Nov 2, 2010

Ohne Fleiss Kein Preis

When I left for Cape Cod in the wee hours last Saturday I had a different idea of photography in mind. I was more on the hunt of landscape or seascape photography than flower photography. But as opportunities often arise out of the blue you have to adjust and take full advantage of them. in my early attempts this morning I first captured the morning sky on fire above the winding Herring River near the Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort and Old Silver Beach. Once the morning glow ended I made my way over to Bourne Farm and Crocker's Pond hoping that there was still some fall foliage color on display but needless to say it wasn't. The fall foliage has passed New England and is now making its way down the east coast into Virginia and North Carolina. With the fading morning light and already turning 9-ish I thought my day of photography was done and I started driving home on route 28, crossing over the Bourne Bridge and then cruising along Scenic Highway (route 6) Almost at the Sagamore Bridge and route 3, a grove of trees caught my attention. The trees were beautifully painted by the late morning light and stood in deep contrast to the ground shrubs of saturated red. I pulled into the next scenic overview parking area, pulled out my camera gear and crossed the four lane Scenic Highway ... not at all scenic when you trying to stay alive and not being run over. Once safely on the other side, another hurdle welcomed me. I stumbled down the bank before finally started shooting when the old German saying crossed my mind: Ohne Fleiss kein Preis - without efforts, no rewards ... how suitable I thought. In hope of better compositions I kept changing locations to explore different perspectives of trees and shrubs.

Then, while walking around and almost ready to continue my journey home I ran into this unexpected loner in full bloom. It never occurred to me that I would come across such a beauty in the beginning of November. Immediately I recognized the potential and envisioned a photo of the flower with the red shrubs as a complimentary background. I got to work and lowered the tripod to a low level that allowed me to use the shrubs as the wonderful reddish backdrop I visualized. Another challenge was the breezy conditions. The constant breeze made it difficult to capture a sharp image but after multiple exposures and demonstrating lots of patience I succeeded to frame one or two high quality photographs. I spot metered on the shaded floral and used exposure bracketing in 1/3 stops. The aperture was set to f/6.3 resulting in 1/25 seconds exposure time. In the post processing steps of the digital lab I applied lighting, color saturation and contrast adjustments before sharpening the image.