Taking this picture was kind of fun because I’ve realized that I don’t really take a lot like this anymore, which is kind of a shame. In truth I rather enjoy taking photos of flowers, but lately I’ve been mostly doing it with a close-up filter and thus missing out on some of the context and fun lighting that can come into play when composing a more normal view of something like this. As often happens with my Weekly Fifty photos I shot this early in the morning on my way to work, and with the sun just peeking over the horizon it meant a nice even diffused light covering the whole campus while also catching things at a time when the street lights were still glowing. And that’s where the fun part of this photo really came into play.
One thing I’ve learned when it comes to composing shots is that every element in the frame ought to be considered, from the foreground to the subject to the background and even other elements on the periphery that might not appear to matter. In this case there’s not much in the way of foreground elements, but I as I knelt down to take this picture I wanted to carefully pay attention to the background objects and compose my shot accordingly.
The subject is clearly the flower in front, but I also wanted to use another flower behind it as well as the triple-topped light post way in the distance as intentional elements of the shot. This required a bit of moving and maneuvering on my part while also taking my lens aperture into account. I shot a few images at f/2.8 and even a couple at f/4 but soon realized that while the subject was tack sharp in these, the background elements were not as blurred out as I wanted and thus the viewer’s eye was distracted and listless with no clear focal point. Thus I spun the dial on the front of my D750 clear to the left to get as wide of an aperture as possible, knowing full well that shooting at f/1.8 would mean an almost-too-shallow depth of field.
The results turned out pretty well, and though the yellow-orange petal closest to the viewer is a tad out of focus I’m glad that the rest of the flower is quite sharp. Ideally I think I would have physically separated the three elements of the shot (foreground flower, background flower, and light pole) with a bit more space instead of crowding things so close in the center of the frame, but overall I think the image is decent and a good reminder of why it’s fun to un-screw the close-up filters and just go take colorful pictures from a more normal point of view sometimes.