Thursday, November 2, 2023

Cardinal-flower, and the coming floral hiatus

A brilliantly hued Cardinal-flower (Lobelia cardinalis), shot back on August 25, 2023. A floral hiatus now ensues, until the blooming of Skunk-cabbage at winter's end, at least in my part of the world. It got down to 29F last night, here in Worthington, Ohio. This Cardinal-flower was photographed in Scioto County, Ohio.

Photographic Note: Reds in flowers can be tricky to expose properly (as can yellow). It's easy to overexpose them, and thus wash out the gorgeous hues that make red flowers so fetching. Depending on the conditions, I often underexpose a bit, maybe 1/3rd stop, sometimes more. Wind is also not the flower photographer's friend, and as I recall this was a mostly windless day. Thus, I shot from a tripod with a 2-second timer delay (so I am not touching and possible moving the camera at the time of exposure). I also have the camera (Canon R5) set to touch screen focus. I just touch the spot that I want to have as the focus point on the camera's back screen, and Voila! Two seconds later the camera fires, focused on the exact spot that I touched. I'm also partial to very open apertures when I feel that I can get away with them, as f/4 (in this case) creates such a beautifully blurred background (bokeh). f/4 to f/7.1 are favored flower apertures although I will frequently venture off that reservation. ISO, of course, is set very low - 200 in this case. For floral photography, shutter speed is largely irrelevant to me, especially if there is not movement on the subject's part. This image was shot at 1/25 but I have often shot flowers at speeds as low as several seconds.

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