After weeks of staying very close to home during this pandemic, we were looking forward to taking a break and getting out for an afternoon stroll through one of our favorite gardens at Filoli.
On a beautiful Friday afternoon, we booked our tickets online (a requirement during this period), stood in a socially distanced waiting line to enter, and then walked the prescribed loop through the gardens – all while wearing a face mask as prescribed by San Mateo County’s health director.
The swimming pool at Filoli is beautifully situated in the garden – behind a high hedge that provides isolation from the traditional part and sets the pool and the pool house in a lawn area up against that trees.
Here’s an aerial view of the pool and the gardens from Apple Maps:
Photos made with my iPhone 11 Pro Max at a recent visit to Filoli in Woodside, California:
This morning I took advantage of the bright spring weather to visit the gardens at Filoli in Woodside. This time of year is always special in the gardens with the fields of daffodils blooming to welcome Spring.
I walked the gardens with my iPhone 11 Pro Max taking photos primary using the default Photo app and a few using the camera in Lightroom on the iPhone. A visit to Filoli this time of year is really a wonderful way to spend a quiet morning just getting out into nature!
I spent a few minutes seated in a chair in the Garden House writing this post.
A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.
Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.
Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4 PM and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimming this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.
After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.
Here’s an example taken of the main house at Filoli:
Here are a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode/
I’m fortunate to live about 15 minutes away from Filoli – with its country house set in 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre estate in Woodside, California. Each year, about this time, Filoli opens for the season – and this was the first weekend the estate was open this year.
I enjoy walking the gardens at Filoli at different times of years. The seasons really sweep across the gardens as different plants and trees flower and blossom. On this first weekend, the bulb flowers – daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, etc. were blooming – but the trees were still waiting for more springtime light to spread their blossoms.
That said, I did capture this one image of early blossoms emerging. Shot with my Fujifilm X100T with the TCL-100 conversion lens.
A few days ago I published another version of this image shot at Filoli with my Fujifilm X-T1. It was somewhat unsatisfying to me – not sure why but it just was.
After asking my friend Doug Kaye for his thoughts, I worked on it again in both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC – working to remove a couple of branches in the middle that I thought distracted from the “tunnel effect” of the composition. I also, learning from Doug’s feedback, used some dodging and burning to adjust the contrast selectively in various areas of the image – trying to improve the sense of dimensionality.
I think this one is better – but I’ve decided to set it aside for now and will likely come back to it again with another try!