IN THE FIELD: Flaunting In Fuchsia


This photo was taken a few weeks ago using a 90mm macro lens. Macro lenses of this or longer focal lengths serve a double duty. They can be used as a macro lens or as a medium telephoto.

When I composed this shot, the front lens element was a little more than one foot away from the tulip. This helped compress the scene yet still isolate the flower nearest the camera.

I wanted some color in the background but wanted the focus to be soft, so I chose a wide aperture to accomplish this. There was also the slightest breeze adding some movement to the flowers to further soften the scene.



cloudy WB

ISO 200

  1. May 31, 2013 at 8:57 am

    What a beautiful colours and harmony. great shot. Thank you dear David, have a nice weekend, love, nia

  2. May 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Thank you Nia, and you have a great weekend also!

  3. May 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Wonderful shot, David! The colors are brilliant.

    • May 31, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Thanks Gracie, this was taken at Longwood Gardens also. They planted over 100,000 spring bulbs! I’ll post some more photos from there in a few days. Don’t want to overdo the tulip thing LOL.

  4. May 31, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Love the detail and color, David! I always seem to lose detail when I shoot bright red or pink flowers.

    • May 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Thanks Karen, Speaking from experience…yes reds can be an issue with digital cameras and in my case…along with reds and pinks, purple petunias coming out blue, but there are some ways to overcome that. I’ve gotten some advice from a friend and fellow Pro photographer to help with this. In my camera (Nikon) there are three color gamuts to choose from in the shooting menu under optimize image. la(sRGB), ll(AdobeRGB), and llla(sRGB). All three color gamuts contain the same number of colors but each contain a slightly different palette. The first one is better for portraits because it has more colors corresponding to skin tones. The last one is better for scenics because it has more green tones. Although I have found them to be a tiny bit bluer compared to the second one. The second one, AdobeRGB, has the same amount of colors but they are spread out over a larger area producing a wider gamut. It was suggested to me to use AdobeRGB for better renditions of reds and pinks if I do a lot of post processing which I don’t. Anyway through experimenting with all three gamuts I found the reds and pinks look best or closer to real life by using the third one with saturation at normal, no tone compensation, and hue at 0. Using AdobeRGB the greens look more natural but the pinks and reds are a little pale in comparison to lll(sRGB). So what I do now is take a shot with one color gamut and then switch to the other and take another shot when reds and pinks are involved. I also have an older camera with older technology so that may be part of the issue in my case. I know this may be confusing, but I’m sure you’ll figure out what works best for you. Try doing some tests with various combinations and see what looks best to you. Be sure to write down your settings for each photo…it really makes things easier when you get back to the computer and you’re comparing photos to see what settings gave the best results. I used our next door neighbors rhododendrons for my subject. I put the camera on a tripod and just kept taking photos of the same bunch of flowers. Hope this helps!

      • May 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        David, thank you for explaining the possible solution to bright pinks, purples and reds. I have a Canon 60D. I will experiment with the color gamuts and compare the results. I think my rhododendrons will be good subjects, or my roses. I will post the results on my blog if I am able to improve my colors. Thanks again!

  5. May 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Absolutely stunning shot – brilliant colours and perfect exposure. I love the semi-abstract background. Beautiful!

    • June 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you Jo for the kind words! I was using a borrowed macro lens for this shot…I need to make room in the budget for one of these LOL. Humbly I have to admit this is one of my favorites photos from the Longwood Gardens shoot. Straight out of the can too!

  6. June 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    That is a terrific image, David!

    • June 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Thanks Montucky, There were so many tulips at Longwood Gardens spring display, it was hard to decide where to look! If you are ever back east, be sure to makes the trip there!

  7. June 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Yellows and whites always give me the willies when shooting. Sometimes orange too. Macro lens are awesome. Great shot.

    • June 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Funny how some colors just are problematic…if you don’t hit the exposure just right, either detail is lost due to over exposure or the colors aren’t as bright and turn sort of greyish. It’s a tough burden we must bear….but hat’s when bracketing comes in handy. Macro lens is in the budget!

  8. June 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Beautiful, David!

    • June 6, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Thank you Fergie, I have so many other photos to share…one of these days I’ll post a few shots of the gardens. The light was pretty harsh by the time I took overall shots (noon) but they will still give an idea of the enormous display.

  9. June 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Beautiful color, David. I appreciated your explanation to Karen above. I’ve had some trouble with reds, too – I’ll have to do some experimentation with this myself.

    • June 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Lee, I’ve had trouble with some red flowers, yet the red in other objects render fine. Purple iris’s look fine but purple petunias come out blue. There is probably some scientific explanation dealing with reflectance or absorption of light. Either way it drives me nuts!

  10. June 8, 2013 at 5:58 am

    this is just way too professional 🙂 I definitely need a new camera, and maybe go on a photography course 😀 you should teach people how to shoot, David. Maybe you do it already? 🙂

  11. June 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Gee thanks Kristina for the kind words. I think the camera you are using takes fine photos…remember it’s the person behind the camera that makes the photo. And YOU have a good eye! Or as I would say, I like your vision. Funny you should say that about teaching…I’m starting local photography workshops in the coming days/weeks. Just need to set the dates. I really do enjoy teaching what I know…especially since I am primarily self taught. People seem to relate to that.

  12. June 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Stunning, David. Perfect. The shot just glows.

  13. June 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thanks John, every once in awhile everything comes together and it all works out.

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