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Raindrops on Camellia, Sacramento

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 19 February 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

* Today's Sacramento Bee has an article featuring me and my photography (and how I got here)--check it out. *

At the risk of irritating those still battling winter, as far as I'm concerned California's official start of spring is February 1. One of the first signs of the imminent change is the camellias that pop up everywhere in late January and February. After two months of monochrome these delicate blooms are virtual camera-magnets.

Sometimes I opt for larger compositions that show flowers in a wider, more familiar context. But usually I bring out my macro lens and/or extension tubes and dig in to the usually overlooked intimate scenes. The charge that comes as I twist my focus ring and snap the invisible micro-world into focus is an energetic revelation. Sometimes I forget I'm a photographer and dart from flower to flower, or petal to petal, just to see what's there.

I captured this image in my backyard on a drizzly February afternoon a few years ago. Overcast is ideal for scenes like this, rendering the world in soft, even light that allows easy capture of the full tonal range. In this image, as in most of my macro work, I opted for a large aperture to limit depth field and eliminate distracting background detail. I found the raindrop the most interesting subject and focused there.

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

A beautiful camellia shot...splendid with the tender water drops.
Yes, spring is evident here in Danville, too.
Can't help it, I'm going to have to begin posting more spring foliage images too ! :-)

19 Feb 2010 6:42am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Wow Gary ! This is something very different from the photos you take usually but.... I'm impressed !!! It's really beautiful ! A brilliant macro :)

19 Feb 2010 9:39am

Elora from Genoa, Italy

You've already got camelias!? So jealous! This is an amazing shot, the drops are just perfect!

19 Feb 2010 10:34am

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

Okay very pretty but question.. your dof.. it's like that drop to the upper right is coming in clear.. then you have blur and then at the bottom of the image the leaf and a couple petals.. it's sharp again. Am I just not differentiating well between the two 'sharp' fields or did you do something rad here? :)

19 Feb 2010 4:23pm

@Self-Indulgence: Nothing radical--everything that's in focus is on the same focal plane.

Brent Fraser from United States

Hi Gary! Very nice image, I love the depth of field. Just read the article in the Sac Bee. Very nice! Hope you have a great workshop next week.

19 Feb 2010 4:33pm

Julie from Easton, United States

Beautiful macro!!! Macro shots are my favs, just so interesting!!!!

19 Feb 2010 5:08pm

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

What a wonderful 'necklace' of raindrops along that plane ... and the leaf adds contrast ... beautiful!

19 Feb 2010 9:17pm

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

Luscious petals! mmmmmmm

19 Feb 2010 9:23pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Just wonderful! I love the tender feeling! I can't wait for my Camellia to bloom!

20 Feb 2010 2:34am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

superb idea and composition - the raindrop is perfectly sharp and visible! great technique!

22 Feb 2010 12:59am

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Fantastic macro, great focus. The detail in the drop is great and the color fantastic.

22 Feb 2010 9:58am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Outstanding macro!

16 Mar 2010 3:07pm