Apr 15, 2010

The Humbled Dandelion

Betrayed and hated, stepped on and despised, the humbled Dandelion unfolds its true beauty when discovered up close. Usually we only pay attention to a dandelion when our lawn is in danger but when I visited the Boston Arnold Arboretum the other day I came along as special setting of four that struck me as potential photography material. I was instantly attracted by the three dandelions next to each other and one not far away from them. In fact I remember thinking why not challenge yourself to make a beautiful composition out of the common triplets. So I unfolded my tripod to get really close to the ground but unfortunately the tripod head added additional heights and I did not get down to the level I wanted to be. I decided to take the camera off the tripod and use one of the tripod legs as a support to hold the camera steady. This brought me actually down to grass and dandelion level and where I wanted to be; exploring the photographic floral object. When looking through the camera I discovered the unthinkable; a truly remarkable and unexpected composition and photographic opportunity. I settled for a low aperture of f/5.6 to minimize the depth of field and focused on the third row of stamen. The resulting shutter speed of 1/500 seconds was plenty to hand hold the camera with a sturdy support. The polarizer eliminated any glare on the leaves and saturated the yellows and greens. I underexposed by 1/3 of a stop and applied minimal sharpening during post processing the image.