[/caption] If you had the chance to visit the Schreiners garden, located just between Brooks and Keizer, Oregon, you were lucky enough to photograph some of the most unique Iris flowers in the world. They have mastered the art of hybrid’s and there are dozens of Iris’ to photograph. You will want to make sure and bring your macro/prime lens and leave your CIR-PL in the bag since you won’t want to have any camera shake or blur. I don’t use a tripod and I get as close as I can to the flowers in order to get the most brilliant photo as possible. Just make sure that you utilize your histogram and try to keep the ISO at 100 in order to keep the photo as tack sharp as possible.
[/caption] I’m not sure of the name of this flower but it caught my eye while visiting the Iris garden near Keizer, OR. The Schreiner’s Iris gardens, located between Brooks and Keizer, OR is one of the most amazing Iris gardens in the United States. They have a large garden with every possible type of hybrid Iris flower that you can think of. They also have several acres throughout their farm and I spent part of my morning walking my dog along the trails. I spend hours looking for the best photo opportunities and I usually end up taking over a thousand pictures within just a few hours. However, they also have several other types of flowers growing in the garden and this particular type of flower was growing as a 10 foot tall bush and had hundreds of these spiny flowers. Whenever I take close-up photos of flowers I always attach my Sigma 50mm macro/prime lens and make sure to remove the CIR-PL but attach my warming filter. I almost never use a tripod since you don’t always need one and you can take a lot more photos without fumbling around with a tripod. I can get as close as 1 centimeter from a flower and get some pretty amazing shots. You just want to make sure and turn on your IS if your lens has one and be sure to keep a steady hand and utilize the light in order to ensure that you avoid any camera shake or blur. I also utilize the sharpening tool in Adobe photoshop to make the photo as crisp as possible. To get this shot, I attached my warming filter and UV filter in order to enhance the colors but remove any excess glare and noise from the bright sun. I set the ISO at 100 and kept the white balance at 0. Since the camera was in program/normal mode the aperture was set at F-5 and the shutter speed at 1/166 second. You can set your camera to the close-up setting but you won’t be able to adjust the white balance and the camera will automatically focus itself so I almost never use the close-up setting. I was facing towards the sun and it was about 12:30pm so I was able to take advantage of the glare and use it to my advantage. The lens was almost touching the flower but was far enough away to get the entire foreground in focus but kept the background out of focus. The backlight also created shadows in the inner part of the flower but kept the tips of the needles over saturated with sunlight. Again, I always use my histogram so I can review the shot I just took and then make any adjustments if needed.