Posted on | August 10, 2012 | No Comments
One Saturday night as Linda & I were driving to dinner, I spotted a large group of Prickly Pear blossoms in full bloom. My verbal outburst on seeing them startled Linda! She thought something was wrong. I turned the car around to get a better view. “OK’ I said “tomorrow morning”. As some of you may know the prickly pear blossom only lasts one day. The next morning the plant was only a shadow of what we saw the evening before. I could not find a single good blossom to capture. I decided to return the next day. It offered a better opportunity. There were a couple of shots that might work. Because the street was narrow with quite a bit of traffic, I parked the car on a side street, set up the 90mm T&S lens and camera on the tripod and crossed over. The blossoms were right on the side of the road so my ability to move around was limited by cars passing within a foot or two. I took the vertical shot and then, before I got too nervous about the cars, found a tighter horizontal shot. I don’t advise putting yourself in a somewhat dangerous position simply to get a photo but for those of you familiar with stock photography, timing is everything. We had a want, needed an image – and there it was!
After I got these shots I put on the 180mm to see if I could get a longer shot. A hazard of the occupation, two police cars arrived as I was thinking about setting up in the middle of the road. Evidently someone reported a crazy person with a camera and tripod in a residential area. After a casual inquiry during which I explained I was taking a picture of the tiny yellow blossoms on the side of the road (and not the house and yard in the background), the officers asked me to be careful and wished me a good day!
For those of you who like the technical side, here was my thinking for these shots. I would have preferred to use the 180mm macro lens with the tripod collar but that required setting up out in the street. Some of the blossoms were literally resting on the road. The 90mm allowed me to get closer to the blossoms and still work with a narrow field of view. I raised the ISO to 160. Both images were f22 @ 1/2 second plus 2/3 stops exposure.
There are still a couple of places left to join this crazy photographer and Linda at the Maine Media Workshops for an educational but fun-filled week of macro photography September 9 – 15th . Go to http://www.mainemedia.edu/workshops/photography/macro-photography for more details.