Into the Great Wide Open

Phew.  Our most recent heatwave is over and I can probably get back outside.  I say probably because it’s horse and deer fly season and those just make me miserable.  They’re relentless and will bite you to death if given half a chance.

Lately I’ve been playing a bit more deliberately with bokeh and its effects.  Whenever I’m shooting I’m extremely aware of my f-stop and its relative depth of field, but I rarely shoot wide open with any of my lenses.  Generally a lens’s sweet spot for sharpest focus is in the middle of its f-stop range.  Many lenses are soft at their largest apertures, especially kit zooms and even some primes.  Macro lenses are designed to be shot wide open and so usually hang onto their sharpness.  My legacy Olympus 90mm macro is probably the finest lens I own so I left it at f2 the other day and here are a few that I like.  The bokeh is buttery smooth.

First some moss spore pods poking up over the foliage looking like alien robots hunting for intruders.  Each of those little pods are 3-4mm long and I think the first one has its hull off while the second still has it.  You can sort of see the internal structure of what’s underneath and it looks very like the one in the first shot.  I know zilch about moss though, so it’s just a guess.  And I also don’t know why this particular species produces these pod things and flowers, too.  Weird.

Mahna mahna, do do do do do

Intruder alert

Ok, that second one might be at f2.8.  I can’t really remember, but it looks like it.  Later I was sitting by a beaver pond watching the light play in the ferns.  What?  You thought you could get through a whole post without ferns?  Ha!  I still had the 90mm on the camera and shot wide open again, focusing on the nearest fronds.  I kind of like the effect.

Seventh Sojourn

Wow, green overload, what?

I’m working on another project, but haven’t been able to get the shots I envisioned so I’m not sure what I’ll do with it.  It’s something I’ve had in mind for a while now involving one of my favorite wildflowers that I’ve never photographed well – indian pipes.  Maybe I’ll hit the woods today or tomorrow and if the biting flies leave me alone, I’ll see what I can find.

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5 responses

  1. absolutely gorgeous work!

    July 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

  2. These are fantastic shots! I’ve been playing around with bokeh myself. It seems easy in theory, but harder in practice. I like how you used the same color (as opposed to contrasting colors) in your bokeh effect.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:01 am

  3. Caroline Gorka Photography

    I love bokeh too…my little 1.4 prime is one of my favorite lenses. You’ve done a great job with these…the first especially is so soft and gorgeous. Great post again.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

  4. thanks ladies. I’m glad you liked them. I haven’t been shooting lately, but maybe today I’ll get my butt in gear.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

  5. Pat

    I love the green alien world you’ve created here!

    August 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

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