Monday, April 08, 2013

Over-exposure, memory and cyclamen

click photo to enlarge
I use a computer diary to keep track of what I'm doing and when. I also use Windows' built in "sticky notes" that mimic "post-it" notes for lists and "to do" items. By and large these two aids supplemented by my wife's calendar and diary mean that we have most things covered. That's not to say that events and activities don't, very occasionally, get missed: we are only human!

What I'm not good at - actually, I'm hopeless at - is keeping track of photographic approaches that I mean to use more. Things such as motion blur, my "lines in the landscape" project (see recent post), photographing from very low viewpoints, over-exposing appropriate subjects, and much else. I really need to establish a way to make sure I shoot in these ways at least once a week. What happens at the moment is that, out of nowhere in particular, a little light bulb occasionally comes on in my head and I think - "try this one with some positive EV".

That happened recently when I was photographing the cyclamen that we grow in our garden room and in the front porch. I've tried a few approaches to photographing the plants and I've been reasonably happy with my shots. However, I haven't yet produced the "Wow" shot that I think must be possible with these very showy blooms. But, looking through the viewfinder at some pink specimens of the plant the lightbulb glowed once more saying "try an overexposed shot", so I dialled in +1.0 EV. I liked it! When I reviewed the shots on the computer I increased the effect a little more. The combination of over-exposure and the macro lens wide open at f2.8 has produced a "dreamy" look that appeals to me. It's not my usual style, and it isn't the elusive "Wow" shot, but I like the water-colour, wet look of it and it's something I'll try again.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  +1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On