Monthly Archives: March 2016

Spring Photo – Bradford Pear Blossom

Spring – Charge up your batteries and be prepared!

I love spring, but over the last 2-3 years, the weather has been very warm. Spring is over in a few weeks, and summer is here. It looks like that will happen again this year. Flowers bloom and wilt in just a few days. For example, my daffodils bloomed a couple of weeks early and lasted less than a week.

That’s why the title. Keep your camera ready and available.

Bradford Pear Blossom MacroThis photo was taken on a cloudy morning. The conditions were perfect for the kind of results I was trying to achieve. I wanted a very artistic feel to this picture, and I think it looks pretty good.

The Technique

My neighbor has two small Bradford pears, one of which is right next to my driveway. The location is perfect, yet most days, it is too bright for a dark picture. I would have to cut a flower from the tree, and I did not want to ask permission.

I took a piece of black felt and clamped one end to a tree branch and the other to an extended light stand. I then took a picture using Aperture Priority in order to see what the results were, but also to see what the camera meter was using for exposure.

Here is my first shot:

Bradford Pear first shot
Test shot of bradford pear

You have to agree that it is not all that impressive. I set the aperture at F6.3 and the camera set the shutter speed at 1/80 of a second. Notice that the whites are a bit too bright and the black background actually looks purple.

I changed the mode to Manual. Aperture was still F6.3, but I set the shutter speed at 1/250 sec. In my opinion, the difference was stunning.

Post processing: I used Photoshop to make a few adjustments.

Basically, I added a small amount of vignette and cropped out a small piece of white in one corner. I also desaturated the photo about 25% and added grain at a setting of 33.

That’s it! I only took 8 shots in about 5 minutes and spent about 5 minutes looking and editing on the computer.