Lavender days of summer

Ahh the hazy, lavender days of summer. Relaxing by the pool with a refreshing beverage, enjoying the summer sunshine. For me, it means extended hours of daylight to take photos (of course):  

Lavender macro

This lavender plant grows in my garden, and smells amazing. Beauty and relaxation in my backyard -- but most importantly, a photo subject.

Every time I look at this image, it reminds me of lavender vanilla ice cream, or a lavender mojito recipe I have been wanting to try.

What does this image make you think of? Let me know in the comments below.


Big picture vs. detail

I love chasing light while walking around my neighborhood with my camera and my iPhone. Yes I look like the crazy camera woman cruising around the neighborhood with multiple cameras, but sometimes just using the camera in my iPhone just doesn't match my vision.

 I was drawn this this purple Gladiola flower, and started off by taking an overall image of the flower. I used my iPhone for the image below (no filter, this is straight out of the camera):
Gladiola iPhone
And this is the image I posted on my Instagram (using the X-Pro II filter):
Gladiola Instagram
But as I love the details of flowers and petals, I had to get in closer to make a macro image. This is the result (edited in Lightroom 4):
Which do you like- the big, overall flower pictures straight out of the iPhone and on Instagram or the detailed macro? Why? Let me know In the comments below.

Macro Photography Images

It has been a long time since I have posted--I have had some personal health obstacles within the past 10 months, and am finally getting back to blogging! I have some exciting news to share with my wonderful readers, I have recently gained interest in having my images hanging in a few different locations. Currently, I have six images hanging at a spa in Santa Clarita, CA-- what is more calming than some beautiful macro nature images?

Here are the six images that were chosen to hang:

Night Blooming Cerus

Night Blooming Cerus

Backlit Leaf

Backlit Leaf

Orchid Waterfall

Orchid Waterfall

Backlit Orchid

Backlit Orchid

Cana Lily

Cana Lily with Water Drops

Aloe Leaves

Aloe Leaves

Of course you can contact me about ordering any of these images for the walls of your home of to give to someone you love!

Thank you as always for stopping by!




Digital Garden

Aloe Black and White  

A couple of months ago I had a small surgery, and haven't exactly been mobile since. I knew that I had to have this particular ailment fixed, and that it would take a bit to heal, and it would be a while before I would be able to get out and take photos.

One of the things on my list of many preparations in the weeks before, was to take a morning trip with my camera to Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. I am so glad I did, because months later, as I scroll through my library of photos (very few from June, none from July) I get to see a digital garden. The above image was taken on that day with my Tamron 90mm macro lens at ISO 400, f/4, 1/1000.

I converted this image from color to black and white because I really like the composition and the lines, and wanted to focus on those things about the image.

Thanks for stopping by!

Online galleries and thoughts

Kristina Jacob photography green leaf


Currently, I am checking out Zenfolio for my gallery needs. I have dappled in this site to host some galleries for my Fine ArtFine Art-Flora and Travel photography such as the image above. I'm interested in your thoughts on going to an outside site to see more of my work.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Thanks for stopping by!

A glimpse of Spring

I know, while the rest of the country freezes, Southern California has nothing to complain about. This past week has bee beyond gorgeous, and has me looking forward to spring and taking bee-yoo-tee-ful photos like this one: Tulip

Not to toot my own horn, but when I look at this image it just shouts "Spring is here!!" and gives me a warm tingly feeling all over.

This was taken in March of 2009, with a Canon rebel XTi and Tamron 90mm lens at Descanso Gardens, which is my favorite place here in Southern California.

Thank you for stopping by.

Princess Cereus

Ah, the Night-Blooming Cereus, a magical flower. She blooms for just one night in July or August, starting to open her petals to the world just after the sun sets. Getting larger and spreading her petals further, she gives off a beautiful fragrance to lure pollinators for the duration of her short life. She reaches her apex of beauty, and then daylight breaks. Princess Cereus closes her petals to the world as the sun rises, and then dies.

Not even the most handsome, strong prince can save her. But luckily my eye caught her.

Of the macro flower photos that I have taken, this is one of my favorite flower photo shoots, and here is one of my favorite images from the evening:


Since the Cereus only opens for one night (key word here), I got to try my hand with the strobes. It was now or never, as Elvis sings.

Using two Canon Speedlite 580 EX II's, one slave was bounced off of a white diffuser, while the master strobe was held above the flower through a diffuser by an innocent bystander (whatever family member I could dupe). of course I used the Canon 5D mark 2 in case there were any low light issues.

My dad also partook in the photographing of the flower, so we switched off as flash holder. In other words, I got a taste of my own medicine.

This was a fun and challenging macro shoot, since I usually do my macro photography during the golden hour, or inside where I can control the flower of choice.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful flower, and I hope she blooms again next year!

Thanks for stopping by.

Scott Kelby's 3rd Annual WorldWide Photo Walk

Back from being on the down low... I participated in Scott Kelby's Photowalk again this year. I was part of it the first year in Santa Monica, CA, and had a great experience. I couldn't go last year because of a previous commitment,  so I'm glad that I was able to cruise around with my camera this year. I made up for last year and did two photo walks this year: 1) Venice Beach, CA with leader Ken Shelton and 2) Travel Town, Los Angeles -- at the entrance of famous Griffith Park-- with leader Mike Kubeisy (see his guest blog on Scott Kelby's site here).

What is a photo walk, might you ask? It's basically a group of photographers that walk around a specific area to take photos, as you might imagine. The special thing about this one is that the photographer/Photoshop master known as Scott Kelby organizes a worldwide event each year. It's a great way to meet other photographers, and non-photographers can focus on a large group of people with cameras instead of just you by yourself. Today one woman told me that she saw the large group of us and thought we were paparazzi! Hey, it's L.A.

Anyhow, I got some pretty cool photos and met some really nice people. The day started out cloudy with the marine layer and all, but finally the sun came out for us and threw out some beautiful light in the Venice Canals/Beach.  The day ended with some really nice light in Travel Town.

Something that photographers like to do is challenge themselves, and a photo walk is the perfect time to do so. The challenge I created for myself was to not take flower photos. For those of you that know me and my photography, that's a really difficult challenge. And I failed miserably.

Had I gone to Travel Town first, I would have had some hope. But in the canals one and then two bushes of morning glories came up and that was the end of my challenge. I give in to the plants.

Here is the photo that led to my downfall:


And then of course I couldn't stop:


I enjoy these photo walks because they are not like a workshop, where you are taught by a person how to get a shot. We are allowed to roam freely, finding our own shots, making our mistakes and learning from them.

The only drawback to photo walking is not paying attention to where you're stepping. I happened to be so focused on making photos in the pooch-friendly canals, that I didn't realize I had stepped in a canine gift. I'm thanking my lucky stars that I was wearing tennis shoes instead of sandals.

Please check out the rest of my Venice Flickr set here (Travel Town will be uploaded shortly).

A few of my favorites: Venice-6 This is the photo I uploaded for the photo walk contest...I love it because it's a different perspective, due to the 15mm fish eye lens. I imagine that is is the view a fish would have out of the water. **UPDATE This photo won the location photo walk contest! Now onto the big world wide contest! Thank you to all of those who have been supporting me.**

I also love this photo (which happens to be the other side of the above image): Venice-4 I love the colors in the reflection and the pop of color provided by the boats. I went into taking photos here with a vision of capturing something that said "Venice Canals", and I believe that the above image did exactly that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mama said...

The other night, I was asked to close the bathroom window because my mom didn't want "the orchids to get cold". I took a few steps and pondered this...Then I started laughing. Loud, which for those of you that know me, is the ONLY way I laugh. I asked her why, and she then proceeded to tell me that she didn't want the orchids to catch cold.

My mom is from New Orleans, and even though she has lived in California longer than she live in Louisiana, she still has a very thick accent. So when she talks about orchids catching cold with a bit of a drawl, it just strikes my funny bone.

That statement also summed up my mom and her care of her flowers so well. She can make pretty much anything grow and can resurrect anything that has stopped growing. She makes flower centerpieces just for dinner, and makes the ordinary (flowers, gift baskets, drapes, you name it) beautiful.

Besides acting as my art director and marketing director, my mom is also a great influence in my photography. Because of her, I am in love with macro flower photography, and take photos like this any chance I can get:


Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

Purple Iris 2

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

I did a little bit of experimenting with Lightroom 3 beta on this one and added a watermark. Hmm, maybe I should check out the online tutorials for LR3.

The irises are from the yard of a co-worker that were brought into the office. I saw these purple beauties and just had to get my paws on my camera. Since I was at work, all I had was my trusty point and shoot. Luckily, I am pleased with how the macro works on my "little" camera.

And pictures of those orchids with a cold to come soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Adding stuff...

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am experimenting with my blog. One of the things you may have noticed is a newer page called "Resources". This particular page will constantly be added to, as I am always finding information about photography that I would love to share with you, my wonderful readers. I am also working on some things to change up the blog a little bit. I'll be putting up polls on occasion for some reader reactions and opinions.

Of course you can always leave comments for me, or contact me directly.

Oh, and here is today's project365 photo #50, which just happens to be more flowers:


Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

These little flowers were picked by my co-worker, and they made her happy (It was sort of a glum day in SoCal, and these little flowers perked everyone up--actually, taking photos of them perked me right up).

Taken at my desk. The back lighting from the window wasn't helping my little point and shoot do its macro thing, so I borrowed a lamp from another desk to throw in some more light on the cute little flowers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Day 46

Another absolutely gorgeous day in Southern California... Actually, it was a bit warm. As a Valentine's Day treat my beloved and I went to our local botanical gardens, Descanso Gardens. Since it's not quite spring yet, it was slim pickins' in the flower department, but I did find a few beauties. I could not decide, so I am posting 3 of my favorite photos. But here is the photo that I chose as my photo of the day for my Project 365, in honor of Mardi Gras in New Orleans tomorrow:

Project 365 #46: Mardi Gras flower

Here are 2 more photos that I loved:



And all 3 of my photos were taken with my Canon SD780. I brought Mark with me, but the 90mm macro was on vacation in Maui (it just returned today, yay!), and the macro mode on my point and shoot rocks. So that's what I used today. It had to strike by passers as odd that I had a huge camera on my shoulder but was using a little point and shoot.

Spring is just around the corner, and it will be macro flowers galore. I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Day 41

And spring is just around the corner! Alright, it hasn't been a blizzard in Southern California, but everything is sort of a drab color. And there aren't any pretty flowers in bloom. And I LOVE photographing flowers. My very talented photographer uncle likes to say that I "sneak up on" flowers. Don't worry, you'll see. But here's a little taste of my macro flower obsession: Project 365 #41: Spring is just around the corner

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

This Gerber daisy was on my desk at work today, and it was just begging for a photo. All I had was my point and shoot...But let me tell you, that little thing has a pretty good macro!

Oh, I cannot WAIT until spring!

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Day 12

And yet another gorgeous day today. I got home when it was still daylight, so of course I headed outside with my macro lens. Something I usually try out and never have much success with is taking bee photos. They sure do fly around a lot, and they can sting, but today I am happy to report I snuck up on those little guys and got this as a result: Project 365 # 12: Honeybee and lavender

Some exposure adjustment and cropping in Lightroom 2, and I have my little bee buddy memorialized. I love the catch light in its eye (which is always something that I notice in other bee photos), and the contrast of its yellow and black body against the lavender flower.

And then I pissed off one of the bees so I got out of enemy territory.

Thanks for stopping by!

My first photoblog post!

Hello and thank you for visiting my photoblog, out of the millions there are to choose from!  I am a SERIOUS amateur photographer...I love to shoot anything and everything, but my main love is macro photography.  Here is one of my favorites macro shots:

I am learning about blogging, so I may have some bumps in the road, but please have patience and check back often!