Friday, May 14, 2010

Les Fleurs du Jour

Acquired a new lens this week so HAD to test it. Nikon 105mm macro. Sharpest lens I have ever owned. Headed out to Kauffman Gardens for some closeup work. The Gardens right now are at their peak of Spring beauty. 4801 Rockhill Road diagonal from the Nelson Gallery.... free. Technical info as we go along.All photos were opened in Photoshop.... no intensification of color was done. Vignetting was applied in a lot of the shots to provide more emphasis to the feature flower.
Those with relatively shallow depth of field (focus) were shot at f5.6 to f8... others that are deeper in focus were shot at f16.... none were shot with smaller aperture although the lens will stop down to f32.

All images were shot with available light; no flash used.
Tripods are not allowed in the garden (something I approve of) so in doing macro photography hand held a fast shutter speed is essential. Many of the close up flower shots were made at ISO 800 or 1000 to enable a shutter speed from 1/500th all the way up to 1/4000th. The lens has image stabilization built in but even that is not useful at higher magnifications.

With any warmer weather the roses will go crazy.... probably peak in the next 10 days.
Lady bug hiding.

This lens will go 1:1 on its own without any extension tubes.... however you end up very close to your subject to get that ratio. (Merely means that the object you're photographing is the same size on the image as it is in real life.) For insects I will probably use a Nikon extension... the TC-1.7 E... so I'm further back. Although most insects don't really care....

This lens also has a gorgeous "bokeh" which refers to the manner in which the lens renders the out-of-focus background. Very smooth and accurate colors with a gentle blur.
In addition to vignetting I burn in portions of the photo to emphasize the main subject. As in photojournalism though I don't remove or artificially add anything to the images so they are what you would see if you were standing beside me.

All shots were taken with a Nikon D3 and the 105mm. Not using zoom once in a while makes you think a little harder and it's healthy.

All of the plants have their names nearby so you don't have to guess what they are like you do on this blog.


  1. Beautiful post! Beautiful flowers! Thanks for sharing your work and new toy with the rest of us.

  2. You know what? you've always shot nice things before but I swear you're at least shooting even better, if not also editing more and better, too. the end result is even better shots. great work. thanks.

    KC Photog Blog

  3. Thanks.... always trying to improve my game.... new Photoshop, new lens.... how can I go wrong :)