Photographing at Public Gardens

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Peter and I recently became members of the Los Angles Arboretum.  As part of their reciprocity program with over 250 gardens nationwide, I was able to use my membership to enter the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden.  There butterfly sanctuary made the morning extra exciting.

With my new Fuji in one hand, and my infrared in the other I set out on my adventure.  First to the butterfly exhibit before it got crowded.  Peter and I had been to a few others at various places, this one was small in comparison, but lovingly attended with many volunteers led by Butterfly Bill.  Here are some tips:

  • You’ll need a fast shutter speed to stop the action
  • Use a wide open (low number) aperture to isolate the butterflies and blur the background
  • Be patient, and watch.  They typically visit the same flowers.

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Who knew butterflies love watermelon as much as my dad does?


I then wondered off in search of the Joshua Trees and found them “on the back 40”.  This garden was not a typical garden, but more like a regional park with a lot of unpaved trails.  Definitely worth another visit in cooler times.

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One Comment

  1. lettieonlongisland

    Hi, so excited about these photos…you’re in your element here…you found great details that tell such a complete story. Nice! Great diversity of shots. My garden memberships more than pay for themselves when you consider the treasure trove of photos I get them my visits–and, as you mention, the reciprocals are a bonus.
    Regards from Long Island,

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