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.
When it came time to try to create my own mini ‘zine using some of my content, I experimented with two approaches: using Word and using a custom print template in Lightroom Classic.
In Word, I modified an example file I found here on the web to use US Letter paper (instead of A4 that it’s setup for). One of the things that’s tricky is that you need to rotate four of the images/text blocks on the page so that it works correctly.
In Lightroom Classic, I tried two approaches using the Print module. One was using the contact sheet approach and the other was setting up a custom template – which worked better as it gave me better control over the image block sizes, borders, etc.
In Lightroom, I created a sample collection of eight images, sequenced them appropriately (also a bit tricky as the order isn’t what you might think – see the mini-comic example, and then brought them into the Print module using the custom template. From their I printed the page – being careful to use the print setting on my particular laser printer that avoids any margins or scaling.
After that it’s a simple matter of folding the page, making one cut, and then folding the book. It take a bit to get the hang of it, but the result is fun – and charming! See examples below:
All in all, this project proved to be a good distraction to take my mind away from the coronavirus happenings today!
Here’s an example of the kind of both photography and photo editing that I’ve been doing using my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Heading south from Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 a couple of miles on the right is Miramontes Point Road which heads down to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and, along the way, a parking turnout for coastal access to a paved walkway that winds through a golf course to a cliff area above Manhattan Beach.
On a recent overcast morning, I parked my car at the turnout and walked on a portion of this walkway where, along the way, it crossed a bridge which spanned a creek leading out to the beach. I used the built-in Camera app in the iPhone 11 Pro Max to make this initial photo:
I liked the framing that the tree provided but also, being a street photographer at heart, wanted to better capture the sole individual walking along the beach in the distance. So I switched to the telephoto lens on the iPhone 11 Pro Max and made this photo:
I found the composition of this image intriguing and opted to process it in black and white to remove some of the distraction of the colors – especially the green vegetation in the lower right. Using both the Photos app on my iPhone 11 Pro Max along with the Snapseed app I made this edited and framed version of that image:
As it turns out, I completely cropped out the lower portion of the image to remove all of the distracting vegetation and to better isolate the beach walker at the top of the image. I also removed the distant sky and much of the ocean to better balance the image.
It is amazing just how much fun photography on the iPhone is with the capabilities of these recent models! Being able to make images and edit them anywhere on my phone is a delight.
One of my favorite places to visit for a peaceful quiet time is the forest area at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, California – just north from Half Moon Bay along Highway 1. I especially enjoy visiting Fitzgerald’s forest on overcast mornings – there’s something special about the soft light that adds to the moodiness of the place. Most days there aren’t others around – making the stillness and solitude of this location a real joy. With all of the current hubbub around the coronavirus outbreak, this was a wonderful place to just get away and enjoy some time outside and alone!
Here’s an image I made on a recent overcast morning visit using my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Edited in the Photos app and Snapped on my iPhone.
Below is another image made at Fitzgerald – this time looking 180 degrees behind where I was standing for the image above. This image was made with my Fujifilm X100V.
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:
About a half mile north of Filoli is the entrance to the Pulgas Water Temple – a tribute to the Hetch Hetchey aqueduct system that brings water to the city of San Francisco (and many other cities on the Peninsula) from the snow pack of the high Sierras. Opened in the 1930’s, the temple marks the end of the aqueduct where the fresh water falls into the Crystal Springs Reservoir. Note: the temple area is only open limited hours (9:30 AM – 3 PM weekdays).
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.
While heading to the Anderson Collection at Stanford I stopped by Andy Goldsworthy’s sculpture Stone River which lies in the field just across the street. Built from fragments from Stanford buildings damaged in the 1989 earthquake, it’s beautifully crafted and well worth a visit. All of these images were made with my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
While I was waiting for the Anderson Collection at Stanford to open one recent morning (at 11 AM) I walked around back behind the Cantor Arts Center to Richard Serra’s Sequence sculpture. It was a bright sunny morning so I played a bit with the light and shadows on the curves of the steel.
These images were all made with my iPhone 11 Pro Max and processed to black and white using Snapseed. I especially like using Snapseed for monochrome conversion because of the color filters it provides.