Friday, April 3, 2015

Glorious Spring

Spring is here and it's time to get out there and go shooting. Fresh spring flowers make wonderful subjects no matter where you live.

These delicate Crested Dwarf Iris grow wild in many areas. Since each bloom only lasts for a day or two, it is a treat to come across a patch of them when they are fresh. They are a bit tricky to photograph since the small flowers are fairly deep and require reasonably deep depth of field in order to maintain sharpness from top to bottom of the bloom. But since I like a relatively shallow depth of field overall when shooting flowers, it becomes a balancing act to assure sharpness in the bloom while allowing the background to go a bit soft.

One trick I often use is not to place the camera too close to the flowers. I decide on the composition, and then back off a little bit in order to maximize depth of field, even when shooting with a large aperture, in this case f/3.2.  By doing so, most of the blooms are rendered sharp while the background still appears somewhat soft.

Of course this technique requires cropping after you have downloaded your images on the computer. Here is the original uncropped image.
Even though it is a good plan to make the image as good as it can be at the moment you click the shutter, there are many times when cropping after the fact is a good tool to use. Don't be afraid to crop in a variety of ways. If  you use software like Lightroom, you can crop as many times as you wish and still return to the original, since cropping in Lightroom is not destructive and you never lose any of the image information.

Shutter Speed 1/320 sec.  Aperture f/3.2.  ISO 800.  Lens: Canon 100mm macro f/2.8.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."  --Hans Christian Anderson

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