I love to get up early on a summer morning and explore the garden looking for new images. In my previous blog I captured images involving the garden sprinklers. This time I put on the macro lens (Nikon 105mm) and started exploring. Given the sprinklers had run earlier there were a lot of water droplets hanging on the flowers and foliage so I decided to focus on those.
In the 1st image I saw a row of water droplets hanging along the edge of a gladiola. To get in close, I added a Canon 5T close-up lens and a 36mm extender. I traded depth of field for some background detail. On a shot like this all the droplets have to be very sharp or else they distract from the rest. Set your camera up as parallel to the droplets as you can.
If you want to get a sunburst like the above you need to go with a small aperture (f51 in this case). The tradeoff is, of course, depth of field so you need to make sure the background material is far away and not too cluttered or else it distracts from the image. Also, note that changing your angle of view relative to the sun and water droplet can greatly impact the level of sunburst. Move you head up and down watching the water drop. Find the point where the sun seems brightest (you will see the difference once you hit that magic angle).
Finding nice background color when you can is always a great way to add pop. In the image above the background was all green which was nice, but I wanted a little more pop. I grabbed another red flower from the garden (I don’t recommend this unless it is your own garden) and held it at arms’ length (while I looked through the viewfinder) and moved it behind the area I wanted to emphasize. It took a few tries to get it, but I am happy with this one.
In this final image, I couldn’t get the sunburst without an aperture that resulted in a messy background. So I actually shot one with the background bokeh I wanted (large aperture) and combined it with the small aperture shot using Photoshop. The result is the sunburst plus the nice background. It always pays to think outside the box you think you are in.