Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Earlier this week my wife received a bouquet of sunflowers from a friend.  These were not the massive six to eight feet tall, dinner-plate-sized sunflowers that one sees nodding in farm fields.  These were smaller versions with blooms five to eight inches across.  I liked the way the bright orange petals were catching the light and decided to capture a few images.

First, here is a "group shot" of a few of the flowers, just to give an idea of what they entailed.

I intentionally took this as a tight shot so that none of the flowers was shown in full.  Essentially, I wanted the flowers, with their gorgeous colors, to fill the image.  The nice thing about having the flowers in the house is that I could move them around to better capture the light, and I thought the petals might show better if they were being backlit.  Here is one of those backlit shots.

Now the petals are more exciting and have a fiery aspect to them.  However the central portion of the flower was simply uninteresting at close quarters, and I found myself cropping that portion down, as in the above shot.

Then I noticed the back of the flowers with their sepals that looked a bit like reptile scales with hairy edges and began shooting the backsides of the flowers rather than the fronts.  Here are a few of those shots.

And here, finally, is a shot at a wider angle.

There is a prominent flaw in one of the petals, but I still like this shot, as well as some of the earlier ones, a lot.  

For the record, these photos were shot at very high f-stops, ranging from f/45 to f/51, for exposures of 2-1/2 to 4 seconds.  I found that I needed to underexpose these shots 1 to 2 f-stops to bring out the full colors of the petals.

I thought this series was serendipitous.  I only take credit for recognizing what I had and attempting to take advantage of it.


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