We encountered this mammoth cardinal-flower, Lobelia cardinalis, yesterday. It was growing in the rich alluvium of a remote Hocking County stream, and the tall spikes of scarlet flowers glowed luminescent in the dim light of this heavily forested stream valley. The plant was well over six feet in height, and the central spire seemed to shoot skyward from a fireworks display of lesser flowers.
Needless to say, this robust plant was worthy of some clicks of the camera, and I delayed long enough to make some images. Cardinal-flower can be surprisingly hard to shoot well. The brilliant flowers often appear washed out and lifeless in photos.
One trick is to make sure that the backdrop will adequately showcase the plant's colors. Plenty of green in the background seems to do the trick. It also helps to use a larger aperture to reduce depth of field and fuzz out all but the flowers.
Finally, my efforts are better if I intentionally underexpose the image, and allow a very soft flash to compensate.
It's a shame to see such a work of art as this cardinal-flower, and return home with less than satisfactory images.
I am a lifelong Ohioan who has made a study of natural history since the age of eight or so - longer than I can remember! A fascination with birds has grown into an amazement with all of nature, and an insatiable curiosity to learn more. One of my major ambitions is to get more people interested in nature. The more of us who care, the more likely that our natural world will survive.
All photographs (unless otherwise noted) on these web pages are the exclusive property of Jim McCormac, and are protected under United States and International copyright laws. The photographs may not be copied, reproduced, stored, distributed or manipulated without written permission. All rights are reserved.
All photographs are available for purchase. If interested in an image(s), please feel free to contact me at: jimmccormac35 AT gmail.com
If you contact me requesting free photos, the reply may be long in coming :-)
I've been taking photographs for a few decades, but never became fully engaged in photography until 2003. That's when I got my first digital camera. Since then, photography has become a passion and a steadily growing addiction. If you delve back far enough into this blog, you will see photos that were made with a variety of Panasonic point & shoot bridge cameras. Then came a Canon Rebel DSLR, followed by a Nikon D7000. I've since returned to Canon, and use their gear exclusively. My camera bodies are a Canon 5DS-R and a 5D IV - both are awesome full-frame sensor cameras.
The lens bag includes a dozen Canon lenses that collectively cover most bases, ranging from macro to super telephotos. I do lots of macro, and my typical flash gear is the Canon Twin-Lite setup, or sometimes a diffused Canon 600 speedlite. If the gear needs three-legged stabilization, it is mounted on either an Induro tripod, attached to an Induro Gimbal head, or a Gitzo 3542 tripod and Wimberly WH-200 head. Finally, I've got a GoPro Hero, which is fully waterproof and can be used for underwater work. Sometimes I even use the camera or video feature on my iPhone 5S smartphone - it's amazing how good phone cameras have become.
Speaking, guiding gigs 2017
NOTE: Click on listed events for details (in most cases).