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Shooting Daffodils

I like daffodils. I’ve been planting a couple hundred additional bulbs each fall, so that now I have a lovely spring-time display, right around this time.

In past years I would walk through the garden and take a photo here and there, mainly while standing, shooting straight down, not paying particular attention to the lighting or the composition. Flower “mug shots” I’d call them. Then last year, I started doing macro (close-up) photography. Although the results were technically adequate — sharp, detailed closeups — they were…well… rather dull, symmetrical and artless.

This year I’ve decided to try something different. I realized that a flower can be posed like a person. I guess that is obvious in retrospect, but it never occurred to me before that the poses of classical portraiture, like the 2/3 view, over-the-shoulder, profile view, etc., apply to flowers as well as people. And you don’t need to show all of the flower. A close up of part of it can also be interesting.

I’ve also worked to improve my technique, shooting with a tripod and remote trigger, using the McClamp to steady and isolate the blossoms in the field, using small erapertures to get greater depth of field, locking the mirror up before shooting to reduce any residual camera shake, shooting on days and at times where harsh shadows can be avoided, etc.

Here are three examples, intimate portraits, all shot on location in my garden. You can view more on my Flickr page.

Daffodil

Daffodil

Daffodil

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • dave 2009/04/21, 12:04
  • Rob 2009/04/21, 14:51

    In general my lips are sealed. But as someone who went through a similar acquisition 15 years ago, when IBM bought Lotus Development Corporation, I’d give this word of advice to my colleagues at Sun:

    Some day, when you least expect it, a maintenance crew is going to go through your buildings and tear down all the Sun logos and emblems and replace them with those of another company. Watch for that day and grab what you can from the trash bins. These relics will become prized possessions to you in years to come and, hidden in dark corners of labs, where executives never visit, will be objects of veneration among old timers who still remember what once was.

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