Dick States  

Iris by Dick States

May 2022 - Iris

About the Image(s)

My image for May is a selective focus image if an Iris. As everyone may already know selective focus is taking a picture, in this case an Iris, with the lens wide open. With the lens wide open and doing a close-up you have a very limited depth of field. I like to find a bed of flowers so there is some depth to the bed. You focus on a flower that's in the bed with other flowers in front and behind the main flower you are shooting. You maneuver the camera so that the flowers up front are part way in the frame, maybe 1/3 into the frame but not in front of the main flower or subject. These flowers are almost against the lens. The far flowers, the ones behind the main flower are to the right in this case. You manual focus on the main subject and with the shallow DOF the only parts sharp is the main subject. I hope this explains what I did here. This is fun to do but is not as easy as you might think. You have to play with this till it works some times it doesn't work. If you have questions please ask. I have used these for title slides for programs.

I used a tripod as I always do with a cable release. 200 macro lens with a polarizer, f-4, 1/100 sec., ISO 200.

9 comments posted

Georges Dormoy   Georges Dormoy
I like very much this harmony given by the two colors of purple and green and the blur on the foreground. Nicely made. I presume the conditions required to make such photo is no wind. I often faced windy conditions which makes the production of such photo a nightmare. Or may be by using a much higher speed (1/2000) could be the solution but would mean higer ISO if you aperture is already wide.
I also like very much the yellow/read area in the center giving some warm colors where it count most.
Well done   Posted: 05/09/2022 13:01:36
Dick States   Dick States
Thanks, Georges, for your comments.
With the lens wide open this is not all that hard with the wind. I like to shoot early morning or late in the afternoon. This is the time of day when the wind is calm if is going to be calm.
The hardest thing about selective focus is finding the three parts with the correct spacing going from front to back that line up in a pleasing composition. Actually, there have been times I have held the near part of the composition in my left hand almost up against the lens and move that part in and out while looking through the view finder until you get the look you want. This would make a great self-assignment everyone should try. It's fun to try something new and different.   Posted: 05/09/2022 18:15:35

Charissa Lansing   Charissa Lansing
Hi Dick,
Thank you for sharing the detailed explanation of how you set-up this shot and approached it. Like, Georges, I love the colors of Irises, especially the royal purple ones, and think you have captured them beautifully. The choice of selective focus really highlights the one iris while revealing some context of the scene. I enjoy seeing the contrast of the softness communicated by the blurred background with the tack sharp focus on the details of the main subject. Also, showing a bit of the the flower stalk/stem grounds the bloom and reinforces the foundation for me. Thanks for sharing this beauty!
  Posted: 05/09/2022 13:23:41

Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Hi, Dick.
Read with interest your explanation and process of selective focus. I especially like the soft appearance of the blossom and the hint of red in the main blossom. The lower left-hand side appears to me to be a bit heavy and tries to call my attention away from the beautiful petals and wonderful detail in the center of the plant. Is this particular Iris what is called the Japanese Iris blossom?
Nicely done.
Janet   Posted: 05/09/2022 14:52:02
Dick States   Dick States
Yes, these are Japanese Iris. They are growing in my landscape in an area that is quite damp. They are easy to grow and problem free.   Posted: 05/09/2022 18:18:47

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Group 48)
I am getting more and more into flowers and this one is just beautiful   Posted: 05/13/2022 20:14:35
Dick States   Dick States
Thanks, Bev, for the visit. Flowers make great subjects. I have lots blooming this time of the year. Lots of perennials and flowering trees and shrubs.   Posted: 05/14/2022 20:14:35

James Silliman   James Silliman
What a lesson in selective focus imagery. I have added your explanation to my "to do" list. One point you made is very important in this type of photography.....the use of the tripod. So many times we try to hand hold the camera at the risk of loosing mobility. Sometimes it is more important to stabilize the camera and wait for the image to come to us, rather than "chasing" the subject.   Posted: 05/20/2022 22:58:12
Dick States   Dick States
Well said, it's very rare for me to not use a tripod. There are two most important items of equipment I would not want to be without. First, a tripod it does much more than stabilize my camera. Second is a polarizer. If you shoot a subject with a polarizer, then shoot it without a polarizer then compare both images most of the time you will delete the images without a polarizer. They will also score better in competition. I have a power point program I put together to prove this point. It will make a believer out of you.   Posted: 05/21/2022 20:15:16


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