Pink Rose





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Behind The Lens

There is a memorial park in my town , Dangar Park , the local Rotary Club cares for it and grows the roses there . I took this picture there . Its part of a series I did , some were eventually made into a book I gave the volunteers who work there as a thank you for their efforts . Its a small park in a small town , but if you walk around it , there is some beautiful things to see .
It was actually the "wrong" time of day to be taking pictures in direct sunlight when I took this , the sun was directly overhead . It put some nice hilights on the curved petal edges , I know , it goes against the conventional taught wisdom of avoiding midle of day harsh sunlight , but it gave the look I was after for the project this was part of , so , if it works , do it . No one looking at this shot would imagine that it was well over 40 degrees C , and the roads literally melting when I was out shooting this .
What to share about lighting ? I use whatever there is , sunlight , car headlights , led video lights , even camera flashes , I prefer constant light to a strobe , because I can see what Im getting , what is hot and what is dark . Here in Australia we have an over abundance of sunlight so that is what I use mainly , and at times , like this shot , I work with hilights , not shadows so much .
I used a Nikon d3200 , and a Sigma 120-400 lens at the 400 end of the zoom , I wanted the flower pulled right out of the background , it worked a treat for that .
This shot was part of a series that I originally anticipated would be a flower a day for maybe a week but ended up going for a bit longer . A friend of mine went for routine surgery , that went a bit wrong and had to be fixed , and that caused issues that needed to be fixed , and so on .. the entire project , a flower a day , went for about 2 years . My friend had been Docent at Indianapolis Museum of Arts , so she had some good suggestions , but every now and then Id get it right and she would just sit a while looking at it and say wow . When that happened she would improve for a few days , so the aim of the day , each photo , was to make her say wow .. to get a photo that made her stop and stare . It didnt happen every day , it was only a now and then thing but it was a goal to work at .. show a girl a rose that she cant feel or smell and make it feel like its real still . This was a wow picture , one that I shot when she was scary sick . I like to kid myself that the pictures somehow helped her to hang on and look forward to something each day .
I do minimal post processing , the only editing done to this image was to convert it from RAW to jpeg . The zoom gives bokeh , and the sunglare gives a haze / soft petal edges effect . I always try to get it to happen in the camera if I can . Its totally my personal preferance tho ,
In my camera bag
Now , I have a Nikon d810 ( many thanks to my brother for the gift ) , a 50mm , a 70-200 mm , and that 120 - 400 I used for this shot .
This has to be the hardest question .. since I put a bigger than usual zoom made for a fullframe , onto a cheap ebayed crop body , went out in the midday sun on a stinking hot day , and shot this .. I think thats going against a lot of general "rules" and good advice about choice of camera and lens and lighting just making this picture .. so Im going to say .. use what you have on hand , without too much worry about "doing it right" If your pictures turn out good , you did it right . Dont worry too much about your gear , no one can really tell if the picture was taken with a phone camera or a top of the line dslr when theyre looking at a finished print . ( Yeah I know , shoot me for saying that , get over it , and have a think about the iconic works we look at today , they were shot on hardware that most people would consider primitive by todays standards .. yet theyre still iconic works , its what you do far more than what you do it with )

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