Webster Arboretum

On November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, we were at loose ends. We aren’t “Black Friday” shoppers, and wanted to avoid the crowds, but didn’t feel like hanging out at home. Since we needed both cider and apples, and Schutt’s mill starts pressing their Russet apples the week of Thanksgiving, we decided to make a pilgrimage for the best cider on earth, stopping at the Webster Arboretum on the way.

The Rochester metropolitan area is blessed with wonderful parks, from tiny neighborhood pocket parks to the elegantly laid out designs of our three Frederick Law Olmsted parks, to suburban recreational parks, to chunks of preserved semi-wild areas. This arboretum is a recent addition to the collection, with a variety of native trees and shrubs, a stream and pond, paved and gravel walkways, a covered footbridge, and a couple of small gardens with benches. Andy had never been there, so I worked on him. He agreed to allow a half hour for a walk in the park on our way to Schutt’s. Of course, we didn’t stop when the half hour was up. We spent a lovely hour and a half walking up and down the trails before driving a bit further to the apple farm.

I haven’t seen Andy’s photos from that afternoon. I shot a few landscapes, but concentrated mostly on playing with the settings on my camera. I’ve always had difficulty controlling depth of field, and this seemed like a good opportunity to practice. Here are a few favorites.

Andy with his camera

Andy with his camera

Andy doesn’t like having his picture taken. He stiffens up, puts a smile on his face, and doesn’t look quite normal. If I want a picture of Andy looking line Andy, I need to wait until he’s concentrating really hard on something else.






depth of field #1

Cattails and weeds

It took quite a few shots to get this one. I tried various shutter speeds and apertures, but nothing was quite right. I wanted the delicate twigs, but  the camera kept focusing on everything but the twigs: the elderly cattails, dead leaves, cars in the parking lot, or kids running by on the other side of the stream. And the wind was gusty, so most of the shots were blurry.

I finally decided to use the Sport setting, one of the programmed “scene” settings, and it turned out exactly the way I wanted.



depth of field #2

Almost perfect!

Without changing the settings at all, I walked a few steps farther along the stream and found another cattail. This one had just started to distribute its seeds.

Why almost perfect? I would have preferred to have a simple landscape in the background, instead of the playground picnic tables. But the timing couldn’t have been better. A small gust blew the first ring of seeds off just as I pressed the shutter button!



autumn berries

Autumn berries

I’m so pleased with this one!









andy with camera #2


I couldn’t resist this one. Think I’ll crop it and suggest Andy use it on his Facebook profile for a while.





About Kat

Cat lover, singer, early music addict, reads a lot. Former R&D chemist with an obsessive need for variety. Now active as a freelance technical writer and editor, web designer, photographer, computer coach, and trainer. Owner, MasterWork Consulting (http://www.masterworkconsulting.com/).
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