[/caption] Not all flowers are created equal and the Dahlia seems to make a pretty strong argument. If you look closely, you can look directly into the center of the flower and see how each of the pedals grows. It almost looks like a giant onion but only much prettier and colorful. I took this shot while using my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens and was about an inch from the flower. This shot was taken at the Swan Island Dahlia farm in Canby, Oregon.
[/caption] This is another photo of a Dahlia that was taken at the Canby Dahlia Festival in Canby, Oregon. I was looking for a unique shot of one of the flowers with the blue sky in the background so I decided to crouch down on my knees and angle the camera at about a 90 degree angle. I wanted to get as much of the sky in the background without cutting off too much of the dahlia so I made sure to move close enough to the flower without losing any of the field of view. I was using my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens so I wasn’t able to zoom. However, I was able to get as far away or as close as I needed to in order to get the perfect shot. I’m about a foot from the flower and the lens didn’t need much time to focus since the subject stands out like a battle ship. My Sigma lens doesn’t have IS and since I wasn’t using a tripod I made sure to remove the CIR-PL and keep a steady hand in order to avoid any blur or camera shake. I kept the ISO at 100 and played with the white balance until I was satisfied. Since I always check the histogram after every photo I take it’s easy to decide on which is the best shot to keep.
[/caption] This photo was taken at the Canby Dahlia farm, which is located in Canby, Oregon. You will find over 40 acres of Swan Island Dahlias and over 350 varieties to choose from. They also grow hybrid flowers, which make them some of the most unique and exclusive flowers in the world. I was literally salivating over the amount of flowers I was able to photograph. I spent over an hour in the same spot when I realized that I had to keep moving or I would be there until next week if I expected to get to them all. I had no idea that they took on so many shapes, sizes and colors. They are very photogenic and have some of the most amazing personalities, which allowed me to take advantage of their unique genetic makeup. I attached my Sigma 50mm macro/prime lens and took several opportunities to get very close and also somewhat farther away in order to get the best shots. I didn’t use my tripod since I was in some pretty precarious positions and I didn’t want to spend all day setting it up and moving it aroundr To ensure that I wouldn’t have any camera shake or blur I made sure to remove my CIR-PL and attach my warming filter. Since each of the rows were either facing north or south, I took advantage of the suns position in order to avoid any glare of shadow. I kept the ISO at 100 but constantly changed the white balance until I got the perfect shot. I just made sure to always check the histogram as well as review every shot that I took. The website states that you can visit through the month of September so I will be going back real soon.
[/caption] An extreme close-up of a water droplet hanging on an Iris flower offers a great macro opportunity. I wasn’t using a tripod so I had to be sure and remove my CIR-PL and keep a very steady hand. I was about 1/2 and inch from touching the flower so I made sure to keep a very steady hand so I wouldn’t end up with any camera shake or blur. I was able to keep the ISO at 100 and just made sure that I utilized the histogram each time I took a macro photograph. I did sharpen the photo in Adobe Photoshop and saturated the colors in the Iris to really bring out the colorful beauty of the flower.
[/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.