A Gentle Beginning

Don't Go Yet...
Don’t Go Yet…

Moments like this tempt me to believe that leaves exist just to catch snowflakes.

It’s easy to be grateful for our seasons when we get to enjoy the magic that a gentle snowfall brings to the back yard garden.

‘Nuff said about that. I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

 

Desert Lily

1/250 th, f-2.8, ISO 100, 90 mm Tamron macro lens
1/250th, f-2.8, ISO 100, 90 mm Tamron macro lens

Doing some macro experiments with my old Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D DSLR and my Tamron 90mm f 2.8 macro lens. Today I photographed our desert lily, a present to Anita from our niece, Avril, years ago. It produces beautiful blooms some years and this was a good year. The plant sits in the dining room bay window during the winter and gets placed on our deck once the risk of frost is gone. It is back in the house now.

I have not done much really close-up macro photography, so I re-read my Freeman Patterson primer, Photographing the World Around You, and set up the camera on a tripod. I played with camera angle, f-stop and shutter speed. Of course, manual focus was used interpretatively.

This was the first photo I took and is arguably the best – by accident. I didn’t have the focus perfect on the foremost petal’s tip as I’d intended, but the crisp highlights in the curve underneath it were brought out. Also, there was a tiny thread of dust attached to the petal that distracted from the overall effect when the focus was where I had wanted it – impossible to see in the Maxxum’s outdated, small monitor playback. Learning requires patience and serendipity behaved, as usual, as my best friend.

I selected three photos for this post. They will be up as soon as FB zeroes in on this one above for the link to this post. (I don’t like the way FB locks onto one photo of IT’S choosing for the link so that any future attempts to use a different photo are made impossible.)

Here they are:

The first two are unaltered. In the last one the only change was a 30% enhancement of its saturation, which had the effect of increasing the brightness of the top-left curl.

Slow Shutter Speed

Small Waterfall in Our Woods
Small Waterfall in Our Woods

My first successful experiment with long exposure times. I like the silken look of the water in this and the lack of obvious scale. It’s pretty hard to tell how big or small the waterfall is. Gotta say I didn’t stay out too long as it was threatening rain (I felt a few drops). This was taken with my old Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D SLR using a Tamron f 2.8 90 mm macro lens and shutter speed priority. Exposure: 1 s, f-stop 29, ISO 100. I used a tripod and a cable shutter release and manual focusing. Tried different exposure times; this one worked best. Continue reading “Slow Shutter Speed”