Thursday, May 28, 2015

Expect The Unexpected

While in Charleston photographing its lovely historic homes and plantations, these gorgeous gladiolus plants came into view at the intersection of two dirt roads on an old plantation. We were on our way to photograph other subjects, but decided to stop to enjoy these lovely flowers.

It was a sunny day, but some of the plants were in open shade, my favorite kind of light. The sun was at a good angle to light the greenery in the background, and a large lens opening of f/4 created shallow depth of field, turning the background into a soft blend of colors.

I tried several angles, walking around the plant looking for a variety of options. When photographing any subject it is best to view it from all sides. Observe how the lighting changes as your position changes. Find several angles and views that you like and photograph all of them. You never know which one will please you the most as time passes.

Part of the success of this image is the color. The warm tones of the flowers are accentuated by the green background. Warm tones against cool tones often provide a very pleasing look.

As has been mentioned several times in this blog, look for angles or create them if necessary. I tipped the camera slightly to create an oblique line of the stem from lower right to upper left.

With spring in full bloom in most places, it is a good time to get out there in search of beautiful flowers. While I did not expect to find such spectacular blooms on this trip, it was a very nice treat.

Shutter Speed 1/640 sec.  Aperture f/4.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, set at 200mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail."  -Heraclitus


  1. But you don't say what kind of flowers they are!

  2. Sorry Cricket. I am no expert on flower identification, but I think they are gladiolus. Thanks for reading the blog!