The Humble Dandelion

Everything's in the details.

Everything’s in the details.

One of the limitations of macrophotography, I’ve found, is that the gradations of depth are so fine that keeping your entire subject in focus is almost impossible unless your subject is 2 dimensional. I have about 10 shots of this dandelion. In some of them the, anthers are in perfect focus and the stigma can barely be seen. In others, the stigma are insanely sharp, but the rest of the flower is just a yellow blur. This image is sort of in between; you can see all the parts, but everything could be sharper.

My sister-in-law gave me a book on macrophotography and I’d like to read it; maybe there are solutions to my problem (short of photoshopping 2 images together) but man am I busy all the time. Although being sick for 10 days has, necessarily, cut into my productivity. Now this blog post is 14 hours late and I have to go get the kids in 24 minutes even though I’m not dressed and only halfway through breakfast.

Back to this flower. I love dandelions and I think people who kill them so they can have boring expanses of useless grass are wrong and in need of education about what’s important in the world. So-called “weeds” are the best part of having a lawn. We don’t have many dandelions here (this photo is from San Francisco), but we have other amazing volunteer flowers on our quarter acre: apricot mallow, wild daisy fleabane, evening primrose (you have to catch it at just the right time or you’d never even know it was a flower).

On this same roll I also had a decent shot of an ant (pretty well in focus but the ant is in a shadow, so it’s imperfect) and an excellent picture of a water strider, very sharp and clear but just not as colorful as this. The macrophotography books suggests that, while flowers and insects are the most popular themes for macrophotography, there are other interesting things you can do with it. Personally, I find that if you can shoot a clear image of a bug on a flower, there’s nothing more interesting.

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