Rose

After my post yesterday about artistic risk-taking, I am moderately sheepish about offering this safe genre photograph of a bunch of roses that have cheered up this cold January house a little bit. I really liked their orange and red variegation and so resolved to capture them before their inevitable decay.

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This was using normal room ceiling-mounted spotlights and a piece of white paper in the last frame to help with the white balance later. I really love flower photography and can fairly lose myself in trying to frame oddly shaped flowers in a rich way. To me flower photos are photography-on-steroids. The shapes are strong and beautiful, the colours which no doubt thrill their insect target-audience, are often richly saturated and thrill us too. Roses are incredibly easy to photograph well because they can fill the frame on a close up setting or in this case with a macro lens and simply flood your vision. This next one is simply to emphasise the form.

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One thing to emphasise about flower photography is how it amplifies your understanding of aperture and its effect on depth of field. It also helps you to explore the sharpness sweet spots of your lens in practice. The difference between f2.8 and f11 will be immense with petals gradually sharpening or blurring as more depth of field is introduced (larger f-stop number setting a smaller aperture). A nice exercise is simply to take a whole set with gradual aperture changes and you will really see and grasp the differences in a way that can take a while to learn in general photography. I took a few different settings here, and my two shots at f.18 pleased me most in that they gave enough detail throughout the rose and also a greater sharpness on the focus point.

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