Friday, April 26, 2013

I'll Follow the Sun

I thought I was through with filming the cherry tree.  The hard rain and wind that marched across the country extending all the way from Canada to the Gulf had swept through our area too, knocking down many of the blooms. I was working on some of the photos for the blog when it occurred to me that the sunset is a clear shot from where this tree is situated.

I knew the sky would give me enough light to use the long lens, but I wondered whether I would get enough light on the blossoms to keep the petals from being underexposed and possibly blurred. That evening I was ready when the sun began to go down. Fortunately, there was a thin cloud cover over the entire sky, enough to cut the truly strong light while also diffusing the glow from the warm sunset.

The sun doesn't appear directly in any of these images. Rather, it is the sunlight filtering through trees which are probably a hundred or more yards away. Some petals can appear almost translucent with enough sunlight on the.

The lovely round circular blurs of light in the background are called bokeh (bo kaw), which is a Japanese term for the effect, and has been adopted in general use by photographers. They have a direct relationship to how many leaves are designed into the shutter of the camera. The more leaves, the rounder the appearance of the bokeh.

Most point-and-shoot cameras as well as DSLR's have a host of settings to correct for shooting under different types of lighting such as cloudy, incandescent, etc. I'm not sure about point-and-shoot, but with most DSLR's, you can also set the color temperature (expressed in Kelvin) of the photo anywhere you want to. I almost always leave mine set at 5000, which is roughly the color temperature of daylight at noon.

This is a personal decision that many may not agree with, but I like to use that point as a standard or baseline for color temperature. That wouldn't be a good idea if I was saving the files in the jpeg format, but because I save them in the RAW format, color temperature is easily corrected. And lets face it, unless you are an extremely finicky photographer using a gray card for color correction, you are going to want to adjust color temperature later. I just choose to do it this way.

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