Aloe plant growing next to the sidewalk. Used an iPhone to take the picture.


The Evil Forest

Sort of a sinister looking grouping of plants and aloe trees at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Used a Nikon D3 body and 35-70mm zoom lens.

Photo © Craig Brewer

Huntington Library

This is a photograph that I shot at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. San Marino is a small community next to Pasadena if you are not familiar with the name. The Huntington Library is more than just a library as they have world class art and 250 acres of horticultural gardens from all over the world. It is a must see place if you are in the Los Angeles area.

They recently opened a Chinese Garden but also have Japanese, English, Desert, Australian, Palm, etc., gardens and they are wonderful places to stroll, paint, or take pictures at. There is a $15 entry fee which is well worth it and they do allow tripods outside for photographers although you cannot bring a tripod in any of the art museum buildings. 

This particular picture is of aloe plants and trees right where you enter the garden area upon checking in. Used a Nikon D2x and 17-55mm lens and stacked three photographs together with the HDR feature in Photoshop. What this feature does is help with pictures that have extremely wide brightness ranges that cannot be captured in one exposure. So you lock the camera down on a tripod and using the same f/stop you do a series of exposures from underexposed, to normal, and over exposed. Then Photoshop will align and stack them together to give you a picture with shadow and highlight detail that is useable.

It is really hard to control or even predict how it will come out and I have only had a few pictures that I’ve liked when using this feature and this is one of them. It has become sort of controversial among purists because it is very difficult to make the picture look real as it always seem to heighten the color and contrast into something that looks illustrated and cartoonish. I make no pretense of telling anyone that this picture is exactly what they will see if they find this location and angle. The picture is just an artistic interpretation and nothing more. I do have a large version printed on canvas that hangs in my living room and everyone that sees it seems to like it and very few think it is an actual photograph but a painting instead.

Aloe Plants
Photo © Craig Brewer