October 23, 2013

Photos of the Week: Oct. 23, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I apologize to anyone who glanced at these photos and thought maybe I had hopped hemispheres, landing in early spring on the other side of the globe. No, these photos were all taken this week at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, where to my surprise and delight, fall is a-flowering.
The photo on the left, a water lily, caught my eye because of the subtle reflection and my ability to frame the shot with its red, submerged stem and the green lily pads lit by sunlight at the top of the photo. The big pond in the gardens and its exotic lily pad collection is the first thing to greet visitors. Most of the flowers are quite a distance from the pond’s edge and tough to photograph, but I found this specimen growing in a water-filled crate in a work area in a far corner of the park at the conclusion of a workshop. Thanks to one of the participants, who also volunteers at the gardens, a few of my workshop stragglers were able to see some of the behind-the-scenes work of the botanists and plant enthusiasts who keep the gardens healthy.
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The same aforementioned volunteer also led us to a spot where we photographed the yellow Sternbergia Clusiana, center, nestled amid brown and dry fallen leaves. I demonstrated my belly-flop compositional technique for this shot, lying on the ground to get this profile view.
The image on the right shows a water hyacinth, also located in a water-filled crate not far from the lily. I was able to get within a few inches of the plant and, using a macro lens, capture its textured petals and intricate colors from just a few inches away. The Botanical Gardens is well worth a visit any time of the year for those who want to bone up on their Latin plant names or escape the urban jungle for more pastoral pastures.
TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D700, hand held, center-weighted metering mode. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 macro zoom, f5 at 105 mm, ISO 400 for all three photos. Date: Oct 21, 2013. Location: Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.