A Couple of Nature Shots

It is spring here in my little slice of heaven, and recently I’ve pointed my camera at flowers and stuff. Here is a shot or three of the results. There are things I’d like to change in each, but it’s a lazy Saturday and putting up pictures on a blog is easier than many of the other things I’m supposed to be getting done. For whatever reason, these look a lot better when you click on them to biggerize.

I forget what this flower is called, but it's nice.

I forget what this flower is called, but it’s nice.

I’m tempted to monkey with this photo more to make the flower pop better, but that’s really not how this plant rolls. It’s not a popper. I wish I’d stopped down a bit more to get the fungus on the log a little more in focus.

Apparently these are very bad to eat.

Apparently these are very bad to eat.

I really like this one, except for one frustration: the one point in the entire picture that the eye is first drawn, the little bit of grot on the mushroom cap, is just the tiniest bit out of focus (105mm lens very close to the mushroom means very shallow depth of field even at f/4). It’s hard to get the focus just right when you’re holding the camera at arm’s length. The focus is close enough that my eyes try to adjust, which of course doesn’t work and merely annoys them. Still and all, I’m pretty happy with it.

Not sure the tree, either.

Not sure the tree, either.

This is a cropped section of a set of pics I took this afternoon to feed a larger episode about photo composition, depth of focus, and bokeh (and when bokeh isn’t all it’s cracked up to be). That’s the episode I should be working on right now. There are a couple of nice bright-pink-on-deep-blue-sky shots in the batch I look forward to sharing.


6 thoughts on “A Couple of Nature Shots

  1. Top plant: Fetid Adder’s Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii).

    Fungus: I’m not at all an expert, but it looks like Deadly Galerina to me.

    Bottom tree: looks like New Zealand Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium).

  2. These are really lovely. I especially like the top one when it is embiggened. The bokeh is just exquisite; *incredibly* smooth. And I like the way you shot through some of the foliage. I’m still struggling with really nailing the DoF on close-up shots like these. I often overestimate the DoF and wind up with something out of focus that begs not to be.

    • Thanks! I’ve cropped that top one about 27 different ways, cursing that big, fat foreground leaf the whole time (if only I’d recognized the threat and pushed it down one centimeter, so it’s still there but not as present), and grumbling about the way some of the background looks busy and jittery (not visible in this crop). But I do like the result, and I’m still tempted to go back and fiddle some more. Then I look at it bigger and decide all is well.

  3. I’ve never seen a mushroom like that. It’s so bright and cheerful…and, uh, deadly. Isn’t that always the way? The poison dart frog. The black widow. In Germany we have poisonous mushrooms that are red with white dots on them.

    I like your last photo very much. Great composition and the vibrant pink is striking.

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