And now for some “conventional” flower images and a bit of landscape…….
The weather’s still doing it’s best to spoil things and so I am finding myself seeking flowers in sheltered areas and, even then, having to wait for quite some time until it is still long enough to obtain a sharp image. Patience is a virtue! Since I’m talking flower photography, I thought I’d mention that my number 1 purchase over the last 6 months has been an old manual focus 200mm f4 Micro Nikkor. For many years I made do with a prime 200mm f4 with extension tubes but felt it was now time (I had been putting it off for many, many years) to purchase a dedicated 200mm Micro.
So, why didn’t I get the AF version? 2 reasons. Firstly, the MF version is at least half the price and secondly, I rarely use AF when shooting close-up. Also, and this applies to nearly all MF lenses, the focus ring on MF lenses is sooooo much smoother than on an AF lens. The 200mm Micro, for example, has finger-tip focus. A real joy to use. I am now finding that I rarely use my trusty 105mm f2.8 Micro since with the 200mm I get the same magnification, double the working distance and even more control over my backgrounds. It also has a tripod collar and so changing orientation from view to upright’s an absolute breeze!
I’m off to the Bieszczady Mountains National Park in SE Poland on Monday leading a photo-tour with photographer friend, Marek Kosinski. Although primarily a landscape tour, there will be opportunities to photograph orchids and insects so this lens will definitely be going with me! Current weather predictions are for a hot week (25-30) which will be quite a contrast to what we are currently experiencing, here in the UK!
You will notice that, opposed to my previous post, I have included the technical data under each image. For all images (except the primrose), I mounted the camera onto a Manfrotto 055CX3 with a Markins M10 ball head.
Reculver at twilight
Nikon D300, 12-24mm @ 18mm, iso 200, 2 mins. @ f11.
I had just finished holding a really enjoyable close-up and bushcraft workshop with Phil from Badger Bushcraft and, although weary, I could not resist the late afternoon sunlight and so rather than driving home,
decided to continue for a further hour shooting primroses.
Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 200, 1/25 sec. f8, beanbag.
Bluebells at sunrise
Always the trickiest part of the operation with an image like this is keeping the rapidly rising sun obscured behind a tree, so as to avoid flare.
Nikon D300, 12-24mm @14mm, iso 200, 1/2 sec. f16.
Taken shortly after the above image. Due to the weather these were the only successful bluebell images I took. Getting up that early is never a pleasure but, and I have said this before, I never regret it when I do. The quality of light is like at no other time of the day.
Nikon D300, 105mm Micro, iso 200, 1/15 sec. f4. Multiple exposure.
Ramsons at sunset
Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 200, 1/15 sec. f4.
Another evening jaunt where, as you can see from the data below, the nagging breeze forced me to use a higher iso than I would have liked. But, with the setting sun waiting for no man, it’s always best to get something than nothing at all!
Nikon D300, 105mm Micro, iso 560, 1/20th sec. f4,
Woodruff and fern
Opposite to where I park to enter a woodland, lies a sheltered, roadside bank where, even on the windiest days, it is perfectly still. For an hour I “worked” this 20m patch, also shooting yellow archangel and wild strawberry, only having to move out of the way once, for a car. Such is it’s quiet location.
Nikon D300, 28-105mm @ 62mm, iso 200, 1.3 sec. f22.
Last rays of the day
Taken in the wood where I park my car (explained in above caption) I looked for subjects to photograph against the setting sun. As I headed to the top of wood I noticed how the light was catching just the tops of the trees. 3 images were taken and stitiched together.
Nikon D300, 28-105mm @ 35mm, iso 200, 4 secs. f16.
Nagging breeze problem, again!
Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 560, 1/5 sec. f4.
Now we are completely up to date as this was taken on Wednesday. Yet another breezy day so flowers in a sheltered spot it had to be.
Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, 1/160 sec. f5.6.
, germander speedwell
, pink campion
, red campion
, wild garlic