Category: Photography – Still Life

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome

ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec
Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

I had read and thought about going to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park a few years back when I had a season pass to the Academy of Science nearby, but I was much more interested back then with photographing the sea life in the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium than flowers.

Cut a few years later.  She is a big fan of flowers and the science behind it.  If there was a time to go visit the Conservatory, it was now.  Besides the flowers, which were challenging to photograph in the light obscuring greenhouses, there were also a vast selection of plants in the main section, including these giant 6-8 foot wide fan palms.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome.  Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. August 08, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Diamond Springs (CA), Ford V8, Hood Ornament, Grill

ISO100, 38mm, f/4.8, 1/100 sec
Diamond Springs, CA

There was a bit of a dilemma with this photograph, whether to use a shallow depth of field (and thereby rendering all elements away from the exact focal point an increasing blur) and where to place the focal point.  The choices here were not the best as I should not have used such a shallow DOF and tried to keep in focus both the V8 hood ornament and the Ford logo in focus.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 38mm, f/4.8, 1/100 sec

Diamond Springs (CA), Ford V8, Hood Ornament, Grill.  Diamond Springs, CA. August 31, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Dog Portrait, Grass, Shallow DOF

ISO400, 35mm (prime lens), f/1.8, 1/20 sec
Amador County, CA

There are days when the only time to shoot is during the 20 minute dog walk.  And when the clouds are not cooperating, you tell your dog to sit while you snap away.

(Click thru the image for a slightly larger view)

Quick tip: When the subject and background are highly contrasted as we see here – dark dog, light background – it is a good idea to use center-weighted (or some sort of matrix) metering mode.  I used spot metering.  In trying to focus on the eyes, the metering was going off the dark eyes and fur, thereby overexposing the background.  I had to bring back the exposure 2 stops in post.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, spot metering mode, ISO 400, 35mm (prime lens), f/1.8, 1/20 sec

Dog Portrait, Grass, Shallow DOF. Amador County, CA. January 25, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.