Wide-Angle Hydrangea

This is a photo of a designer Hydrangea, Hydrangea Sheila, one of the so-called “Dutch Ladies” created by Dutch plantsman Daan ver der Spek. Julian and I picked out the plant, and as usually happens, I photographed it before committing it to our garden.

The close-up of this hydrangea is unusual because it is a macro taken with a wide-angle lens, my new Nikkor 12-24mm.

I added a 12mm extension tube between the lens and the camera. Then I set the lens to the 24mm maximum focal length. I turned off automatic focusing, and set the lens to infinity. I stopped the lens down as far as possible, to f/22, for maximal depth-of-field, and let aperture-preferred metering take care of the exposure time (13 seconds).

Focusing was a matter of moving plant and camera until things were right, essentially until the flower was almost touching the lens. It was a little humorous to see the blossom hidden within the lens shade.

To help with this focusing process, I used a magnifying eye piece. I also put the camera on a focusing rail, so that I could ratchet the camera in and out with precision (mostly in, as close to the flower as it would go).

Related story: Night of the Hydrangea.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Summer Haze

I went over to Indian Rock the other day to photograph sunset over the Golden Gate. Unfortunately, as I was setting up my tripod, the clamp fell apart. I was able to salvage the pieces, and saved them in a plastic baggie, but I couldn’t put the ball clamp back together while rushing to photograph sunset.

As I photographer (and backpacker, and parent, and…) I’ve learned to do the best I can with what I’ve got on hand. So this photo was captured handheld using the image stabilization feature of my 18-200mm Nikon lens.

A photo like this one works, or doesn’t work, depending on the gradation of light that it shows. The difference between a mundane image and one that resonates is subtle. So I say, three cheers for LAB color, which I used as part of my workflow in post-processing this capture.

Posted in Photography, San Francisco Area