Charles Jones (photographer)

Charles Jones (1866-1959) is likely to remain forever a mysterious figure. He was born in England, the son of a master butcher. He trained as a gardener and was employed on a number of private estates before retiring. People shall probably never understand how he came so so brilliantly to photograph the plants he encountered in everyday life at the turn of the century. Charles Jones isolated his works against neutral backgrounds – beguiling studio “portraits” of beans and onions, squashes and turnips, tulips and sunflowers, plums and pears. His techniques – close-up viewpoint, long exposure, and spare composition – anticipate by decades the later achievements of modernist masters, for here was an “outsider” genius, who was saved from obscurity only by the photographic collector Sean Sexton’s chance discovery of his surviving prints in a London market.


 “Flowers, Collerette Dahlia Pilot”


 “Fruits, Plum Monarch”


“Vegetables, Celery Standard Bearer”

“Sexton instantly saw an originality and quality in the works, acquiring the whole collection for a nominal sum,” writes curator Robert Flynn Johnson in an introduction to The Plant Kingdoms of Charles Jones.

Born in 1866 in Wolverhampton, he was the son of a butcher, became an estate gardener in the 1890s, and was called an “ingenious gardener” in a 1905 issue of The Gardener’s Chronicle. By the 1950s, he was still living a Victorian lifestyle with his wife in Lincolnshire, never getting electricity or running water. He finally died at the age of 92 on November 15, 1959. In his later years, according to one of his grandchildren, he was using glass-plate negatives as shelters for young plants in his garden.


Potato Midlothian Early


Bean (Dwarf) Ne Plus Ultra


Captain Hayward

Jones’s work was never exhibited in his lifetime, and was largely unknown, even to his family, until it was discovered by accident in a suitcase in 1981 at Bermondsey antiques market by Sean Sexton. Since Sexton’s discovery the collection has slowly been dispersed by him through auction and by other means. It has been collected by institutions and private collectors and exhibited at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Musée de Elysée, Lausanne and at other venues. A monograph, The Plant Kingdoms Of Charles Jones, was published in 1998.





Such brilliant artworks by a brilliant photographer!

Check out my new book on Amazon: Botanical photography

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Ansel Adams photography

He was a Master Landscape Photographer who developed the technique called The Zone System for exposing, developing & printing black & white photographs. What is I’m putting down here is a small fraction of his works, which mostly covers nature photography.



Such rich black and white image, boarder has in contrast and polarized images.


Leaf, Glacier Bay National Monument

He was the most publicly known of the photographers who treated photography as a science based on knowledge of light, exposure, development time and post processing.


Saguaro Cactus

Adams pioneered the concept of pre-visualization of the finished image and how to go from the initial perception through the process tot he final image presented publicly. He also was a complete nature lover and brought unfamiliar but spectacular images to people who had no idea of what was beyond their horizon.



He’s one of the few favorite photographers of mine.

Check out my new book on Amazon: Botanical

My guinea pigs

My two guinea pigs are taking a nap. The weather is hot today, so they keep lying there unmoved on the floor for half an hour.

This is Butter, such a handsome face:


This is Boo, I’m not the one who named her. Wreid name, but a cute face. She’s pretty stubborn!


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Campanula Portenschlagiana, Bellflower.

“Portenschlagiana sports light blue, bell-shaped flowers from late spring through summer. Rounded leaves are crinkled and irregularly toothed. Free flowering – a carpet of color. This Campanula variety is best trailing over walls, rock gardens, and between stepping stones. Vigorous sprawling star covered beauty”.

That’s what I googled out. In short, it’s a kind of perennial which is a vigorous, low-growing, mound-forming evergreen perennial with deep purple flowers in summer. Thus I ended up buying a pot from my local market store the other day.


I hope it will work well with our little garden, since summer is coming with lots of sun and fun ahead.


Good day all!


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Mimi’s Cafe

Went on Mimi’s cafe near Disneyland the other day. It’s a French chain restaurant which serves French style food. The hostess and server were all helpful, waiting line wasn’t so bad during evening time. I ordered a cup of orange juice to begin with, it didn’t taste better than my homemade orange juice. Too much sugar in one cup.


The close-up view of the juice. I liked to look at the top’s view through the water.


Then I ordered a spinach artichoke dip.  The portion was big for me, food was okay. Nothing below or above my expectation.


End of the day!

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Man Ray Photography

Last week I went to the library and read something about Man Ray. This portrait of  Meret Oppenheim solarized gelatin-silver print in 1933 caught my attention right away.


His real name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. For Man Ray (1890-1976) , photography often operated in the gap between art and life. It was a means of documenting sculptures that never had an independent life outside the photograph, and it was a means of capturing the activities of his avant-garde friends.

While Man Ray worked with a wide variety of mediums, he is most well-known for his surrealist photography and photograms (which he called rayographs). Photograms are photographic images made without a camera. You can create a photogram yourself by setting yourself up in a darkroom, placing objects on top of photo paper, and then exposing both the paper and the objects to light. Once you develop the photo paper, you’ll see that there are white shapes where the objects sat. Photograms are an easy way to get acquainted with surreal and abstract “photography” in the darkroom.


Noire et Blanche


Above was the autographed print of Man Ray’s Glass Tears, which sold for $193,895 at Christie’s New York on May 7, 1993.

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Bush poppy, Dendromecon rigida

An evergreen shrub normally 6 feet tall. It has yellow flowers, 2 inches across in March – June, grey-green leaves. Native to calif. coast ranges. Likes sun, fast-draining soil, better in clay soil if given no water after est.. If happy in location will grow to 6 feet in two years.

Check out my latest tweet here:

Bonus, I saw it while checking out the poppy tree: