Thursday, April 16, 2015

Flower Field Trip

by Linda


You probably know by now that I live deep in the heart of Texas, and if you've ever lived here or visited Texas, or even if you know someone who has, you know Texans are crazy  may have heard about a bluebonnet. It's the state flower and I am not alone in my obsession love of these wildflowers.

They make a brief appearance in early spring, blooming for about 2-3 weeks and then they go to seed till next year. They are a welcome sight after winter has gone and everybody wants to take pictures sitting in them. Every year I take my grand daughters to a nearby field and snap away.

Last week, Kelly gave us some great tips on depth of field. This week, I want to take us to a bluebonnet field and show how different focal lengths can affect your pictures.

It was a clear, sunny morning about 8 AM, I have a Canon DSLR set on Manual mode, the 24-70mm lens was what I decided to use so all the focal lengths will be in that range, f8 is my favorite aperture so that is what I will use unless noted and ISO was set to 200, I adjusted shutter speed for each shot. (In case you want to geek out-picture style was set to LANDSCAPE, white balance was set to AUTO, metering mode was set to EVALUATIVE METERING and AF point selection was set to MANUAL SELECTION, and all editing was done in Lightroom-minor basic adjustments, some cropping and a little vignette)


The field looks pretty good, I wanted a wide shot so this one is 42mm. With the aperature at f8, everything is nicely in focus.

This top down shot is 68mm, focus is right on the top, the flower is about 8 inches tall so the grass around it looks nice and blurry.

But, you gotta get low.

I'm on the ground now, just a little sky showing, 38mm, focus is on the left flower which is a slightly closer and about 1 foot away from the lens.

She had them Apple Bottom jeans,
Boots with the fur,
The whole club was lookin' at her
She hit the flo',
Next thing you know
She got low low low low, low low low low

Gotta get low to lose the sky, this one is 70mm, the flower is about 2 feet away and perfectly in focus and background is blurry bokeh!

Spotted this red flower, 67mm, focused on it, it's perfectly in focus but I don't know if I like the flowers in front being blurry. The blurry horizon is nice.

Now a bit of contorting to look up at the flower and catch the sun, 55mm and I changed the aperature to f22 to get a starburst. I love starbursts!

Sometimes I channel Monet. 32mm, f8 and switched the lens to manual and didn't focus on anything. Just for fun.

And really, going out to photograph anything should be fun. Try something new, take some time with it, look around, relax. For me, it's rejuvenating and invigorating. It makes me happy and helps make life that much sweeter.

Do you have a favorite focal length? aperture? I'd love to hear your tips and techniques!

If I had rushed and not just enjoyed being in that field, I might have missed this. 57mm, f5.6. Can you guess what I focused on?


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it."

  --  Ferris Bueller


Liz said...

Absolutely gorgeous images, Linda! I love the Bluebonnets and the ladybird is so lovely!

Dotti said...

You saved the best for last -- that sweet little ladybug! Yes. I do believe in addition to your wonderful tips and techniques, you've reminded us of something infinitely more important -- stop and smell the flowers. Enjoy the process because that's really what life and photography are all about. And, oh, yeah! I've been known to do a contortion or two trying to get just the right angle. It ain't pretty. :-D

terriporter said...

Oh, I wish I had really been on this field trip! So much beauty to capture and you did an amazing job. Love each and every shot and your information was great. Getting low is something I struggle with but I always love the shots when I make the effort. It just has to be REALLY worth it because I know how hard it is going to be to get up again! But Dotti is right -- thanks for the reminder to just stop and take in all the springtime beauty.

Roxi Hardegree said...

So lovely! I just finished up a bluebonnet shoot too. Need to get to that processing!

kelly said...

these are gorgeous linda! and I loved how you used a narrower aperture and still got great bokeh! I personally like the out of focus in the front how they give the feeling of being surrounded by something. I'm putting blue bonnets on the photography bucket list!

heyjudephotography said...

Sure wish I could grow these here in New York. They are gorgeous, and I would happily get messy trying to get just the right shot of these. I love your shots!

Kim Stevens said...

These are all so wonderful Linda, and my favorite is most definitely the one with the lone indian paintbrush. When we were driving back from Austin a couple of weeks ago I wish we could've pulled over....they were just everywhere and so beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

The Bluebonnets will always be one of my favorites, as it announces the Springtime in all it's glory! Your tutorials are great, as sometimes I forget the use of the camera options that can make all the difference in what you are wanting to achieve! Thanks for sharing!

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