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“The best way out is always through.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Orange Blossom (is) Special

Well, I could hardly tempt you with a photo of the bud (see the previous posting) and not show you the blossom--so here it is. Actually, I think the bud in that posting is the one in the bottom right of this shot. These buds just pop open (I wonder if that's why they're called poppies?) one morning without much warning--you usually don't see the color start to emerge, as you do with other flowers. I shot this one using a bit of fill-in flash to compete with the backlighting and used the flash-compensation setting on my D90 body to set the flash to about 2/3 stop less than the daylight exposure (if you have a D90, the switch for this is on the left side of the prism housing--look it up in your manual, it's easy to use). But the flash was still a little "shiny" looking to me on the orange petals, so I burned them down a touch in Photoshop. Also, I wanted the background to be out of focus, but was able to shoot at the relatively small aperture of f/8 (normally I'd shoot much wider, at f/4, for example) and still keep the background soft because I was using a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras set at 240mm--or the equivalent of 360mm in 35mm (with the cropping factor). This lens does not have the greatest bokeh in the world (bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus region) but it's not too bad. Anyway, I just finished updating my book Exposure Photo Workshop: Develop Your Digital Photography Talent so you'll have to forgive me for explaining so much about the exposure--it takes a few weeks to shake this stuff out of my head.

Exposure: Shot at ISO 200 at 1/60 sec., at f/8, with fill-in flash and on a Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Aluminum Pro Tripod tripod. Captured in RAW.

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