to pick a new icon.) This picture comes from a January 20 post called Pruning Class. I took a four-day pruning workshop at Foothill College. My instructor (who was super-cute) took us to his backyard orchard and had us prune his fruit trees. What a life, huh?

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If I could turn back time, I would make him a cash offer for all three of the planters in his yard.

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I took this picture of a professional dog walker and his charges on top of Bernal Hill last February. I think there's something kind of strange and make-believe about this picture, and that's why I like it.

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(Bernal Hill is one of the few places in San Francisco where you can let a dog run, although some irresponsible dog owners frequently let their dogs run in other places too. There's a lot of tension between the pro-dog-people and the anti-dog-people in San Francisco. This year the rudeness and dishonesty of certain pro-dog-people finally pushed me into the anti-dog-people camp.)


No pictures in March qualify as a favorites, but here are four that I like.

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I visited Filoli in April. Although the formal garden isn't my style, the beauty and coherence of their spring color palette left me breathless. This one reminds me of a Klimpt painting.

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I like to include pictures of the funky cars in my neighborhood. While on a walk in May, I took two pictures that I especially like. One suggests sex, adventure, and mystery. The other, delight, laughter, and electronic music. You can decide which one is which.

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In June, my world changed. My clueless, idiot neighbor who should be barred from owning real property cut back his yard. His workers let this 6' by 6' pile of debris fall on my side of the fence. I wasn't too mad tho'. The result of his clearcutting let full sun into my garden. Even as we approach the shortest day of the year, I currently have full sun in half my garden. This time last year, I had none.

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This is also one of my favorite pictures from June. I took it during a walk. This shot really captures Bernal Heights. Houses, hills, views, flowers, and the usual urban trash.

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And I was very pleased with myself when I took this picture while doing some editing.

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This, from Bloom Day, is one of the first pictures I posted of my Echium wildprettii, which I grew from seed (not hard to do!). By the time I planted this out, I was astonished by how fast it was growing. This was only six months ago. Today, the basal rosette is five feet in diameter and smothers the now-dormant redbud. I'll have to rejuvinate the soil when this baby comes out. I love the yellow moons of Cotula lineariloba.

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June was a busy month. We took a road-trip to Sacramento, and stopped at the UC Davis Arboretum on the way back. If I had rigid ideas about what California gardens should look like, this would be one of them. I would love to get back there soon to see this garden in the dead of winter.

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We went to Sacramento to visit the Old City Cemetery which I would also like to visit again and again. No single favorites from this visit, but several that I like.

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The canna + opuntia qualifies as a favorite plant pair. Imagine the opuntia shaped tall and lanky.

July. In July, I visited the San Francisco Botanical Garden several times in the evening, and I took tons of pictures.

This is my all-time favorite picture for 2007. It doesn't matter to me that the grass is over-exposed, or that the composition needs to be scooted over one inch. I love this picture.

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I was there again two days later and took my favorite video of 2007.



There isn't a favorite in August. But I like this one because it shows my design efforts finally coming into focus. The key plants are still small, but everything is in place. This picture captures a certain vibe I want my garden to have. This part of it, anyway.

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September favorites!

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Strybing on September 15. The fog and Monterey cypress make this picture quintessentially Californian. Excuse me, quintessentially northern Californian. You want coffee and a warm coat with you here. Later today, you might have crab salad at the wharf or Italian food in North Beach.

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During another walk around the neighborhood:

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At a party (the cucumbers on that salad came from my garden; I brought them to the hostess and she chopped 'em up and served them to everyone--I was very flattered. Honored? Whatever):

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By October the Epilobium was blooming. This is one of the few reds in my garden. I feel a little insecure about using red. I don't know how. Or where. Or something.

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Eriogonum arborescens
; a close up in the garden of my guru.

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Penny with some fall bulbs.

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November was a busy month, although I don't remember it that way. We went to Guerneville and Oahu (1, 2, 3). I buzzed through the Blake Garden, the UC Botanic Garden, and the Japanese Tea Garden.

I pick one favorite picture from the Blake.

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And one from the Japanese Tea Garden.

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Although, there are many other pictures in November that I like.

December, not so much. The year's not over yet, so this post is a little bit premature. We have a short trip coming up before Christmas. It's possible I'll have something more to add before 2008 rolls in.

12 comments:

Phillip said...

These are all great photos. I came on the scene late so I didn't see many of these. My favorites are the garbage and flowers on the sidewalk with the city in the background and the kitty tugging the rope. I also like the tree in the fog. It would be hard to pick just one - they are all fantastic.

Layanee @www.ledgeandgardens.typepad.com/ said...

This was a great way to start the day. Coffee, and a year in San Francisco with Chuck b. Thanks for a look at your world!

Pam/Digging said...

Pam @ Digging says:

Fabulous, a year in the life of Chuck of San Francisco! Well, after reading Carol's recap of the year and now yours, I think I'm going to have to do one too.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lots of great pictures, but that seared Ahi and chocolate rasberry torte really pulls me in.

I don't think I can do a look back just yet. I need to keep looking forward.

You did inspire me to finally change my blogger icon. I have changed to stone. Maybe it is time for you to become a cat. A switch.

Frances said...

Loved the year in review. That is a good topic for the garden bloggers communal posts. Like your new icon also. Good work as usual.

JvA said...

Yes, thanks for this wonderful post. As you know, your photos essays inspired me to start my own blog this year.

More kitty pictures, please!

Kirsten said...

I can attest to the comment "I rarely stand and compose, or consider the light, or anything like that" - from my experience you snap pictures as you jog through a landscape (or perhaps it just seems like jogging to me. It's those long legs of yours - you just go farther faster with fewer steps in between).

I do believe you took your favorite picture (the one of the woman taking a picture) at a full sprint.

But I don't think it's an accident that there are so many beautiful pictures here - you may not think about it while you're taking the picture, but SOMETHING compels you to snap when you do. Perhaps it's just an ingrained aesthetic (and some really photogenic kittens).

chuck b. said...

Dude, maybe you were walking too fast to notice me standing to compose.

Ha! Top that.

Kirsten said...

Helll-ooooo... this is me, remember? I don't walk fast. I move at two speeds - slow and stop. Likely the reason I don't fit into my pants very well lately.

Anyway - whatever! I meant it as a complement. All of MY pictures - regardless of whether I think about light or composition turn out a little blurry or just not quite right.

Hmmm, perhaps a class in photography should be on my list of things to do in 2008 (right after "bake bread" and "bike to the beach"). Oh and gardening. It's about time, right? You're going to have to help me on that one... I overzealously purchased $40 of poppy seedlings at Annie's Annuals over the weekend - got them to J's and remembered I hadn't prepared a place to plant them. Turns out he has wicked clay soil, so my project backfired big time.

More on this next week...

chuck b. said...

I was being silly--I knew you were being complementary.

Poppies are pretty tough... Me, I would go ahead and plant them in wicked clay.

I want to go to Annie's Annuals! Been meaning to do that.

JvA said...

Chuck, I totally ripped off your idea for this post in my own blog. Not that that should surprise you.

lisa said...

Nice review! I agree with the other commenters-great post idea, and I may need to be a copy cat, too! :)