Back to Nature III — Satori

Beauty arises in the stillness of your presence. ~ Eckhart Tolle

The Botanical Gardens here doesn’t have an abundance of flowers as in other similar places. However, what it does have is beautiful and enough to inspire me to take these photographs.

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(Above two photos) Pink and white lilies. I chose to take these photographs early in the morning; somehow the flowers and everything else around them appear fresher and more resplendent. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS.

(Below) I couldn’t help but notice these uniquely shaped leaves with the sunlight filtering through them. Overexposing a touch and adding a Nikon soft filter creates a dreamy mood. Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro.

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(Above two photos) A very colorful and red cannon ball flower and buds. The photo of the myrtle crepe flowers was taken with a Nikon soft filter screwed on my Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens.

(Below) I love how colorful and aplenty bougainvillea are in the gardens. This was shot with a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS.

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(Above two photos) Two close-ups of a purple lily and a cannon ball flower. Shot with a Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens.

Back to Nature II

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I took these shots with my Canon 6D using a variety of lenses, namely the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro and 70-200mm f/4L IS. Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty of a place, especially when you’ve been there practically every day. But I’ve trained myself to spot a potential picture. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I end up deleting most of them in a photo shoot. Nonetheless, it’s a fun and learning experience. For the above picture I saw this large fern perched on the river bank. Using a large aperture of f/4 on my 70-200mm I focused on it while blurring the background to make the subject stand out. In the picture below I saw this glorious reflection in the lily pond. I positioned the sole lily flower on the intersection of thirds to add a touch of pink among the sea of predominant green. Shot with my Canon 70-200mm f/4L.

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(Above) I happened to be at the right place at the right time for this sunset. I let the camera judge the exposure and it came out with a perfect silhouette of the trees. Believe it or not, I used my 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens to take this shot!

(Below) The wind was picking up; fortunately I had my tripod with me and shot this using a slowish shutter speed, which blurred the movements in the water. 70-200mm f/4L.

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(Above) Not many people know where this is, but it’s a lovely place to take some pictures, especially with the sloping gradient of the ground. I focused on the tree and placed it at the intersection of thirds. 70-200mm f/4L.

Back to Nature I

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Canon 6D, 24-105mm f/4L

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~ Confucius

There’s no doubt about it. I am blessed to have the Botanical Gardens right at my doorstep. Having Nature so close to me is wonderful. And so I’ve been taking a lot of walks in the gardens and its surroundings. I especially like it when the rainy season begins and the temperature drops by a few degrees. Needless to say, I’ve taken countless pictures here. Wait, I hear you say…don’t you ever get bored with taking pictures of the same scenery? Ah yes, sometimes…I have to be honest about that. But that’s where my creative juices kick in and I start looking at Nature differently—using different lenses, exploring different angles, shooting at different times of day, stuff like that. So to start off this series of posts, I’ve chosen to show the gardens and its surroundings.

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Both photos above: Canon 6D, 24-105mm f/4L

Perhaps the best thing I like about the gardens are its waterfalls. They are particularly resplendent during the rainy season, when the surge of water from the nearby hills makes the waterfalls “sing.” I find the sound of waterfalls to be very calming—to me it’s akin to white noise. If the temperature here could magically drop by at least 10° I could sit and listen to them all day.

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Canon 6D, 100mm f/2.8L Macro

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Canon 6D, 70-200mm f/4L

I love that quote by Confucius. I feel a little sad when I see people coming to exercise here and they have their headphones on, or they are talking loudly to one another or trying to appear busy with their cellphones. Uh uh…not me. I leave the electronics at home. I do have my watch but very often I’m so carried away with my photography that I don’t even realize the time. Anyway, it’s having a creative eye that makes me attempt to take different pictures every time. So yes, I see and I photograph dead leaves. Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean they have lost their beauty.

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Canon 6D, 70-200mm f/4L

The lily ponds are a treat for me. I like to take pictures of the reflections in the water, particularly when it’s raining. I’m so glad that they have got all the fountains working again. More about that later.

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Canon 6D, 100mm f/2.8L Macro

Here’s a shot of the nearby hills during a very rainy morning. Yes, that’s fog coming down the slopes. Makes for a very atmospheric shot, yes?