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2022 Trip Chronicles:    Contents

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/9
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/15
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/24
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/25
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/30
Campbell Community Center 5/4
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/4
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/5
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/11
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/17

2022 Trip Chronicles:  Page 1

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 4/9

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. This is now the third spring I have worked the garden that has resulted in many exceptional images. 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. Sunny conditions are fine as I either shoot in shadows or use a 32 inch collapsible diffusion disk to obtain even lighting. On this first morning of Saturday April 9, 2022, I didn't capture any worthwhile images before a breeze rose up, sending me back home. The following is a link to the city of San Jose Municipal Rose Garden web page:

www.sanjoseca.gov SJ Municipal Rose Garden

Not only does the park contain the rose garden but also a large lawn surrounded by tall shading redwoods, picnic tables, restrooms, and at the center of the garden shown in the photo at page top, a wonderful fenced water fountain pool one will even see occasional ducks fly into. 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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I returned on the morning of Friday April 15, 2022. Unlike during the previous 2 springs, I was not able to process images soon after my rose garden visits because a rotator cuff right shoulder injury with subsequent tendonitis I suffered way back in January had been aggravated by use of my desktop computer mouse when using Zerene Stacker manually that I use for focus stack blending. Each image take several hours of careful tedious manual mouse effort selecting for each image section by apparent sharpness of the sharpest shot for each area. By September that tendonitis was reduced enough to resume processing however has been too long to recall which specific rose cultivars within the large garden I worked. Thus most of the below text does not contain such information as I did during previous two years. This first image above has wonderful sunset like colors. It is not as easy noticing best blooms as one might expect, especially in a large garden like this with myriad adjacent colors or out in natural fields of wildflowers. One ought slow way down patiently taking one's time looking flower to flower, allowing enough time for one's inner aesthetic sense to absord the visual.

Many times in this public garden, highly aesthetic blooms cannot be photographed due to limitations in where it is possible to place my tripod. Of course hand held could work for single shots though not focus stacking. Other issues may be other nearby blooms interfering with isolation, or bright sunlight in the background. All my shots block direct sunlight with my body or a collapsible disk. If the background includes sunlit areas, that will overwhelm a dimmer subject. In any case, the most limiting issue is even slight breezes that cause misregistration between focus stack shots.

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I often look for two adjacent rose subjects because they better fill the rectangular APS-C 3:2 aspect ratio. My single rose subjects usually waste quite a bit of the frame width. The above two roses are an example of two blooms with color differences on the same plant. In this case due to the unusual black petal areas, I do recognize the cultivar as being from the Perfect Moment plot.

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After several days with forecasts showing breezes, I returned on the morning of Sunday April 24, 2022. Another 2 rose subject that was actually shot with a vertical orientation with frame left at top I rotated CCW in post processing. Without focus stack blending this would be impossible due to limiting depth of field. Many rose blooms vary in color as they age. Here the bloom at right is older and likely looked like the left rose a few days before. Notice the gold petal edges that really did look perfectly golden.

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The next morning of Monday April 25, 2022, was also calm enough to return. The previous day had seen many fine subjects I might have worked given a lack of breezes. There are several cultivars with marbled colors including this lopsided sunset like bloom I shot on a test rose trellis.

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What a wonderful unique salmon orange color in the above two blooms that also show a wonderful swirling unfurling petal form. Notice how the inner petals are more yellow.

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A few days later on the morning of Saturday April 30, 2022 returned when it was calm enough to shoot this group of Rainbow Sorbet cultivar blooms up against the blue sky. It is early during the spring bloom when one is most likely to see isolated taller blooms reaching up above the height of their neighboring plants. In any case, such subjects are much more likely to be moved swaying in even lightest breezes. Such up in sky subjects require a lower tripod position that further is not often possible given other plants in the way.

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What a dazzlingly colorful pair of were these two, another Rainbow Sorbet. The garden watering automatically occurs during the late morning cool wee hours. At 8am many plants will still be wet with water drops until morning sun evaporates them.

Campbell Community Center 5/4

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A couple weeks before on the morning of Wednesday May 4, 2022, I did work some fine roses at our nearby Campbell Community Center that used to be a high school with numbers of fine historic stucco buildings from that era. Several cultivars were obviously a result of gardener visits to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. The above deep rose hue bloom petals changed to a deep purple at edges upon aging. Look at the enlarged vertical slice view that shows the interesting fine wrinkled surface textures.

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The above oddly shaped bloom required a bit of gymastics with me standing with tripod atop a cement bench table.

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San Jose Municipal Rose Garden 5/4

After working the Community Center, I drove off the 4 miles to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden where I worked these two roses with white and classic rose hues.

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I liked the curving well separated petal forms on this subject. Note the 3 red petals surrounding the bloom at frame bottom. As they age will develop similar shades to the open blooms that can be seen with the red bud at right where one bent down petal in front is already undergoing that change.

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I really like off white white cultivars, however they are difficult photography subjects that tend to offer most aesthetic displays briefly as whites quickly change to dry browns. So the next morning of Thursday May 5, 2022, I was back with the garden now past peak, white determined to work more subjects. Unfortunately this spring was proving to be less calm than during the previous two years despite have an abundance of worthwhile subjects. I also look for dense equidistant multiple bloom subjects like this. An offwhite slightly pink cultivar where one can see the petal edges already turning to browns.

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And was able to work yet a third subject this day before breezes shut me down. These smaller Life Of The Party smaller sized rose cultivars have a wonderful bright mix of warm colors to fill a frame. Bees particularly loved them. A particularly involved effort was required with my amazingly adaptable Benbo Trekker tripod. I am very careful not to place tripod legs where they might touch plants. Used 56 shots focus stack blending.

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With the major spring bloom winded down, on the morning of Wednesday May 11, 2022, returned just to work a few full garden landscapes. Slight breezes causing plant and bloom movements are not as much an issue. With the 56mm medium telephoto lens I used for most flower subjects, it also can work in landscapes by putting near plants a fair distance in front of my lens as is here. This late morning view is looking south southeast with a busy residential street in front of the background homes. The small dark object in the fountain garden pool is a happy mallard duck. The two senior folk on the cement bench sat there quietly absorbing it all for a long time. That is how one can get in touch with deeper levels of beauty.

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This view looks northwest. I usually park my Forester on the quiet residential street in front of the houses. This is in a section of the city of San Jose appropriately called "Rose Garden", one of our oldest upscale neighborhoods with several schools nearby.

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And a lovely pink rose above.

At page top is another garden landscape looking south towards the center fountain.

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Well a week later on the morning of Tuesday May 17, 2022, came back in order to understand if there was any value in working roses well past their spring peak. Not much so now I know. I did shoot this above bright rose cluster as my last this year.

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2022 Trip Chronicles:    Contents

   David Senesac
   email: info@davidsenesac.com
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