MUIR WOODS, CALIFORNIA: This National Monument park is a great place to see giant redwood trees. The park is named after John Muir, a Scot whose family moved to Wisconsin in 1848. He became one of America’s best known environmentalists and fought hard to protect many important natural heritage areas including Yosemite, Sequoia and even the Grand Canyon. The park is a short drive from San Francisco and probably the closest location to see giant redwoods. This photo was taken from a footbridge. To get the perspective I wanted, I mounted my camera on a monopod, set the 10 second timer and hung the unit as far below the bridge as I could reach. Got a lot of stares from other visitors too!
Shot with a Nikon D3100, 10-24 DX lens at 10mm, ISO 800, 1/30 sec., f8. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
TUSCAN FARM BUILDING, ITALY: I love shooting photos in Tuscany. This photo was taken in early July, late in the sunflower growing season. The Tuscan region is where the Italian Renaissance was born– home to Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli and Puccini. And, of course, it’s also the home of Chianti wine.
Shot with a Nikon D300, 70-300 DX zoom lens at 155mm, ISO 1250, 1/250 sec., f32. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
NIAGARA FALLS SPRING TULIPS: They are not out yet, but by late April, the tulips will be in full bloom throughout the Niagara Falls parks system. It’s a favourite place to visit early in the spring when millions of tulips adorn the well-kept gardens, the daffodils carpet Queen Victoria Park and the magnolias bloom along the path near the Floral Showhouse. If you plan your visit for when the magnolias are in full flower (usually late April/early May, depending on the year), you’ll also see plenty of tulips and daffodils too.
These tulips were at the Floral Showhouse, just ¼ mile south of the Horseshoe Falls at 7541Niagara River Parkway. The outside gardens are free to visit. There’s a paid parking lot right there. You can even stay up to speed with the pace of your favourite flows signing up for the Niagara Parks Bloom Watch.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, 18-200 DX VR lens at 200mm, f/32, 1/100 sec., ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
FALLEN, CHICAGO, U.S.A.: Chicago is among my most favourite American cities. Architecturally, it is one of the most interesting and diverse anywhere. The restaurant scene is fantastic. Public spaces and parks abound. And, like any major metropolitan city, there is also a significant homeless population. Click here for more information about Chicago’s Homeless statistics.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 65mm, f5, 1/160 sec., ISO 500. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
THE LIDO, VENICE, ITALY, BIKE GRAVEYARD: These old bikes are found on the Lido, Venice, outside what looks like a government building. It looks like a bike graveyard, where found bikes go to rust and die.
Shot with a Nikon, D300, 82mm, 1/200 sec, f22, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
BLUE CHAIRS, GREEN GRASS, SOYBEAN FIELD: This shot was taken in southern Ontario on the northern boundary of Durham Region. The field crop behind the chairs is soybeans– a large cash crop in the Province of Ontario where approximately 2 million acres are planted annually. The crop is increasingly grown elsewhere in Canada and enjoys a good export market. For exported beans, the biggest buyer (2006 data) is Japan, followed by Malaysia, the Netherlands and Iran. The beans have many uses. They are grown for specialty foods, oil production and livestock feed. Ever eat those artificial bacon bits? Yummy? Chances are they were made from soybeans. They have industrial uses as well. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was an advocate for the use of soy for plastics, paints and fibres. Printing inks are often made from soy and it’s even used as an eco-friendly lubricant and in candles and crayons. Soybeans are also good in biodiesel. Makes me want to sit in one of those blue chairs and dream up another use for this magic bean!
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, AFS 70-300 DX lens at 155mm, 1/320 sec, f18, ISO 1000
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Palm Frond, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO: I like to find and photograph interesting patterns. This palm frond (I think it’s a palm frond) was in the conservatory when I visited there. I thought the natural light made for a stunning shot. The conservatory is one of the top features in Golden Gate Park. It’s been classified as a national and state historic landmark. Little wonder. It was opened in 1879 and is made of wood and glass— the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a living museum, home to about 1700 species from more than 50 countries. The Conservatory is definitely worth a visit when you are in San Francisco.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 AF-S lens at 65mm, f 7.1, 1/80 second, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
POPPY IN WHEAT FIELD, NORTHERN FRANCE: Spring will soon be here and the poppies will emerge in Northern France. The poppy is, of course, a flower of remembrance. Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Fields” around May 3, 1915, lamenting the loss of a close friend in battle. Pretty well every school child in Canada knows the poem and it’s publicly recited year after year on November 11th. Poppies can be seen all along country roads in France and Belgium. This one was growing in a wheat field.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 18-200 zoom lens at 145mm., f13, 1/640 sec, ISO 800.
Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon