Selective Multi Exposure

sunflower-finalI laid a sunflower bloom on a green pillow to get a sharp center approximating the same size as the next shot. Then I placed the bloom in a pot of greenery and used Blast Mode with 10 exposures on my IPhone.

I layered the two images with the blast one on top and selected the center brown circle with Shift/Elliptical marquee which constrains your selection to a circle. I feathered it with 20 pixels.

Then I added  a layer mask to the top layer and filled the circle with black, bringing through the sharp center below without any other part from the bottom layer.

A few green areas needed Content-Aware Fill to make them consistent.

A square crop seemed to work well on this symmetrical image.

Daylily Season

The daylillies are in great abundance now in Raleigh… the nurseries, Jaycee Park and everywhere you look.  There are so many beautiful varieties and it’s fun trying to do something a little different with them.  Generally they grow in bunches and it can be difficult to isolate one. This frilly daylily allowed me to get in close and capture the yellows and greens with a rim of yellow just showing on the left side.

The background can also be challenging, but this yellow daylily had a purple groundcover growing at its base… a nice accent. I used a plamp to pull this one away from others and stabilize it too.

And the day wouldn’t be complete without an abstract. I loved these colors with early morning glistening dew.

Way Too Much FUN!

I had so much fun today.  Started off at Raulston Arboretum wanting to get some shots with my Canon 100-400mm and the Canon 500D diopter close up filter.  I started with some nice closeup shots in the garden,  but the rain started and I went for the building. There was a great bunch of flowers ready for retirement (so to speak) and I took them outside under the shelter and began shooting just as they were, doing lots of fun abstracts.

I was at that one spot for at least an hour I figure having so much fun exploring all the color combinations.

The 500D diopter allows you to focus very close or give very nice abstracts.  Enjoy the color on this rainy day!  It is currently out of stock, but normally sells for $220 according to the Canon website. This is extremely high quality glass and I have not found any problem with sharpness when I’m going for sharpness unlike most of these images.

Sometimes it’s all about the color!

Get Down Low

One of the best and easiest ways to get a new perspective with flowers up close is to get down on the ground at “eye” level.  This is great when photographing people and works equally well with flowers. It gives them a feeling of importance in the photograph.

This ivy and wildflowers were about 18″ tall draping the rocks and I had to get really low to photograph them. The grasses above gave a nice ceiling to the plants crawling up  the rocks. This was taken at the Cape Fear Botanic Gardens in Fayetteville, NC… one of my new favorite places!

I love azaleas and azalea buds and used a low perspective to get other blooms to act as the background. Purple and green always work well!

Brookgreen Gardens

I just spent a few days in Myrtle Beach and visited Brookgreen Gardens.  Brookgreen is on the south side of Myrtle near Litchfield and is well worth a visit. It has acres of gardens, many sculpture pieces, plus a new butterfly house and zoo.

The live oak alley is inspiring and almost overwhelming due to the pure size of these trees.

Brookgreen is across the street from Huntington Beach State Park, which includes the house built by the Huntingtons and was occupied until 1947. It was heavily influenced by the Spanish castles Archer had visited. The home was built in 1931 and is called Atalaya, a Spanish term for watchtower. The house has 50 rooms and 2 courtyards in a rectangular shape.  Mr. Huntington, wanting to provide work opportunities for community residents during the Great Depression, insisted that local labor be utilized in its construction.

‘In Your Dreams’

The name of this particular iris in ‘In Your Dreams’… very appropriate.

This is the most beautiful iris that I’ve ever seen. It is a tall bearded iris located near the education building at the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. After the recent cold nights, two of the blooms were laying on the ground but many are still standing tall and beautiful. Irises need a lot of depth-of-field for sharp focus… and ideally no wind.

I used a large diffuser to block the sun and wind, and a silver reflector on this one to add light.

For this shot I was down on the ground, tripod legs spread wide, ISO increased to 8OO to get f/20 on my Tamron 90mm macro lens.  Well worth the effort.