Coneflower

The Saturday before Easter I met up with some other photographers at the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Good thing we got there early, as it got crowded fast!

Coneflower

I took 234 photos in about three hours. Most of them — I am happy to report — were not blurry! I still pulled out almost 50% as rejects but being blurry was only one of the reasons I rejected a photo.

I am still learning something (almost) every day.

Creedmoor Blooms (1)

Our spring is in full bloom here in central Texas and I decided to take some time to photograph what Mother Nature is providing. I counted 17 flowers around the yard but photographing them turned out to be one of those things easier said than done. Here is the first set.

Azalea

Azalea

My routine was to put on my boots (as the ground was still wet from rain), go out with my camera, photograph the flowers, come back in, take off my boots, load the photographs to the computer, and review them.

Bluebonnet

Bluebonnet

Oh, it was easy enough to photograph the flowers, but when I reviewed the photos, I started out with about a 50% blurry rate. That meant putting on my boots again, going back outside, photographing some of them again, coming back in, taking off my boots, loading the photos to the computer, and reviewing them. Talk about a ‘rinse and repeat’ cycle.

Evening Primrose with small guest

Evening Primrose with small guest

I did this seven times. Seven times to get photos of 17 flowers. I know it’s not this hard for everyone, but I am mostly teaching myself and there seems to be only one way to learn: The Hard Way.

Honeysuckle vine that found its way to the top of an Italian Stone Pine tree

Honeysuckle vine that found its way to the top of an Italian Stone Pine tree

This is a good time to mention that I wasn’t just taking one photo of each flower. I took several photos of each flower. I changed my distance and position in relation to the flower. I changed the aperture. I changed the ISO setting. I changed the shutter speed. And sometimes I had only blurry photos.

Back outside I went.

I’ve taken beginning DSLR photography classes, read books, read online articles, checked out the Nikon website. Most recently I attended a wildflower photography workshop and came home with about the same success rate: 50%.

Honeysuckle vine on the fence

Honeysuckle vine on the fence

I learned a lot in the workshop and I learned a lot from my workshop failures, but those I didn’t see until I loaded the 237 photos to my computer at home once the workshop was over. I haven’t had a miracle insight or anything as to why so many of my photos are bad, but I’m getting a clue. I hope. I will continue to work on learning the correct manual settings.

I’ll just keep putting on my boots and going outside.

Scarlet Leather Flower, Take 2

After looking at other photos with textured backgrounds, I realized that if the background was mostly transparent, it would work with a foreground with a lot of detail. So I worked on the Scarlet Leather flower again, this time with rain drops as the background.

Red Flower

My first effort working with the flower photo wasn’t successful, that’s for sure.