Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Overcoming a Height Problem.

Cherry blossoms, as with almost any other flower, do not all open at the same time. Early on, many of the buds are still closed as seen in this image taken on the first day of photographing the wild cherry. The buds add lovely pinkish-red accents to the open blooms.

When first opened, each bloom has fairly deep pinks and reds but, over time, these colors begin to fade to white. Weather has a lot to do with how long the blooms will last. A stray hot day can really speed up the decline and decay of the petals. Heavy rain, such as came through the area on the third day, can knock down many blossoms. While the petals fall, the pistils and stamens do not. Their presence in a photo communicates the fact that the photo was taken past the prime blooming period.

Those who are familiar with DSLR's cameras might be surprised by the lens I used on every one of the images I took this year. It was my 400 mm telephoto lens normally used in long-distance photography. I added a Canon EF25 II Extension Tube between the camera and the lens. The reason I decided on this combination is because of the cherry tree itself. Even the lowest branches are probably eight feet above the ground. The highest branches are probably fifteen feet or more above the ground. Although I have a 100 mm lens, this wouldn't have gotten me close enough to film small clusters of blossoms.

Adding the extension tube allows you to film somewhat closer but also results in limiting the far end of focus. In other words, you cannot focus to infinity as you can without the extension tube. But this combination was perfect for "reaching" the blossoms that would have been out of range for any other lens combination I had - unless I used a ladder.

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