August 6, 2009 – Purple Coneflower



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yeah, another flower picture. ‘Cause they’re easy. I snapped this one last night actually, when we were out for a walk. There are some folks in this neighborhood with some seriously cool flowers out front. Good stuff. This was taken very late in the afternoon (almost 8pm), and it was in the shade. So to say it was a low-light situation is an understatement. To top it off, I didn’t have my super-fast 50mm lens with me, and my image-stabilizing lens is in the shop for repair. Ugh.

So, by bumping the exposure compensation WAY down (to -1 2/3), and bumping up the ISO to 800, I was able to get a shutter speed of about 1/80th of a second. Not great, but it was the best I could do. I did a couple other things to mitigate the potential for camera shake though: 1) I took a bunch of them. (about 10). 2), I set the camera to continuous mode. (As in, you hold the shutter, it takes pictures as fast as it can, 4 or 5 per second or something. Maybe 3, I don’t really know honestly.) Sometimes that can help – when you hit the shutter, sometimes that causes your hand to shake, so by the 2nd or 3rd frame, sometimes you’ve settled down enough to get a good shot. Almost all of them were blurry, but I got a couple that worked out well. I’ve been planning on swinging by one of these mornings when the sun’s actually shining on them, but it’s been cloudy here the past few days, so it hasn’t happened yet. We’ll see if I can get over there before these guys wilt.

And yes, to answer your question, I cheated a bit. Since I bumped down the exposure quite a bit, that meant I had to use software (I use Picasa) to lighten them back up. There, now you know. Also, the new camera (the Canon Rebel T1i) helped quite a bit. With my older camera (Rebel XT), there would be so much noise in the picture at ISO 800 that it wouldn’t be worth keeping. But the T1i is much *much* better at high ISOs, so when needed, you can get away with bumping it up like that. (Depending on the picture, even 1600 can work out okay!)

As you can tell, I decided to stick with the daily thing, at least for now. You guys win this round. 😉


Update:  I learned that this is a “purple coneflower”.  If you’d like to learn how to PAINT one of these, check this out!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 800. Focal length: 119mm.

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