Capture This - Plum Tree Blossom

March 22, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
Capture This - Plum Tree Blossom
Good morning everyone,

Like lots of subjects, it is sometimes easy to look through our eyes and think, 'that is gorgeous'...a landscape, a person, flowers.  But on many occasions, the photograph we take doesn't seem to do justice to what we feel at the moment.  With all photography there is an element of emotion even when there aren't people in the photograph.  Photographs create an emotional response in us when we identify with them and the photograph is always much better if we can capture that emotion somehow.

Lots of blossom together looks stunning, but is difficult to capture effectively; often the result is a busy undirected image in which our eye is constantly searching for the focal point. Ok, so we want to minimise the distractions and get the subject to stand out.  This is definitely one of the challenges of the plum blossom photographs I took recently.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the images.

~Tracey
The first shot shows a nice branch with lots of good looking blossom.  There is a little contrast between the subject and the background, but not much.  I think sometimes this can work if you are looking for a warm hazy look, but on many occasions, it is better to have the contrast helping to separate out the background.  I like the way the second image shows off the stamen from the flower, but it is still too busy for me :-)
Exposure - 1/640 at f/2.8
Focal Length - 200mm
ISO - 250
Exposure - 1/1000 at f/2.8
Focal Length - 200mm
ISO - 250
This image is interesting and it is clear to see the subject of the image, but it isn't in focus!  From the camera settings, you can see that the shutter speed is pretty fast - fast enough to freeze kids running, so what happened?  It was pretty windy and we can see that the aperture is wide so the depth of field is very shallow.  I think the wind blew the blossom out of the focus of the camera between the time I froze the focus and the images was taken…a bit of luck or bad luck, depending upon your point of view!
Exposure - 1/1000 sec at f/2.8
Focal Length - 200mm
ISO 250
I felt as I was taking these images, that the images were going to be busy and so tried a couple of techniques to minimise the content.  

In the first one, I chose a branch that was straight and picked only a couple of sprouts of blossom on it and made sure that there was nothing close in the background.  The result…clear, but quite a stark image that doesn't have much of a story….of course this is not a science and you may disagree completely :-0

During the second attempt.  Instead of shooting a branch from a perpendicular angle (so even though the aperture is wide, a lot of the branch is in focus as it is in the same plane from the lens) I shot the image down the branch.  This results in only a small element of the branch being in focus, plus the added benefit of creating a leading line with the branch to take the viewers eye to the focal point.  I think it works much better and with careful composition would result in an interesting and creative image.
Exposure - 1/2000 sec at f/2.8
Focal Length - 170mm
ISO 250
Exposure - 1/2000 sec at f/2.8
Focal Length - 200mm
ISO 250
Exposure - 1/2000 sec at f/2.8
Focal Length - 200mm
ISO 250
Next Time

Thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Next week will continue with blossom...and fine tuning how to get better blossom shots!

As always…I would love to hear your comments and images as well if you are also out there shooting blossom in March!!


Cheers
~Tracey
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