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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Smallflower Woodland Star (Lithophragma parviflorum)

One of the challenges of photographing tiny little flowers like this one is that, perched on the top of slender stems, they are sensitive to the gentlest of breezes. With close-up macro photography such as this the slightest movement means a blurry photo. In years gone by I have simply given up on days when there were breezes. This year I've been experimenting with using higher iso settings that enable me to shoot using faster shutter speeds thus diminishing the problem of movement. The photo above was shot using the iso 800 setting. I find that with my camera (Sony Alpha 550) any higher iso setting results in too much noise for me. So, if youre wondering why there are so many close-ups of flowers lately it's because of this experimentation. I'm still working out how to get the depth of field I want, also. With a flower like this I actually wanted a greater depth of field (smaller aperture) to show a little more detail on the leaf that is visible lower down on the flower stem. But a smaller aperture would have meant a slower shutter speed and would probably have resulted in another blurry photo (I have dozens - I've spent two mornings in Highrock Park photographing this same little flower!). As it was I settled for f11 and a shutter speed of 125th of a second. This tiny flower is called the Smallflower Woodland Star (Lithophragma parviflorum), a lot of name for a very small flower but the name is very fitting. It's a member of the Saxifrage family.

1 comment:

JoJo said...

It's a gorgeous photo and the detail is amazing. Sometime you should show us the closeup and then a photo showing how big (or how small) the flower actually is.