Archive for the 'yard' Category



Watered Yellow Rose

We only have very few roses in our yard…they don’t do as well as Daylilies…but we enjoy the ones we have. This bright yellow was in full bloom and I caught it right after an afternoon shower with the beads of rain still on the petals. This is another example of what I love about the Canon’s telephoto macro.

Canon SX20IS at full 560mm equivalent and macro, f5.7 @ 1/400th @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred.

Some Recovery in Lightroom. A small amount of Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.



Deep Purple (and too Yellow!)

Yes, still with the Daylillies. They never stop. Smile

Of course they will. We have to enjoy them while they are here. This is purple cultivar we bought a few anniversaries ago. It is not as vigorous or as prolific as the native plants and some of our other cultivars, but it has its own beauty. It is not easy to photograph. That yellow is simply too intense, and tends to burn out before there is enough light on the purple petals. Open shade held it all together here.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent field of view and macro. F5.7 @ 1/20th @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred, ISO set at 100. (Which meant I was pretty much dependent on the Image Stabilization for a 1/20th second hold!)

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the Yellow, Fill Light for the purple, added Clarity and and very little Vibrance indeed (the yellow blocks up with much saturation adjustment). Blackpoint just slightly right. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.



Confusion of Lily

The Daylilies in our yard continue to bloom in profusion. This cluster caught my eye in the afternoon sun. This is Maine, so our afternoon sun at 2PM is already fairly low in the sky, something I have only come to appreciate as I have spent more time traveling. Again, I backed away here to frame the cluster with a medium longish zoom and macro. Using Aperture Preferred kept enough depth of field for the shot.

Canon SX20IS at about 260mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/320th @ ISO 80. Aperture preferred. –2/3s EV exposure compensation for the bright sun highlights on the petals.

Some Recovery in Lightroom to subdue the highlights even more. Added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Blackpoint just right. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.



Daylily Fireworks

Happy Sunday. Happy 4th of July.

Fireworks of another kind. The inner fire of the Daylily in the early morning sun. This is the common variety…though we have several cultivars of different colors in our yard, acquired over the years. A drive around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon reminded me of just how abundant these Daylilies are in Southern Maine.  We have a few individual plants. Some yards have masses of them!

For this shot I used the tel-macro function of the Canon SX20IS to frame and isolate the strongly lighted flower against a darker background. One advantage of the tel-macro is that you can get this kind of shot without dealing with the shadow of the camera.

Canon SX20IS at about 450mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/500 @ ISO 250. Aperture preferred.

In Lightroom, a bit of Recovery for the highlights on the petals, Fill Light to slightly offset Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and a small amount of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.

And, since it is Sunday and the 4th, a few more to celebrate.



Daylily in the Sun

This is the same lily as yesterday’s pic, but this time taken later in the morning when the early sun had found the flowers, and added some warmth to the purple.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 460mm equivalent @ f8 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Aperture preferred. 2) 28mm equivalent @ f8 @ 1/320 @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred.

The top shot is a good example of a tele-macro. It looks like a macro shot but it was taken from feet away at the long end of the zoom.

In Lightroom, Blackpoint just right, added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset. Auto white balance (since the Canon put too much warmth in the flowers…making them more peach than purple).

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.



First Daylilies of 2010

I was out early this morning for this shot of our first Daylily blooms. They actually came out yesterday, but I missed them. This is a fairly unique color for Daylily, and it is on the warmer side of the house so it often blooms first.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and Super-macro. F2.8 @ 1/30th @ ISO 80. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint just slightly right in Lightroom 3. Added Clarity and a bit of Variance. Sharpen narrow edges preset. Cropped slightly on the right for composition.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.

And, for the fun of it, here is a similar shot taken with my new iPhone 4. You can see it on my flickr site by clicking the image. Not bad at all for a phone! Level adjustments and sharpening in PhotoGene on the iPhone.




Iris Surprise

This is a pretty straightforward shot.  My wife planted these Iris several years ago. Nothing. Then this year, boom. Tall and beautiful and full flower. Early morning sun brings out all the richness. A long tel macro setting at about 550mm, from 4 feet away, isolates the bloom against the background.

Canon SX20IS. F5.7 @ 1/320th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

A touch of Recovery in Lightroom (mostly for the background). Some Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.

And for the alternative view: more or less the same shot at 28mm and Super macro from centimeters away. This plant is in open shade, not full sun.



Pastel Jungle

While this gives the impression of a veritable jungle of purple blossoms and green stalks, it is actually quite a small patch of chives in flower in our garden out back. The low angle facilitated by the flip out LCD on the Canon SX20IS, combined with the 28mm equivalent Super-macro, transform the mundane into the exotic. The chives were in deep shadow, early in the morning, with the sun already on the lawn beyond the sheltering trees. Composition and placement of the plane of sharp focus is critical to the success of this shot. I wish I could say I did it on purpose…but I just shot several exposures and selected the one that works best in post-processing triage. 🙂

Canon SX20IS, as mentioned, at 28mm equivalent and Super-macro. F2.8 @ 1/50th @ ISO 160. Programmed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the highlights in the background. A touch of Fill Light for the flowers, Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. Finally, the tricky light made the chives too purple. Auto White Balance in Lightroom brought them back to reality.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.



Bluets for Mother’s Day

Happy Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms, especially to my lovely wife, Carol.

The Azure Bluet is a tiny flower of lawns and meadows, found all through the Eastern US, growing in acidic soils. This spring they are all over our shady lawn, and I am seeing pale blue patches in most of the yards on our street. We are talking tiny here. The flowers themselves are less than half an inch wide and, here in New England, they grow no more than 2 inches tall (there is a taller variety in the South). That makes them close to twice life size in this image, as displayed on my monitor.

This is another shot using the Canon SX20IS’s flip out LCD. Essentially I got down for an eye to eye view with the bluets. I am within 1/4 inch of the center flower. Open shade made it possible to angle to place the wood fragment for pleasing composition. To my eye it anchors the composition, giving a bit more coherence to an otherwise random pattern of flowers.  Later, in Lightroom, I cropped from the bottom to improve the composition and to eliminate some more out of focus flowers.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and Super-macro. F2.8 @ 1/1250 @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

Besides the cropping, I used a touch of Recovery and a bit of Fill Light in Lightroom. Added Clarity and not much Vibrance at all. Sharpen landscape preset.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.

And, for contrast, a more conventional view.



Wild Strawberry

I still have several images from St Augustine I want to share, and I will get to them I am sure, but I want to give you a break from birds 🙂 . Suddenly the yard, and every vacant patch of waste ground, is covered with Wild Strawberry blooms. Such promise. Unfortunately I never see berries on these plants. I think something eats them long before they ripen. This plant is in our yard and is presented here 1/3 again life-sized (at least on my 1366×768 screen). The camera was sitting on the ground and I was using the flip out LCD for composition. The flower was actually inside the lens hood. 🙂 The late overcast day provided gentle indirect light. Perfect.

(Due to the vagaries of SmugMug, if you click the image to see a larger version, depending on your screen resolution, it may actually display smaller. You can use the size controls at the top of the window to see larger sizes.)

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and Super Macro. F2.8 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, a small amount of Recovery for the whites. Blackpoint slightly right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen landsccape preset. Cropped slightly from the left for composition.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.