March 2013 - Trying to Bloom

April 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Dear Friends,

  It has been a cold spring.  The forsythia are just starting to show yellow, and the daffodils are just waking.  Other flowers have not waited.  The snowdrops have already bloomed and passed, and the crocus have been blooming on south facing lawns and gardens for weeks.

I have been working on my "stacked focus" shots. Most of the images in this month's blog are macro (close-up) images combining three to twelve exposures taken with different focus depths, so that an entire flower or group of flowers can be sharp while leaving the background soft. 

The images are in chronological order, so you will see not only some change in the season (not enough!), but also some change in my skill with the technique.  Clicking on an image will take you to the image in the Zen Folio gallery, where you can purchase prints and other merchandise.  You may download lower resolution images for free for your computer screen from my SmugMug gallery. Images are sized for varying screen sizes.

This strange red flower, shot at the end of February, is a blossom from a bush on the Cabrini College campus.  Focus stacking was essential, to show the entire structure of the blossom in focus without losing it in the tangle of branches and other blossoms. Getting this    close with the 60 mm macro lens, even at f8 results in a very narrow depth of field.  Eight exposures were blended for this image.

straggly red flower on a bushEarly Blossoms

Snowdrops in Snow is such a gentle image, I almost did not include it, but it reminds us of how March has treated us.  

snowdrop blossom partially submerged in snowSnow bells

Then we had freezing rain!  I struggled with this image in post production (i.e., after the shooting), when I was assembling the exposures.  Photoshop had a particularly hard time blending the images - because of the subject, I think, and because my camera moved too much during the shooting.  After putting much too much time into the picture, I just cropped out the parts that did not work.

many irregular ice ballsFrozen Rain The same day in March I recorded the bowed but unbeaten crocus. They later made a great recovery.

yellow crocus blossoms with water and ice dropletsIce Crocus March still had some snow for us. In the picture below, a student walks past snow-draped statues of Mother Anna Bachmann and St. John Neumann.

A student walk through falling snow past snow-draped statuesSnowy Blessing

But the sun did finally appear.  In the last few days, with a little sun, the crocus have been incredibly brilliant, day after day. Perhaps the cool weather preserved the blooms, and March gave us a gift after all.

purple and yellow crocus bloomsCrowd of Crocus

Love to all,

Scott

 

 


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