A Little Closer

A Little Closer

Here we have yet another in the long line of pictures I’ve taken which was directly inspired by my cousin Beth, who often posts close-up photos of flowers to her Instagram feed. Go ahead and follow her–you’ll be glad you did, and I’m sure you will see where I’ve gotten some ideas for my own pictures over the years :) I forget exactly which picture she posted that led to me taking this one, but sometimes it’s the idea of going out and taking pictures more than an individual photo that really gets to me. Occasionally I need a little mental nudge to get my camera out of my bag and go out and shoot some pictures, which is what I really like about using software like Instagram, Flickr, and even Facebook. Seeing what other people post helps give me ideas for my own photography, which can be a really col thing.

This picture is, as I have learned over the years, a class Simon Flower Photo: subject is off-center, viewing angle is slightly off to one side, the center is sharp, and there is a bit of context in both the foreground and background to give the subject a sense of depth and perspective. These particular compositional choices have come to define my particular style when it comes to taking pictures like this, and I like the idea of iterating, and improving, on these traits. I of course also used my close-up filters to get this shot starting with a +4 and then a +10. I didn’t like the results I was getting from the latter so I went with an image taken with the former, and even though I thought shooting at f/8 would result in an image that had too wide of a depth of field, it turned out to be not the case at all. In fact the shots I took at f/4 and f/2.8 had a depth of field that was so shallow it was a muddy purple mess, hence the f/8 shot you see here.

Something about the colors in this photo is a little off to me, and I’m not quite sure what’s causing it or what to do about it. The whole image seems to have somewhat of a yellow tint to it, but adjusting the white balance and overall tint (in the Basic panel of the Lightroom Develop module) didn’t really help. Maybe it had something to do with the time of day at which this was taken, or maybe even the close-up filter causing some type of aberration with the incoming light. It almost looks like this picture was sent through some kind of Instagram filter but I can assure you that’s not the case :) I almost didn’t post this picture because of the weirdness with the colors, but then figured I’d take the same as Spike from Cowboy Bebop: whatever happens, happens. This is how the picture turned out, so I might as well use it. And you know what? I kind of like it.


  1. Good Morning, I believe this is a Hellebore. They do have an odd coloration to the blooms. The personal bits in the center look right. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and methodology.

    I have a student in class who likes to shoot flowers. For my last class I am putting together a list of blogs, Facebook pages and websites that have helped me on my journey as a photographer. I plan on including your blog, specifically for that student.

    • I think you’re right about the plant identification, Rebecca! I just looked up Hellebore online and it seems like this just might be one. Thank you! And thank you for including my blog in your list of resources. I hope your student finds it helpful!

  2. CathyAnn says

    Gorgeous shot!

  3. Everything about this photo is right. The white balance, where you’ve landed with your focus, the light and exposure are all just perfect. I’m very fond of the textures here as well.

    • That’s very nice of you to say, Bill. I’m so glad you like it, and I didn’t even notice the textures until you mentioned it. Thank you!

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