Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dabbling with flowers

click photo to enlarge
I'm interested in everything and specialise in nothing. Consequently I tend to be a dabbler - and I'm happy to be one. Perhaps that's why I ended up with a career in education! During my life I've had a few interests that I've taken to a deeper level and continued for many years, notably the history of architecture, photography, and the graphic arts. I play some musical instruments, not very well, but doing so gives me pleasure. I've continued with that hobby for many years, and I made use of music regularly in my day job. But, I've found that I can't help taking an interest in whatever comes my way, be it astronomy, politics, lierature, history, science - everything. I'm convinced my life has been richer for having wide interests rather than a narrow focus.

When it comes to photography, my approach to the hobby pretty much mirrors my approach to life. I don't specialise, and I point my camera at most things - though portaits and people don't tend to figure much! There's probably a strongish "graphic" thread in my images, but I don't pursue that style exclusively. However, every now and then I wish I could do certain types of photograph better. I have that feeling at the moment about flower photography, and consequently I'm going to try and get some better shots from this subject.

There are often carnations in my house, and this photograph is my attempt to get a decent shot from a bunch of them. I've done individual heads before, and been quite pleased with the result (here and here), but groups are, for me, harder. So, this time I paid more attention to the background colour, the arrangement of the blooms, and the lighting. I'm reasonably happy with the outcome, but not entirely satisfied, and I haven't worked out why yet! I used a 70mm (35mm equivalent) macro lens to take the photograph, with the camera at 100ISO, set to Aperture Priority (f16 at 1/2.5 sec) with -0.3EV. I bounced a dedicated flash set to TTL metering from a large piece of foam board above the flowers.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen