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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tour of the McNay Museum, San Antonio TX

Driving through San Antonio, I had passed the McNay Museum many times. This time I had my trusty travel camera with me, so during lunch hour (arguably the worst time of day to take photos) I drove in to see the sights.
Entrance Gate, McNay Museum

Entrance to the McNay Museum

Fountain as it looks from entrance

The Fountain and Main Building

I was met at the gate by a very friendly Security guard, who asked what I was doing and if I was going to take professional photos. I said no, I was just going to take some snapshots of some of the artwork around the museum. He said the museum itself was closed that day, but that I was welcome to take non-commercial photos if I wished.

Small sculpture near the fountain

Sculpture near the Fountain

There were quite a few sculptures on the property, and an oriental garden and pond. Some of the sculptures were very strange, but most, like the one in the photo above, were very tasteful, and added to the calm feel of the area.

Another view of the Main Building

Another View of the Main Building
I wandered around for a while, snapping away, and came across this metal sculpture near the side of the main museum. I thought it was a very fine thing, a lot like some of the sculptures at the Benini Sculpture Ranch that I had been to recently.

Sculpture 1

Sculpture on the Grounds

The Security guard had told me that the museum was a popular place to have portraits and bridal photos taken. He said some days as many as a dozen different photo sessions were scheduled. The fee for the professional photo sessions was very reasonable, $20, and helped with the maintenance of the grounds around the museum.

Many Brides get their portraits here

Bridal Portrait

Near the main building there was a small pond with a mobile sculpture in the center. There were a few lilies in the pond, and it seemed to be well tended.

Moving sculpture in lily pond

Moving Sculpture in Pond near Main Building

Water Lily in the small pond

Water Lily in Moving Sculpture Pond

Palm Tree against blue sky

Palm Tree and Sky

The photo above was a whim. I looked up at one of the palm trees and thought how pretty it was next to the blue sky. I hope you agree.

Well, that about sums up my "tour" of the McNay Museum. I hope you like the photos.

Best regards,

Mike Z

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rose Macro 2

Rose Macro 2

Another week, another rose from Jan's work. I decided to try the macro technique again. This time I used a different lens, a Nikon 24mm 1:2.8 D, with the same teleconverter and extension tube setup as last week. I tried a smaller aperture to get more of the petals in focus. Minimal cropping to get a suitable photo size, and I posted it up!

I hope you like this one. I think it's an improvement over last week's. Glad you stopped by, and hope you'll return soon, dear friend.

Best regards,
Mike Z


This morning the rose had opened a little, and I took another photo of it. Not a macro this time, I used the Tamron lens without the teleconverter or the extension, and just tried to get a good close up of the rose as it opened.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rose Macro Photograph


I haven't done any macro photography in a long time, but when I got home from this week's business trip, I noticed that Jan had gotten a beautiful tea rose from work. So I figured, what the heck, I'd see what I remembered about shooting close-up.


I took a photo of the rose in the vase to show a different perspective. I will try to do more macro photos, and change some of the camera settings to improve.

Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate you taking a look. Come back again, and hopefully there'll be more photographic memories.

All the best,
Mike Z

PS - I just checked and this post is #100! Not bad for an old guy....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Butterflies at Flat Creek Winery


Jan and I took a "day trip" to Marble Falls last weekend to visit one of our favorite Hill Country wineries, Flat Creek Estates. I brought the camera in hopes of taking some good photos of the grounds and buildings, but these butterflies caught my eye. And that was that!
I am not sure of the name of the orange creature above. I looked it up on a butterfly identification website, and the best match is a Gulf Fritillary. It was very difficult to get them to stay still long enough to get a good sharp photo!


My old friend the Pipevine Swallowtail (see On to the Next One from 2007). There were many of these around the bushes and flowers. They were constantly running others off from the flowers which was very interesting to watch.

This is a very close cropping of another photo of the Gulf Fritillary. If you look closely, you can see that it's sipping nectar from the flower! This photo is one I'd like to get enlarged and framed. I like it a lot. I hope you do, too.


I hope you enjoy these "gardens with wings," as one website has called them. I have re-cropped and replaced these photos so you can see the details better. Please come back soon and see what's new!

All the best,
Mike Z

---> PS - I just found a very nice video that shows off a little of the winery and the wines. Enjoy!