Saturday, September 8, 2012

NEW AT THE DOMES

I found myself back at the Mitchell Park Domes on Saturday, the 8th, and actually found some new things to shoot.  The first plant that caught my eye was one with heavily serrated leaves located in the Show Dome.  I took a number of shots, varying the number of leaves visible in the image and the depth of field.  I finally settled on a shot that revealed two separate leaves at differing distances from the lens.


I liked this shot the best because it shows off the serration and includes leaves of different colors.  I toyed with different depths of field but liked this one best, taken at an extremely narrow f/57, because it shows good detail in the middle leaf.

This second photo is one of a plant that I have shot before.


There's really not a lot going on in this shot.  This relatively large flower had almost pure white petals which, at best, served as a background for the stamen, which has an unusual structure, including a little green knob at the top.  Even though the stamen was leaning toward the camera, I was able to keep it in good focus at an aperture of f/6.3.  But because I was so close to the flower, the petals behind the stamen were totally out of focus.  I had taken another shot from a lower angle so that the petals behind had filled the image.  However, I liked this shot better because the dark space at the top provides some context.

Lately, I have been trying to take advantage of backlighting when shooting leaves.  The leaf in the photo below was quite large, 8-10 inches high, and was nicely backlit by the sunlight streaming through the glass of the Show Dome.


A new leaf, still all curled up, was sitting in front and I wanted to feature both in the shot.  My first few attempts positioned the curled leaf directly in front of the mature one, and I finally decided it would be better to put both the new leaf and the middle of the mature one off-center.  There is a softness to the texture of the leaf that I find interesting, even though a close examination reveals fine "grain" in that texture.  Here is another, close-up shot of the leaf that shows more of that grain texture.


And here is another plant in the Tropical Dome whose leaves were being backlit by the sun.


This was actually two separate leaves, which explains why the leaf on the right is somewhat out of focus, even though the shot was taken at an aperture of f/45.  Looks like a green pinstriped suit.

And, finally, here is a shot of another new flower located in the Show Dome.


The blossoms on this plant were about 1 to 1-1/2 inches across and had very interesting purple rays with light colored tips.  I was able to position the flower against a dark background that I darkened further in post processing.  The key here was to try to keep in focus as many of the ray tips as possible. The above shot was at an aperture of f/10, and I was pleased how good the focus was, although it was taken reasonably far from the subject flower.  Here is another shot from much closer, taken at an aperture of f/57.

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