Friday Floral – Week #1

In my post Time To Reflect, I mentioned my feeling stagnant and possibly making some changes to my blog.  If you have been following me for a while you might have noticed a few minor changes to my sidebar.  Will I make more changes?  Possibly, still TBD at this time.

What is Friday Floral all about?  Each Friday I am going to post an image of my favorite subject – flowers.  It may or may not be a macro shot, which is my passion.  Some weeks it may be just an image and some weeks I may share how I made the image including camera settings lighting, use of reflectors, etc.  Why would I give all this information out?  Why not?  My camera settings only work for the moment i made the image.  Besides, it may get someone to try something different!

So for week #1 my first poppy of 2014!  Actually, I noticed New Year’s Eve Day it had lost its winter hat and was ready to open with the new year.  I actually made these images yesterday.  Mexican Gold Poppies in the Sonoran Desert usually don’t bloom until the 2nd or 3rd week of March.  No idea why mine are already up and starting to bloom, but excited they are!

The temperature yesterday was expected to be about 71 or 72 at my house.  Perfect warm sunny day to get out and shoot.  This time of year my front yard is almost all in shade all day – better yet!  So I grabbed my camera and macro lens, tripod, plamp (yes a plamp), 2 reflectors and my rain jacket.  My rain jacket?  Yes, it happens to be a very similar color to Mexican Gold Poppies and great to use as a back drop.

I made a few images and wasn’t particularly thrilled with any of them.  Then I noticed that I must have moved my tripod with the plamp still connected to the stem of the poppy.  Oops!  The stem with the open poppy and a few other stems with unopened poppies and some leaves had broke off.  Ugh!  So much for shooting this poppy and time to put the camera gear away right?

Not so fast!  I decided to put the broken stem in a vase with water and take it inside.  I didn’t have the heart to throw away my first poppy.  So now I would shoot inside my house – in my bathroom.  There are two relatively large windows in the corner of my bathroom and this time of year great light.  The glass isn’t clear and we have a sunscreen on the window making the light somewhat diffused.

20140102-_DSC8918

Tech Info: Nikon D7000, 105mm 2.8 macro lens, F16, .6 sec, iso 100, polarizer, black reflector, gold reflector, basic post processing

I put the vase on the edge of the bathtub, used a chip clip as a clamp to hold my black reflector to the blinds, used my plamp to hold the poppy where I wanted, camera on my tripod and started shooting.  I used a second reflector that was gold to pop some light into the center of the poppy.

I tried several different shots and then decided to take the stems out of the vase and use my plamp to position the poppy so I could get more of the stem in the image without the vase.  

20140102-_DSC8930

Tech Info: Nikon D7000, 105mm 2.8 macro lens, F16, 1.0 sec, iso 100, polarizer, black reflector, basic post
processing

So for Friday Floral Week #1, two photos, the story behind them and how I made each image.  Let me know your thoughts on this type of post!

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