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Lemon Blossom

December 21, 2008 I've learned changes in weather can bring opportunities to photograph dramatic skies. It has been raining - cold, stay inside kind of rain - for the past week. But, last night's weather report promised a change towards warmer and clearer skies. So first thing after waking I took a peek out the window and saw blue with some fluffy white stuff in the sky.

Looking around the backyard I noticed a lemon tree was putting out new blossoms at the tips of it's branches. I composed a picture in my mind's eye of the blossoms set againsts the dramatic blue and white sky. As I was setting up for a shot thicker clouds started to roll in from the north. I recomposed trying to keep ahead of the coming cloud cover. But, the sky had decided to change into an uninteresting blanket of white. The thing with changes in weather is that it changes, sometimes rapidly. Oh well, another thing I've learned is that a blanket of white clouds offers great muted light - like a big soft box in the sky. So changing my plans, my lens and my position, I took the sky out of the equation.

Getting in very close with my macro setup I wanted to take advantage of the soft muted light to highlight the subtle detail in those lemon blossoms. The dark purple at the base of the blossoms gave way to delicate purple dots offset against white tips. For some reason they reminded me of freckles on a happy sun drenched face. I gave the blossoms the chance to show off their delicate "freckles" through the composition of my shot. To isolate the top most buds I used a large aperture to maximize the background blur.

Don't fight nature, just go with what it offers, that’s what I always say - well, that’s what I said today.

-Scott


Note: When I first posted this entry it looked like this:

"It has been raining - cold, stay warm inside kind of rain - for the past week. Last night the weather report promised warming, clearing skies, so I was anxious to get outside. I've learned that with changes in weather, there can be opportunities to catch dramatic skies. This morning I took a peek out the window and I saw some fluffy stuff in the sky. I wanted to take a warm up shot before heading out to a yet undecided shoot location, so I decided to take a look around the backyard.

Looking around I noticed that the lemon tree was putting out these new blossoms. I don't think I've ever noticed a lemon blossom; why a lemon would have a bright purple blossom escapes me. As I was setting up for a shot my blue sky with fluffy clouds decided to fill in into an uninteresting mass of white. Isn't this the way it always is? Oh well, another thing I've learned is that a mass of white clouds offers great muted light. So changing my plans, my lens and my position, I took the sky out of the equation. Don't fight nature, just go with what it offers, that’s what I always say - well, that’s what I said today."


I had the chance to re-read and edit the post this morning. I'm not saying this version - lets call it 1.1 (above) - is perfect but I think it's a step forward. I’m finding that I’m really fighting this post – kind of like fighting in-coming clouds. I decided to put the thought process here as well as both postings. Here are a few notes from this morning:

There were a lot of ideas going on when I originally wrote this:

1) Weather changes can lead to interesting photographic subjects
2) Be open to photographic opportunities along the way to the shoot
3) Be flexible to changes beyond your control
4) Be observant to the small things
5) Take advantage of what the weather is offering and don't try to fight it

I had to decide what I am trying to say or even more specifically what I want to say. I decided to go with point 1, to lead the 1st paragraph with a stronger "active" statement. And from there I filled in with the back story. I tried to adapted points 3 and 5 to be more cohesive and supportive to the main point of the posting. I’ll save being open to photographic opportunities along the way to a shoot and being observant to small things for another day.

     

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