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Difficult Beauty - Lily of the Valley | by mbryan777
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Difficult Beauty - Lily of the Valley

In the thousands of photos that I have taken, this beautiful little flower (my wife's favorite) has got to be my most difficult subject. I took about a hundred photos of these last Saturday and I'm not completely happy with any of them.


Why are they a challenge?


1) The top flower is usually no more than 4 inches off the ground, so there were more than a few shots my chin was in the dirt.

2) They like to live in the shadows, so you need light and if they don't have some light directly illuminating them they look washed out.

3) Because of the need for light, you must shoot them with a large aperture in order to get the light, but with a large aperture, you lose depth of field. so focus blur is a problem because every little flower is at a different distance from the lens.

4) Due to the distance from the ground and a lot of plants around them, you can't use a tripod. So, if you reduce the aperture to improve depth of field, you need a lower shutter speed, but you must hand hold the camera so lens movement blur is a problem.

5) Increasing the ISO to enable smaller apertures increase photo graininess too much for my liking.


If anyone has any tricks let me know. I will have my chin in the dirt again this Saturday to see if I can do any better.

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Taken on April 1, 2012