Saturday, October 1, 2011

WET FEET, DEAD FLOWERS, AND BACKLIT LEAVES

On Thursday, September 29, after yet another rainy day, I decided to take advantage of a break in the rain to take a few more nature photos in our neighborhood and headed back to the natural grounds of our friendly Unitarian Church to see what might be available.

On the way I spotted some cattails in an open field just east of the road and stopped to see if I could capture something interesting.  As I said, it had been raining for several days (six in a row, in fact).  The cattails were actually about 10-15 yards off the road, and there was a fair amount of vegetation obstructing my line of sight.  So I needed to get quite close to get a decent shot.  What I thought was an open field turned out to be what in Wisconsin is referred to euphemistically as "wetlands" or "marsh," but what growing up I would have referred to simply as a swamp.  In no time I was standing ankle-deep in cold water in my running shoes.  Moreover, I did not have any solid ground to stabilize my tripod.  Here is the best of the shots that I took before I decided that I should move on.



I did like that the background consisted of three sections--the light of the sky, a far band of trees, and a near background of brush.

Once I got to the church, some of the early shots I took were of a dead cone flower.  (Am I getting desperate for subject matter or what?)  I was attracted to this flower because of the way the dead petals drooped below the "blossom."  This first shot was taken at f/13.


What I do not like about this shot is that the background above the flower is a little dark, creating some conflict with the flower.

Here is another shot after I had repositioned the camera slightly to eliminate that background distraction.


The following shot was taken at f/25 in an attempt to maximize the crispness of the flower, front to back.  (Notice the difference between the two shots in the crispness of the spikes at the back of the flower.)


This last shot is nice, but there is a bit more clutter in the background.

Next I spotted a dying leaf that was backlit by the sun.  I took a series of shots, including some aperture bracketing.  A breeze had sprung up which caused some annoying movement of the leaf and spoiled a number of the shots.

Here are two of the better shots that I got.  The first was taken at f/7.1.



The leaf "pops" well from the background, and I think the backlighting helps a lot with that effect.  However, there is some clutter in the background that is a bit distracting.  

The following shot was taken at a wide open aperture of f/3.5. 


The background has pretty much been taken out of the photo, resulting in a more or less total isolation on the leaf.  What I like about this shot is that it is a little underexposed, emphasizing the backlit color of the leaf.  Unfortunately, the backlighting was stronger on the top portion of the leaf than on the bottom portion.  I think the small branch running behind the leaf adds a lot of context to the photo.

1 comment:

  1. Dad, I really like these, especially the first and last images.

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