Is It, or Isn’t It?

My calendar indicates it is spring … but my garden says it isn’t! Overnight on Saturday, we got a dusting of snow, so when I awoke on Sunday morning, there was a dusting of white powder all over the place. Hoping to find some purple crocus in the white snow (that should make a nice, contrasty image!), I headed out to the wildflower garden with my camera and tripod.

Unfortunately, I found no crocus in bloom … only green plants sticking out of the snow covering. But as I wandered the garden, I did find an extremely small weed/wildflower … and it was a blue-purple color … sticking through the snow. I have never seen this little beauty before, so any assistance on the ID is requested, if you know what it is. The blooms were very, very small (maybe 1/4″ in diameter).

I had to work quickly as the sun was coming over the trees and I knew the snow would not last long. Working quickly, I made one large mistake that was not discovered until I was editing the images. The ISO was 1600, where I had it the other morning when I wandered around the nearby meadow just after sunrise. Even so, this high ISO worked out pretty well with the images. This first image was made using a small Depth of Field (DOF) to keep the background out of focus:

Wildflower in dusting of spring snow

After capturing a couple of images, I decided to make a few images for later “focus stacking”. For this, I made 4 different exposures, varying the focus, from front-to-back, combining them in Helicon Focus software, to get an image with greater DOF on the flower, but keeping the background out of focus:

Wildflower in dusting of spring snow

The DOF of the second image shows the background is starting to come into focus, a result of the lower parts of the wildflower being closer to the snowy background. Which one do you like better?

Photography Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF180mm macro lens, f/3.5, with a Canon 1.4x TC attached
  • Gitzo 1258-LVL carbon fiber tripod, with Kirk Enterprises HD ballhead
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/5
  • Shutter 1/800 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Blog, focus stacking, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers
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  • Julie G.

    I find them both quite lovely, Jim! How nice to see a touch of blue amongst the blanket of snow cover. Beautiful images!