Cindy Smith  

Azalea by Cindy Smith

May 2023 - Azalea

About the Image(s)

Our outdoor photography club went on an outing to shoot at a woman’s house/yard. She had beds and beds of irises, but she had this azalea bush that caught my attention, as I have never seen one this color.

Canon EOS R with 24/105 lens
ISO 100
70 mm f/2.8
1/500 seconds
Minimal editing in LR

This round’s discussion is now closed!
15 comments posted

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Cindy! Yes, a very uncommon color for Azalea's .... very pretty, indeed.

I like the overall compositional structure, color, and exposure.

Can you share why you choose F/2.8 for this shot?

How much of this image was cropped?

Some Criticism: The central portion (the first part of the subject we view) is out of focus ... where the bottom-right flower edges are more sharp. Possible reasons are 1. using Auto-focus, 2. camera movement (which is not the cause for the issue here) are key reasons for missing out on having key areas in focus, especially when photographing groups of flower buds, and the like. Both these causes can also be exacerbated by a shallow Depth of Field (Dof).

(You may enjoy my article on Manual Focus for photographing Flowers on DD-24's Bulletin Board)

Thank you, Cindy.
  Posted: 05/04/2023 06:15:11

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you, Lance. I am not as aware of all the camera settings as I should be. I have to use auto focus because my vision is so bad, so I have to rely on that. I should also always have my cheaters with me to check--even on my computer when looking at images. I always learn from everyone's comments. I truly didn't realize the difference in the sharper blossoms as compared to the ones in the center until you pointed it out. I need to be much more aware of the ENTIRE image. I did not crop it at all. I was using a tripod, and I forgot to turn off the image stabilizer, too. I'm glad you made me think about this, because I am going to take a group picture today using the tripod, and I need to think about DOF as well. Thank you for your comments. I am always learning, but I need to remember to utilize everyone's comments!   Posted: 05/04/2023 09:30:24
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Cindy, choosing (Aperture Priority) on your camera allows you to dictate this important dynamic, while the camera decides the shutter speed for you. For almost all types of portrait, landscape and nature images (like the featured Azalea) this works fine. All other exposure metering (as usual) is done for you as well, but at least controlling the lens opening (e.g., F/2.8 to F/16 for example) allows the artist photographer to enjoy a host of creative opportunities.

As Jennifer mentioned, if your camera has the feature, (for the most part) you can fine-tune the clarity from behind the viewfinder to accommodate your eyesight. I am always adjusting mine to be sure the view is crystal clear. (Try it with and without glasses).   Posted: 05/06/2023 05:15:56

Jennifer Marano   Jennifer Marano
Hi Cindy,

A beautiful azalea! I agree with Lance about the focus. A few other things you can check are the diopter setting on your viewfinder - it should be able to be set to have the scene in focus when you look through it. Another thing to check is where you have the focus point set. Some cameras let you move it around (mine does, and sometimes I forget to check where it is. Some camera settings let the camera choose the focus point, and that can get you in trouble. Lance's suggestion about using manual focus when on a tripod is an excellent one. But then you have to remember to put it back on autofocus for hand-held photos! So many things to keep in mind - I am assured that if you keep at it long enough these things become automatic. Hasn't happened for me yet!   Posted: 05/05/2023 14:46:21

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
I agree. I'll check my viewfinder. I know that my camera's focus point can be changed, so I have to be careful when I am using the live review! I remember one point, but I forget another!! Too many things! You have beautiful images!   Posted: 05/05/2023 19:09:51

Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Beautiful image. Prior to reading the comments above - I was not bothered by the focus; rather enjoyed the beauty, softness and colors! Jennifer makes a good point about modern cameras. You can shoot full autofocus or manual (as Lance suggests) - but there are a range of options in between - where you select the point(s)/zone of interest and let the camera focus there. I find that works well - if you have the time to think/manipulate the focus point (either in the viewfinder or back screen). Might be the best of both worlds! Lately I'm using manual focus only for static/tripod mounted scenes (either landscape or macro/tabletop) where I have lots of time.

Was this shot at f2.8? I didn't think there was a 24-105 lens that opens that much?

  Posted: 05/06/2023 04:01:56

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Steve, indeed this lens and other "Fast" zoom lenses open to F/2.8.

My Sigma 70-200 shoots wide open (F/2.8) at any focal length.   Posted: 05/06/2023 05:06:55
Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
The 70 - 200 is a very different lens. The 24-105 is > 4x zoom and typically doesn't open wider than f4. There are rumors of such 2.8 lens in the future - but I didn't think it exists today.   Posted: 05/06/2023 05:48:46
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
... yes, I believe you are correct ... I think ... Cindy's glass is actually a 24-70mm, so without knowing anything else about either lens ... I guess Cindy's F/2.8 is correct for (this) lens. ??   Posted: 05/06/2023 05:57:48

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
I will double check which lens I had on the camera. I have 24-70 f/ 2.8 Tamron lens. I think that was the one I used, so I got my lenses mixed up.   Posted: 05/06/2023 08:28:58

Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
You have already received good advice. I can add nothing more.
I will say, I really like the image.   Posted: 05/06/2023 13:49:41

Will Korn   Will Korn
This is a pretty image and I agree the color is unusual. I myself find it hard to photograph flowers with multiple blossoms (azalea, hydrangea) because I never know where to focus. You got this one right.   Posted: 05/06/2023 15:26:30
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Perhaps you would find my post on DD-24 Bulletin Board helpful. Enjoy.   Posted: 05/06/2023 18:36:18

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you all for the very constructive comments.   Posted: 05/06/2023 15:51:09

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Sorry to be late with my schedule interference. Beautiful photo! I like the color on this and the soft focus. The composition is spot on as well. Thanks for sharing this with us!   Posted: 05/08/2023 11:40:37