two tourists with black umbrellas, Pecos Pueblo

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pictures of Lily

 © Robert Sommers 2015
Ken invited me up to a Clickers and Flickers meeting in Burbank on Wednesday and we decided to make a day of it.

Clickers and Flickers is a photographic group that has been meeting in the Los Angeles area for over thirty years and draws its members from some of the world's most experienced in film and still. They put out a nifty magazine and bring in incredible photographers to lecture and display their work.

We were going to go to the Huntington but it is closed Monday and Tuesday so instead we decided to visit Descanso Gardens in La Cañada. Maybe snap a few pictures.

Leslie and I had tried to visit the gardens for the Cherry Blossom festival a couple years back but it was so crowded we gave up.

The Gardens are a 150 acre spread now owned by the county of Los Angeles. Before that it was the estate of newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy, who once owned the Los Angeles Daily News.

And before that it was part of a Spanish land grant owned by Corporal Jose Maria Verdugo and prior to that the province of the local Tongva or Gabrielino indians.

Descanso Gardens is a neat place, very serene and not overdone. Wonder how many of its neighbors have ever even visited the place?

Ken amongst the encephalartos
There is an eighth scale working railroad on premises, a Japanese tea house, rose garden, California native plant garden, a new cycad collection and the original Boddy Home, furnished in the elegant Hollywood Regency style of the 1930's.

In April they received a large cycad collection from a major donor. I think I saw things that I don't remember seeing before although the exhibit was temporarily roped off and did not allow for closer inspection.

Boddy House, interior

Boddy was said to have between sixty and one hundred thousand camellias, which he bought from the Japanese being forced into internment camps. Many of these can now be seen at maturity along with purportedly thousands of rose bushes and many gorgeous native oaks.

We saw deer gently graze in the meadows, squirrels amble up trees. Just a delightful place to chill or have a picnic. Or even contemplate your life.

We drove up to the Castaways in Burbank and had a drink while we waited for the program. Great view of the valley below.

The program was fantastic. Jeff Widener, the amazing war and A.P. photographer who has taken so many iconic photographs, including the famous shot of the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, put on a slide show of his photos. Phenomenal. I got a chance to spend some time with him and he is just an incredible guy and a riveting speaker. Was in the middle of so much scary stuff. You can visit his website here.

© Jeff Widener/A.P.
Nick Ut, the man who shot the amazing picture of the girl in Vietnam running down the street naked was also in attendance.  

© Nick Ut

It was such an honor for me to be among artists of this caliber. I finally paid my sheckels and joined the group the other night.

Nick, Jeff and Michelle

Before the meeting we decided to go to Samy's Camera and look around. I tried out the Sigma 150-600mm C lens I have been blathering about for the last six months.

They financed it for me.

It's mine. They made me a deal I couldn't refuse.

Here is the first shot I took with it last night. Really looking forward to making its acquaintance.


Sanoguy said...

Great shots, BH!!

I looked at Wiedner's web site. He sure has done some great work in so many places! Did I see you in the Jerusalem 1992 shot???

Blue Heron said...

It's funny that you ask that question because we were both there at the same time in 1991 ( I spent the Gulf War back at the kibbutz Gesher Haziv) and we both feel like we have met before but can't place it...I will have to look at the shot.

island guy said...

Quite a lens. Hope you have a blast with it.