View Full Version : Rocky Mountain High

Nancy Bell
07-18-2010, 06:30 PM
This is my 1st post in the macro and flora forum. Usually I point my camera at birds and mammals, but the flowers this year in the Colorado Rocky Mountains are spectacular and I just have to give it a try. This is a wild columbine with Colorado's famous blue sky. Photographed at 8500 ft. Not much PP except a slight curves.
Comments and critiques very welcome.

Canon 7D, 100mm f2.8 Macro, tripod
1/500, f8, exp. comp. -1/3, ISO 400

Roman Kurywczak
07-18-2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Nancy,
Welcome to the forum! One of my favorite flowers!!! This is one of the toughest flowers to shoot also! I has a great deal of depth to it, so f8 isn't enough to capture the entire depth of it....although you did choose the focal point nicely. You could have sacrificed a good amount of SS...even if windy for more DOF.....so something to keep in mind for the future. Mixed light is also tough on flowers.....so diffusing or shading the flower for the more even light.....also helps. A collapsable 5 in one diffuser/reflector is relatively cheap and light....yet an invaluble tool for macro. You could have reflected some ambient light on the rear of the columbine....to open up the shadow side and get the tonal range much closer. Diffusing it would have helped bring the delicate whites of the columbine in check also. Believe it or not....aluminum foil on some mat board will also work as a reflector (so will white foam core)....readily available and easy to grab when at home as a cheap substitute. Compositionallly, I wish you had included the entire petal on the bottom.....or even gone for a more 3/4 approach to the flower (very similar to the avian HA).....good news is.....you know it won't fly away or run...so working the angles is key! I hope I gave you some useful info to use in the field.....flowers are one of my favirite subjects and as they are readily available to most of us....always a joy to work with and keep the photo skills sharp!

Nancy Bell
07-19-2010, 07:15 PM
Thank you, Roman! Those are great suggestions and I made a copy to refer to. I do have one of those diffuser/reflector things but just wasn't sure when to use it. You have given me much to think about.

Julie Kenward
07-19-2010, 07:46 PM
Nancy, I think Roman covered all the basics. I have to say the first thing that grabbed me about this were the intense colors. You did a great job of getting them full force without oversaturating them.

I also would have loved to have seen the entire flower bud in this case because they are such a beautiful flower. I think the way they drape on the ends makes for some interesting compositions and they present a great way to fill the negative space that often accompanies floral images. Definitely continue to work the angles but don't forget to stand back and see it in its entirety, also. Sometimes the flower will show you how to fill that frame as you move in for the closeup!

Anita Bower
07-21-2010, 01:13 PM
So interesting to see a closeup of a western wildflower, which I would like to see in person some day. The native columbines here in Pennsylvania are red and yellow. You focused on the right spot, and the colors are lovely. Welcome to the world of flower macros! If you keep at it, you will discover a wonderful, hidden world.