I went to the Fullerton Arboretum this morning to do a little shooting. The weather was largely overcast, with a little sun poking through from time to time, so lighting was fairly even, with the occasional opportunity for a brightly lit flower. I collected a few of the more interesting images into the gallery below, some better than others. Click an image to open the lightbox. Commentary follows.
I particularly liked Fat Squirrel, shot at 300mm from a safe distance, so as not to spook it. I presume being adjacent to the Cal State Fullerton campus, pickins are good for small wild animals feeding off student generated crumbs, resulting in overfed squirrels. On the other hand, as my wife suggests, maybe its a girl squirrel and she’s pregnant. Either way, the shot is not revolutionary, but I like the tone and the textures. You can almost feel how furry that tail is.
My other favorite is Bee, shot at 14mm, so that the bee and the flower are almost physically touching my lens. I was setting up to shoot the flower backlit (the sun had just appeared) with a wide angle, hoping to combine flower and sweeping background for something a little more interesting than the standard flower shot, when the bee arrived on the scene. So I recomposed a bit and started shooting rapidly, before the bee decided to move on, trying to keep the bee in focus. I ended up with a few decent shots, including this one. There were some others with more separation between the bee and the flower, but this one seemed the most pleasing overall composition. If you look closely, you can see the pollen on the bees knees. Its a bit easier to see in the full res image.
The pair of daffodil images are a matched set. Daffodils on the March suggested to me a mob of flowers chasing down the unfortunate one in front, what with the leaning and the height difference. Daffodils at Rest seemed like a bunch of flowers, perhaps the same mob now under control, standing around looking off in all directions. The bench suggestions sitting and resting as well. The whole picture just seems less urgent.
Palm is a bit bland, but I liked it for the radial lines. I tried it first with the circular mass centered in the frame, but the off centered composition was more interesting.
The remaining three all had possibilities, but did not quite pop the way I had hoped. Bench has some distraction in the foreground, and the flowers don’t quite line up with the other pieces in the frame. I liked the texture of the wood, both the bark of the tree and wooden bench, and the feeling of space behind the main subjects. But overall, it feels a little jumbled.
I spent a while working on Bridge, trying to get it right, but it never quite got there. I raised and lowered the camera, from the ground to 6 feet. I tried wide angle and telephoto. I used my Speedlight unmounted from the camera to get some fill off to the right, which helped a bit. And I ended up with something that was okay, but not really what I had in mind. I may try this one again if I go back.
Finally, for Flowers in Front of House, I was just thinking of the flowers when I shot it, but I realized upon later inspection that I needed to be a bit higher up to show more of what is behind the flowers. I like the colors and the subject matter, but it would have been much more effective if you could see the flower bed, then a bit of white picket fence, then the house, each in its own layer. As it is, too much is obscured by the flowers. I may also try this one again if I go back.
So that’s it. Good outing. Got a few keepers and tried a few things for the first time. Can’t beat that.