Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lungwort Oysterleaf? You've got to be Kidding

Have you had a chance to take some Spring photos yet this year?

We weren't planning to shoot this morning, but heavy humidity provided gorgeous filtered light... so we headed out to search for Wildflowers. These are Virginia Bluebells (mertensia virginica) - also called Virginia Cowslip, Roanoke Bells, or Lungwort Oysterleaf (I kid you not). They were blooming in abundance near the river at Bedford Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks.

Jay's shot (below) was taken with a 17-40mm lens. The leaves are back-lit with soft, diffused lighting.

For this next shot, Jay used a wide aperture to produce a shallow depth-of-field. In doing so, he was able to single out the flowers in the foreground. The soft background gives a satisfying sense of place without too much clutter. The out-of-focus area provides very little detail, so the viewer's attention is automatically focused on the clean details that are in focus. You can use this technique to simplify a complicated scene.
I took some wide-angle photos too, but I spent a lot of time shooting with my 180mm macro lens. The tiny details were truly beautiful. This shot provides a bit more detail, so you can see what these pretty little flowers looked like up close. I always love soft colors and simple compositions - and I tend to like brighter images. Jay prefers slightly darker exposures - as you can see from him images above. In this case, I wanted a soft, bright, feel to the shot... but if you like brighter images, be careful to avoid blown highlights!

It rained during the night, and water droplets were still clinging to flowers and foliage. I had to take several shots to get a sharp image since it was a bit breezy out there. It's often difficult to get sharp macro images outdoors, but I think it's worth the effort. ;)
So - what do you think? Did we capture the essence of Spring with our impromptu photo-shoot? We met some other photographers on the trails - I guess we all had the same idea today!

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Blogger Dominic Gendron said...

You did capture the essence of Spring. Tje last image is a wonderfull piece of art!!!

May 13, 2010 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Thanks, Dominic! Glad you enjoyed that last shot. ;)

May 14, 2010 at 6:54 AM  

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