Photography Explorations

Menlo Park resident — and InMenlo contributing photographer — Frances Freyberg is the featured artist at the Portola Art Gallery through September.

The exhibit features vibrant flower photos from gardens and hikes around the world, with many local scenes from Allied Arts, Filoli, and San Francisco Bay Area open spaces. In addition to signed and framed photographs, there are a variety of floral and travel photo cards for sale.

“I’ve always loved gardens and flowers, and I had actually planned this show for May to celebrate Mother’s Day (a holiday I particularly associate with flowers), but then Allied Arts and the Portola Art Gallery closed due to the pandemic. So this is simply that show, with a delayed start, and with a new focus — to benefit Mission Hospice.

“That said, when we were first sheltering in place and couldn’t travel far for recreation, I took comfort in neighborhood walks around Sharon Heights and watching and photographing different varieties of flowers bloom throughout the spring.”

The Portola Art Galley is now open  Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Frances will be donating all profits from the exhibit to Mission Hospice & Home Care — the first nonprofit hospice in San Mateo County. Founded in 1979, Mission Hospice has provided more than 15,000 patients and families with quality, compassionate end-of-life care and education.

Frances (pictured right) has long been known for her landscape photography as well as photos taken from her travels to more than 70 countries. She explains how she approaches different subject matter:

“If I go out on a photo shoot intending to photograph flowers, I often use a close-up (magnifying) lens or a macro lens. But, I typically want the flexibility to capture both wider shots of an entire garden or bed, as well as very detailed photos of individual blooms, so I end up switching lenses and/or attachments throughout the shoot.

“The Canon close-up lens I have simply screws on to the end of my 18-200 lens, so it’s easy to take along on hikes. I also have an Olloclip for my iPhone that’s a lot of fun to play with, but it does require removing the protective case from the phone.”

The Portola Art Gallery is located at the Allied Arts Guild (75 Arbor Road) in Menlo Park. You can view more of Frances’s photography on her website.

Tulips, Filoli (16×20, photograph) is one of the featured artworks in Frances Freyberg’s August/September exhibit “Beautiful Blossoms Benefit” at the Portola Art Gallery; photograph of Frances courtesy of her

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