Nursery Display

Flora with a digital camera

There are several reasons why flowers are a favorite subject for photographers: they don’t move; they are colorful and if you miss the opportunity this year they will return in ten to twelve months giving another chance to capture their ephemeral beauty.  Digital cameras and the ability to instantly check the exposure and composition increases the attraction of photographing flowers.  The subject remains stationary but the photographer can wander around and vary the composition, the angles and shadows, the aperture and depth of field; in fact, the total artistic impression of the subject.

A quick search of Google for “flower photography” offers hundreds of websites that provide tips, hints, and instructions to make beautiful images.  Those tips suggest a need for a macro lens (or a set of extension tubes) and the advantages of diffused light.  Interestingly, while many sites comment on separating the subject from the background, none suggests using a long telephoto. At wide aperture these lenses almost guarantees separation of the subject and a blurred background.  More importantly, a longer telephoto lens is probably one of the first extras new photographers buy while a macro lens is often a later addition. Equally important, those long lenses and wide apertures present an artistic and impressionist result.  That moves us from “the camera never lies” realistic images that can become boring to soft and romantic portraits.

I took the images in this gallery over several years and with different cameras.  Some of the subjects are no longer with us.  The pomegranate bush grew into a thorny mass so I dug it out in the interests of family safety.  The peach tree succumbed to a harsh Houston winter, but the Bradford pear, the lilac bush and most of the exotic plants from my son’s greenhouse are still going strong.  They continue to bring me joy and sustenance to the insects that pass through my garden.

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