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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Experimenting at the Experimental Farm


Normally my photography, when it comes to flowers, tends to be close-ups and macro shots. I like being able to isolate singular elements and with a shallow DOF I can get beautiful soft a colourful mosaic background patterns to complement the photo element.


The Experimental Farm in Ottawa has some very lovely flower gardens that provide unique and changing opportunities thought out the seasons to capture some of nature’s best without having you having to toil in the garden.

This time I wanted to change my approach somewhat and see if I could find lager areas that would lend then selves to some interesting compositions and also to try different approaches to composition.

In this first photo I wanted to capture the exquisite sea of yellow and at the same time have some visual anchors for interest.












I used the 2 main flower groups to give focus and provide for eye movement as you go up one side and down the other. When shooting bright saturated colours with digital cameras even when the histogram (luminous channel) shows no blown highlights there is still a tendency to clip one of the RGB channels. I always underexpose by 1/3 to ½ stop to make sure I have all the detail.

Even without the reduction in exposure these almost monochromic saturated colours tend to appear a little dark on the screen and not as vivid and bright as I remember. I apply a generous curve enhancement to lighten the mid-tones to give the image more visual punch, as with these image, high contrast is not a critical element.










I used the 2 main flower groups to give focus and provide for eye movement as you go up one side and down the other. When shooting bright saturated colours with digital cameras even when the histogram (luminous channel) shows no blown highlights there is still a tendency to clip one of the RGB channels. I always underexpose by 1/3 to ½ stop to make sure I have all the detail.

Even without the reduction in exposure these almost monochromic saturated colours tend to appear a little dark on the screen and not as vivid and bright as I remember. I apply a generous curve enhancement to lighten the mid-tones to give the image more visual punch, as with these image, high contrast is not a critical element.


















With the ornamental grasses I was trying to convey movement, which can be hard for a still photo. If everything is blurred because of movement and slower shutter speeds it becomes hard to find interesting focal elements. With fast speeds all become pin sharp but movement harder to detect.

In the above photo I used a shallower DOF to give the back grasses some blur and the appearance of movement and waited for the front grasses to be bent over to help support perception of wind.















But as always I cannot resist reverting sometime back to the close-up elements when you are surrounded but all the wonderful background colours.



Niels Henriksen



A Photographer’s Adage

The ongoing lengthily discussions between, which lenses, digital or film cameras, digital sensors, camera models or any kind of technology is almost a complete misuse of time. The perception that better technology will make better photographs is akin to saying bigger and faster cars make better drivers. Better photographers make better photographs. Technology and equipment is not the solution to producing great works of art, but with skill and vision, may assist with these goals. (Niels Henriksen)

2 comments:

Brian Auer said...

Great stuff -- I really like the first shot with all the yellow.

surf98/dgeorge said...

some great colours, enjoyed looking at you pictures. best regards david george

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