Thursday, November 29, 2012

BACK TO THE DOMES

I had a free afternoon on a sunny day earlier this week and headed back to the Mitchell Domes for a little macro "fix."  As usual, I found myself reshooting some of the same subjects as in the past--still hoping for that great shot.  But I also spotted a few new opportunities.

Here is one of my old favorites, a variegated coleus leaf.  (At least I got the name of the plant this time.)


I loved the wine-stain color in this leaf.  What I didn't notice until post processing was that there was a piece of thread almost in the center of the image.  Fortunately, I was pretty much able to excise it with my spot removal tool.

Another old favorite is a large plant (notice my failure here to get the plant's name) in the desert dome.


In the past I have taken closer shots that had a simpler composition, but this time I moved back a ways to get this shot.  I realize that there is no flower in this shot and it isn't really a macro shot, but I'm really happy with it.  This was taken at an aperture of f/36 with an exposure of 1.6 seconds.

Here are a couple of shots of blossoms in the tropical dome.  The business end of these flowers is, frankly, a bit messy, so I decided to take my shots from the rear.  The first is a blossom that was still opening.


Sunlight was nicely backlighting the petals and as a result the camera underexposed anything otherwise visible in the background, turning it black.  Here is a blossom that was open fully.


I like the first shot better perhaps because of its richer color or because it is a little more intimate.

In the desert dome I also spotted a leaf that was perhaps 8 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.  I was attracted to this subject because of the combination of orange and green colors that the leaf displayed.  The leaf was "cupped" from side to side, and I was interested in creating a sense of depth by allowing the back edge of the leaf to go out of focus.  I set the camera up perpendicular to the leaf with the focus on the front edge of the side closest to the camera.  In this first shot the lens was about as close as possible to the leaf and still maintain good focus, perhaps 3 inches.  Even though the aperture was a narrow f/16, the back edge of the leaf--at the very top of the image--was very much out of focus.


Here is another shot taken a little farther back from the leaf at an aperture of f/20.


As an abstract, I think I like the first shot better than the second.

And here is another study in depth of field from the show dome, which is now presenting its holiday display.

Here is a shot of a cyclamen blossom that I liked because of the way the petals were nestled together.


(This is actually a color shot, not a black & white.)  Again, the camera was positioned only a few inches directly above the blossom.  Because the camera was so close, depth of field was a real issue.  This was taken at an extremely narrow aperture of f/57.

Here is another shot of the same blossom taken at f/8.


I focused the lens on the left edge of the outside blossom, which also caught a bit of the lower edge of the inside petal.  Otherwise, just about everything else is out of focus.  Even so, I like this shot better than the first image, I think because of its abstract quality.

Taken with my Nikon D7000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens.

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