Charles Ginsburgh  

White Rose by Charles Ginsburgh

September 2020 - White Rose

About the Image(s)

I was out in the garden again (Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto, CA), seeing what I could see. Here I caught this white rose bloom with a bit of backlighting. Capturing images of white petaled flowers is always a challenge and that coupled with the backlighting presented a special challenge to me. So I went for it (heh, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”). This was shot onsite as a stack of 23 images to ensure that everything important was sharply retained. Here I used my Canon 5d Mark IV with a 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens at f/8, 1/60 sec and ISO 320. As always, I used Photoshop to remove oddities introduced by the stacking process, to simplify the background, to remove distractions and to enhance the image some. I also added a bit of texture to the background as well.

Could I have captured this image as a single shot at say f/20 or so, perhaps, but since the moment was so fleeting and the challenge so great I did not want to chance missing the shot, so I shot a stack here. With practice it does not take too much time to shooting a stack. Note the aperture here was selected to be in the “sweet spot” of the lens and was not chosen to impact the depth of field. That way I avoided any lens diffraction at high f stops (see our discussion around Elaine’s image last month).

What do you all think ?

5 comments posted

Jeff Fleisher   Jeff Fleisher
I like the overall image especially it showing both a flower in full bloom and then complimented by the unopened buds. The backlight really emphasizes the color along the inner edge of the rose. To my eye I may have toned down the highlights on the top of the unopened buds. I do like the texture on the lower portion of the lower petal of the flower.

Overall a very nice image.   Posted: 09/10/2020 21:07:51

Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Hi Charles, You have created I an image that is a delight to look at. Everything you show supports the main subject. I think the this is a image that needed to be centered, as you have done. The curves on the bud stems, are a good counterpoint to the fairly straight stem of the flower. It is so difficult to get the right exposure on a white flower, but you nailed it. The texture in the petals are well shown without appearing to be artificial, as is the overall texture in the buds. The back lighting gives a nice overall glow. Very nicely one.

I do agree with Jeff, that the highlights on top of the buds tend to pull my eyes from the subject flower. I think they should be toned down a tad.   Posted: 09/12/2020 14:57:21
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Oops. I just re-read my comment. The blossom and the buds, seem to pop right out. It comes close to a 3d image.   Posted: 09/14/2020 11:08:17

Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Nice shot.
Yes, I agree with the aperture used.
f8 is my favorite aperture to create sharp images without diffraction when you have the luxury of merging many images in focus stacking.
The back backing is the soul of this image and everything came to life.
The three blooms are in perfect heaven, man and earth orientation as in Ikebana flower arrangement ,
Thanks for sharing.   Posted: 09/12/2020 15:22:24
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
I may be dipping my toe into focus stacking. So far I am simply reading and watching web tutorials. Opinions on techniques are, not surprisingly, all over the place.

However, the one thing most seem to agree upon is that lenses perform best at their largest aperture. I also went to the DxO lens info site. I looked at Micro & Macro lenses, and some of my other Nikon lenses. All indicated that the best performance was at the widest aperture, and indicated the smallest aperture at which you can get reasonable performance. I had not been aware that the minimum aperture varied with the camera. If I use my Nikon Micro 105 with my D800 the minimum is f32, with my D500 it is f24.   Posted: 09/14/2020 12:56:57


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