Saturday, February 15, 2014


In addition to photographing birds and other fauna on our recent trip to Captiva (see post of February 14), I got a few shots of the lush plant life.

One of the plants, known as the sea grape, had relatively large and colorful leaves, and I found myself trying again and again to get a decent shot.

This is one of the better photos that I got.  What made this a bit challenging was its physical depth:  The leaves were not really stacked closely behind one another, so I had to extend the depth of field with a narrower aperture (f/11), reducing the shutter speed.  Fortunately, there was a bright sun allowing me to use a shutter speed of 1/125th second at an ISO of 400.  I know, I know, the lead leaf has holes in it, but maybe that just adds character.

I don't know what these spiked seed pods were, but I liked the composition.

The following shot was of a large stalk that was extending perhaps 25 feet high between the road and the beach on neighboring Sanibel Island.  I had no idea what it was but later learned that it might be the flowering portion of some sort of agave plant.

The sky was overcast when I took the shot, and I decided to convert the photo to a black & white to emphasize the plant's lines.  I liked the simplicity of the composition quite a lot.

I saw a lot of palm fronds during our visit to Captiva.  I must have taken 15 to 20 shots of the fronds. This was perhaps the best of the bunch.

What had caught my eye was the pattern created by the confluence of the frond's different sections, as well as the curve of the overall pattern.  What wound up working was to shoot the fronds when backlit by the sun.  My quibbles with this image are the light leaking through the gaps in the segments in the lower left of the image, as well as the strings in the lower right.

There was also a profusion of morning glories in a variety of colors.

I liked this shot for the soft quality in the colors of the flowers.  I probably could have gotten by with a little less depth of field to blur out the greenery in the background.  Still, overall the composition came out quite well.

Finally, on one of my forays into "downtown" Captiva (really just a spot on the road where there was a four-way stop sign and a handful of business establishments), I spotted a low-lying cactus on the side of the road that was getting some backlighting on the serrated edge of one of its "leaves."   Basically, I had to get down on my hands and knees to be low enough for the shots, but I thought they came out very well as abstracts.

Because I wanted to feature just the serration that was being backlit, I opened up the aperture to f/4 and focused on the backlit edge.  My kind of shot.



  1. What beautiful pictures of the plant life. I always love the Black and White. Wow! You really have a talent