In the past few months I have shared a handful of pictures like this here on Weekly Fifty, and I’ve learned that this is the type of image I really enjoy making. One single subject, usually a flower or plant or other similar thing, illuminated against a bright background but surrounded by darker elements of the background. I feel like I’m getting better at taking these but also at noticing situations where these types of images present themselves. Here is a magnolia seed pod set against the background of a magnolia tree, but shot in such a way that the spaces between the leaves crate a white spot to help the subject stand out–this is not a groundbreaking composition but it’s colossally fun to shoot these types of pictures because of the element of discovery and then fine-tuning the shot until you get what you want.
To wit: when I first came across this seed pod I didn’t really think it would be a great photo opportunity. It’s kind of shriveled and wrinkled and there’s not a lot of color, but then I started doing what I often do. I examined the subject from different angles and moved myself around while adjusting my camera settings until I found a situation that created an interesting image. I had to hold my Nikon D500 up at an awkward angle and use the flip-out screen and Live View to get this shot, but it didn’t take long for me to arrive at a photograph that I really liked. I shot at f/2.4 to get a good mix of sharpness and background blur, and at this point you might be thinking to yourself This post sounds an awful lot like several other posts from the past few months. And you’re right! But that’s the fun part of photography: finding something you like and then practicing it so you can get better at it. And this is definitely the type of image I want to keep practicing so I can keep improving.