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NEXT:  Page 3   San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 2of2
2021 Trip Chronicles:    Contents

Amador County 3/27
McClure SR49 4/16
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/24
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/27
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/28
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/3

2021 Trip Chronicles:  Page 1

Amador County 3/27

On the previous trip I noted areas northeast of Ione along SR124 had more green growth than others that was reflected on state rainfall maps. With the ski season prematurely winding down after mid March due to an end of winter storms, on my final ski trip return added a day to do some spring photography in the Sierra foothills. Unfortunately that morning of Saturday March 27, 2021, was not as calm as hoped so despite working some modest wildflower landscape subjects, declined to perform what would have been tedious post processing except for this one image below.

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After much exploring Amador County secondary roads about H Reservoir where I did not have a special permit to enter, late morning found impressive displays of California poppy, eschscholzia californica, along SR49 at Butte Canyon as well as nearby along Electra Road next to the Mokelumne River. These are well-known poppy slopes and I was surprised to find more flowers than I'd seen in past years despite the droughty winter. After surveying what was possible, from the highway side, climbed up a steep gully to work the image above. A light breeze was active enough that limited my work to this one modest subject.

McClure SR49 4/16

On Friday April 16, 2021, after a potential fresh powder storm moved through that proved marginal, skied Heavenly a final day and on the return drove south on SR49 past Coulterville to BLM serpentine slopes above McClure Reservoir on the Merced River. After overnighting at a familiar dirt road, the next morning found some productive subjects. The area often has the best wildflowers in that region and this year was a week or two past peak with late season species. Introduced European and Asian alien species grow poorly on serpentine geology so those areas provide some of the only near natural floral zones in the state.

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I climbed up a steep slope above the highway where in shadows with blue skylight illumination, worked dense madia, madia elegans, grass nuts, triteleia laxa, hairy fringepod, thysanocarpus curvipes, and Hansen's delphinium, delphinium hansenii, amid dark lichen covered serpentine rock outcrops.

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On a serpentine road cut during dead calm found the above shadowed subject with shaghair lupine, lupinus spectablis, big headed yellow chaenactis, chaenactis glabriuscula var. megacephala, and pink spineflower, chorizanthe membranacea. The tiny hairs on the lupine species adds considerable fine detail.

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On another steep climb worked this also shadowed subject with shaghair lupine, lupinus spectablis, big headed yellow chaenactis, chaenactis glabriuscula var. megacephala, grass nuts, triteleia laxa, rosy everlasting, antennaria rosea, hairy fringepod, thysanocarpus curvipes. The tiny hairs on this species add considerable fine detail.

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Along SR49 above McClure Reservoir, I've found two small zones with bitterroot, lewisia rdiviva, that bloom late spring mid day. An easy to photography belly flower during breezy conditions.

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden page 1 of 2

After working the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden for the first time ever during the pandemic shelter in place period in May of 2020, I decided that local urban diversion would be an annual event on my calendar. Cultivated rose varieties are termed cultivars, with most created from non seed processes that includes hybrids that cross pollinate between species. After dropping by the garden mid April confirming rose buds and blooms were indeed showing, I began looking at the wunderground and windy dot com site wind forecasts.

In order to close-up photograph rose subjects or any wildflowers for that matter, with focus stacking, one needs calm or near calm conditions as the slightest movements readily cause misregistration between shots given the high detail of high end modern digital image sensors. Minor misregistration may be fixed within Zerene Stacker with some images requiring hours of tedious work. Any significant misregistration may be impossible to fix especially when other elements become overlapped that results in blocked out image detail.

It is much more difficult working flower subjects outdoors versus indoors in a studio where air may be dead still. Calmest air is usually for just an hour or two after the garden opens at 8am and is rarely dead calm more than a minute while most often is variable with momentary to brief periods of calm. Since the garden is only 4 miles away, I will gamble on a visit any days showing breezes at 2mph that is uncommon. Twice during the first week I made the drive, walked about some in breezes, didn't take my camera out, and soon drove home. Sunny conditions are fine as I either shoot in shadows or use a 32 inch collapsible diffusion disk to obtain even lighting. The following is a link to the city of San Jose Municipal Rose Garden web page:

www.sanjoseca.gov SJ Municipal Rose Garden

This link of the volunteer organization also contains a garden plot map and detailed information of each rose variety:

Friends of San Jose Rose Garden (FOSJRG)

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My first visit this year was on Saturday April 24, 2021, when some rose plots only had buds and those with blooms had were sparsely flowered with rather short stems. However a good time to shoot isolated flowers as many plants at peak are covered with flowers. Wild rose species have 5 sepals and single rows of 5 petals while cultivars have been created with many rows and as many as 50 total petals termed very double. Some of the FOSJRG petal color descriptions have issues. Near perpendicular view of a nicely round reddish-orange hued rosa hybrid named Brass Band with nicely shaped curled back petals.
Per FOSJRG:
Brass Band: Apricot or apricot blend Floribunda. Apricot or apricot blend. Mild, damask fragrance. Average diameter 2.75 inches. Large, full (26-40 petals) bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Height of 3 feet to 39 inches. Hybridizer: Jack E. Christensen (United States, 1993).

As with any close-up subjects in direct sunlight, I use a collapsible 32 inch circular diffusion disk for even soft illumination. Almost all images herein are focus stack blend sets using my sharp Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN lens that also has an exceptional flat field frame edge to edge. Although I focus stack all flower elements as is possible, I usually will not bother with darker background leafy and stem areas. For this type of close-up work, I use my unique Benbo Trekker tripod that allows awkward setups and camera positioning. Also fire off shots with an infrared shutter release to prevent vibrations. A6000 settings include Aperture mode, 200 ASA shutter speed, and flexible spot focusing. That auto focuses on a Control Wheel movable EVF square I need to touch between each shot then allow any touching vibrations to stop. Sometimes I need to use Manual focus mode with lens magnified assisted focus. I do not use RAW but rather jpg output that at neutral settings is excellent on the A6000. One obvious issue focus stack blending close-up subjects is not to move the camera position even slightly thus tripod legs and head knobs need to be extra tight.

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Angled up side view of a rosa hybrid named Tangerine Streams with a beautiful range of warm sunset sky hues of fine detail within an exquisite curving aesthetic form.
Per FOSJRG:
Tangerine Streams: Orange blend Floribunda. Introduced in United States by Star Roses (California) in 2011 Salmon-orange, orange blending, yellow blending. None / no fragrance. 50 petals. Average diameter 2.75 feet. Medium, very full, in small clusters bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Ovoid, rounded buds. Medium, bushy, compact. Semi-glossy, dark green foliage. 3 to 7 leaflets. Height of 42 inches. Width of 4 feet. Hybridizer: John J. Bagnasco.

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Near perpendicular frame of a rosa hybrid named Betty Boop with 4 buds just beginning to open. Such groups of roses on individual stems are termed clusters. Some varieties now have different colored roses in the same cluster. With 2 rows of petals, 10 total, this is termed a double. Rose developers given thousands of varieties are ever more amusing in naming their creations.
Per FOSJRG:
Betty Boop: Bred by Tom Carruth (United States, 1999). Floribunda. Red and white, red edges, lemon-yellow stamens. Strong, fruity fragrance. 6 to 12 petals. Average diameter 4 feet. Medium to large, semi-double (9-16 petals), cluster-flowered, in small clusters bloom form. Prolific, blooms in flushes throughout the season. Pointed buds. Medium, bushy, dense, rounded. Medium, glossy, dark green foliage. Height of 3 feet to 5 feet. Width of 3 feet to 4 feet.

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On Tuesday April 27, 2021, a perpendicular view of a rosa hybrid named Perfect Moment. Many rose varieties open with a curving whorl form that can provide aesthetic perpendicular shots. This variety has darker colors and often have interesting black areas on petals.
Per FOSJRG:
Perfect Moment: Red blend Hybrid Tea. Sunset colors unfold and blend in unique combinations on these long-stemmed beauties. Red, yellow reverse, red edges, yellow undertones. Mild, fruity fragrance. Average diameter 4.25 feet. Large, full (26-40 petals), borne mostly solitary, cluster-flowered, in small clusters, exhibition, high-centered, pinpoint centers bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Medium, long buds. Armed with thorns / prickles, upright, well-branched. Medium, matte, dark green, dense, leathery foliage. 5 leaflets. Height of 4 feet to 5 feet. Width of 30 inches to 4 feet. Hybridizer: Wilhelm Kordes III (b. 1953) (Germany, 1989).

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rosa hybrid named Sheila's Perfume in side view with a very classic rose form. Varieties sometimes have a more curved down petal on one side that opens up views of the opening inner flower form. When yellow the effect can be as though a lamp is glowing.
Sheila's Perfume: This floribunda thinks it's a hybrid tea because of the size and form of its blooms. The 4-5" flowers look as though they are lit from within because of their bright yellow centers surrounded by cherry pink edging. Grows 3-4 feet tall.

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On Wednesday April 28, 2021, one of the most impressive plots in the garden is of a tall multi-colored rose bush variety named Rainbow Sorbet. Have named my broader sun lit composition "The Royal Wedding" though will dispense with my fantasy explanation for now except that I spent about 12 hours post processing the 30 shots into this single image.
Per FOSJRG:
Rainbow Sorbet: Floribunda. Deep pink, yellow edges. Mild, sweet fragrance, 18 petals. Average diameter 3.5 feet. Continuous (perpetual) bloom throughout the season. Pointed, ovoid buds. Edged in deep pink, this golden yellow beauty blooms early and abundantly — and continues all season long. Remarkable disease-resistance and very winter hardy. Medium green foliage. Height of 4 feet to 5 feet. Hybridized by Ping Lim and Jerry F. Twomey.

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Managed just 4 shots that was barely enough for focus stack blending before a breeze ended my work resulting in a lower resolution image. A quite beautiful dark coral hue against a light blue sky. It is difficult in the garden to find blooms one might put up isolated against a blue sky background. And because such blooms tend to be taller than nearby rose bushes with longer stems, they are also more exposed to breezes thus likely to move in even the slightest breezes. Rosa hybrid named Brandy.
Per FOSJRG:
Brandy: Apricot or apricot blend Hybrid Tea. Very lovely large classically-formed flowers possess the richest apricot color yet in roses. Elegant pointed buds are carried atop cutting stems with dark green leaves. Requires protection in harsh climates. Apricot or apricot blend. Deep Apricot. Mild, sweet, tea fragrance. Average diameter 5 inches. Large, full (26-40 petals), borne mostly solitary, cluster-flowered, in small clusters, high-centered to cupped bloom form. Prolific, continuous (perpetual) bloom throughout the season. Long sepals, pointed buds. Medium, armed with thorns / prickles, bushy, upright, well-branched. Large, semi-glossy, dark green, dense, leathery foliage. Height of 4 feet to 6 feet. Hybridizer: Jack E. Christensen & Herbert C. Swim (United States, 1981).

Usually will use the diffusion disk and the weak A6000 in camera flash that only works with shutter speeds of 1/160 second or longer thus limiting use to smaller apertures below about F10 while noting the 60mm lens is sharpest at F5.6. As breezes become more active, I may wait minutes between quiet moments firing off the shutter that at some point I concede defeat and bail. Unless one returns the following morning, there is not much chance a developing flower will look the same even 2 or 3 days later. Note although it may appear blooms that moved due to a slight breeze returned to the same exact position, such is not quite true when viewed under the high magnification of a top digital image sensor. Any breeze between shots may cause mis-registration one will only be able see fully at 100% pixels on a computer.

Early morning at 8am there are some plots in shade of some tall coast redwoods planted in the 1930s. On Wednesday April 28 just after arriving it was also near dead calm for a short few minutes so looked for a situation I could put some flowers up against the blue sky. In such cases I use blue sky illumination without the diffusion disk. The calm lasted just enough for 6 shots with in camera flash to capture the group of wet pink roses at page top of rosa hybrid named Violet’s Pride.
Per FOSJRG:
Violet’s Pride: Floribunda Lavender, fuchsia / magenta center, lavender reverse. Strong, fruity, spice fragrance. Average diameter 3.75 inches. Full (26-40 petals), in large clusters bloom form. Medium, bushy, rounded. Large, glossy, dark green foliage. Height of 30 inches to 4 feet 11 inches. Can be used for garden. Disease susceptibility: disease resistant. Named for the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, this rose is the embodiment of the character from the PBS series, Downton Abbey. Wise and passionate, she is a witty spitfire to the core and has a likability about her that makes her one of the most memorable characters. The fragrance of sugary fruit with some spice for good measure. Hybridizer: Christian Bédard (United States, 2016).

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Another up in blue sky, rosa hybrid named Perfect Moment with black petal accents creating an on fire look. Breezes prematurely ended my focus stack blending attempts.
Per FOSJRG:
Perfect Moment: Red blend Hybrid Tea. Sunset colors unfold and blend in unique combinations on these long-stemmed beauties. Red, yellow reverse, red edges, yellow undertones. Mild, fruity fragrance. Average diameter 4.25 feet. Large, full (26-40 petals), borne mostly solitary, cluster-flowered, in small clusters, exhibition, high-centered, pinpoint centers bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Medium, long buds. Armed with thorns / prickles, upright, well-branched. Medium, matte, dark green, dense, leathery foliage. 5 leaflets. Height of 4 feet to 5 feet. Width of 30 inches to 4 feet. Hybridizer: Wilhelm Kordes III (b. 1953) (Germany, 1989).

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Angled perpendicular view of a yellow hued rosa hybrid named Celebrity with its cluster of opening sepals on buds showing their red petal contents. Many rose varieties undergo a fascinating sequence of petal color changes during their blooming period, with most saturated colors during their early opening period. Some sepals are particularly beautiful natural works of art. To photograph just a sepal would require a good background like these yellow petals, totally dead calm, stacking both my 12mm and 15mm extension tubes and lots of shots.
Per FOSJRG:
Celebrity: Deep yellow Hybrid Tea. Deep yellow. Fruity fragrance. 30 to 35 petals. Large bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Hybridizer: Weeks (United States, 1988).

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In wee hours garden sprinklers run so early morning many plants are covered with water droplets. On Monday May 3, 2021, perpendicular view of two flowers of rosa hybrid named About Face.
Per FOSJRG:
About Face: Orange blend Grandiflora. A topsy-turvy attention-getter, this bi-color medal-grabber makes your eyeballs salute ’cause the two colors are outside-in. Or is it inside-out? The lighter lasting golden-orange color is on the inside with a distinct darker bronzy-red outside. Yet it’s not just the flying colors that will cause a flap. It’s a turning point as a plant, too, with superb vigor, lush clean green leaves and loads of bloom. Orange, darker reverse. Flowers: Orange blend, deep orange-gold upper, burnished red reverse. Mild to strong, apple, fruity fragrance. 26 to 30 petals. Average diameter 4 inches. Medium, full (26-40 petals), borne mostly solitary, cluster-flowered, in small clusters, cupped, globular, old-fashioned bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Pointed, ovoid buds. Tall, armed with thorns / prickles, upright, well-branched. Large, semi-glossy, dark green foliage. Height of 5 feet to 6 feet. Hybridizer: Bred by Tom Carruth (United States, 2003).

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Perpendicular view of this rosa hybrid named Pretty Lady Rose, closely matches the ideal rose color red-magenta hue of color palettes. Petals are covered by small crystalline water droplets.
Per FOSJRG:
Pretty Lady Rose: Deep pink. Bred by Christian Bédard (United States, before 2012). Introduced in United States by Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Inc. in 2015 as ‘Pretty Lady Rose’. Hybrid Tea. Deep pink. None to mild, sweet fragrance. 33 to 70 petals. Average diameter 3.75 inches. Large, very full (41+ petals), borne mostly solitary, in small clusters, cupped bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Pointed, ovoid buds. Short, compact, well-branched. Glossy, leathery foliage. 3 to 7 leaflets. Height of 4¾’ to 5 feet 11 inches. Width of 43 inches to 4 feet 5 inches.

To get this close to a subject with my 60mm lens, I added a 10mm extension tube that increases the close focusing range from usual 15 inches or so to about 8 inches. As distance decreases the need for depth of field increases so out of necessity tend to use smaller, less sharp apertures, and hope for calm.

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With a jumping spider on a rosa hybrid named Chihuly. If I am incarnated as a bug, I hope it is in a rose garden. One of my favorite plots in the garden has these bright high saturated striped multi-hue rose clusters. Single rose flowers tend to be round, that don't fit the long dimension of rectangular camera frames while flower groups also have a tendency to not fill rectangular dimensions. Thus one will see many beautiful blooms that leave unaesthetic dark background areas framed. So spend much time looking for cluster subjects to better fill frames and here was one. I quite liked the 4 surrounding colorfully bright flowers about the central flower.
Per FOSJRG:
Chihuly: Bred by Tom Carruth (United States, 2004). Orange and yellow. Mild, tea fragrance. Average diameter 4 inches. Medium to large, double (17-25 petals), in small clusters bloom form. Continuous (perpetual) bloom throughout the season. Medium, bushy. Medium, glossy, dark green foliage. Height of 39 feet to 47 inches.

NEXT:  Page 3   San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 2of2
2021 Trip Chronicles:    Contents

   David Senesac
   email: info@davidsenesac.com

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