Simple Plant Photography – Take Two
Yesterday I posted this post on the subject of simple plant photography and mentioned my struggles with the subject matter. Today, in a fit of enthusiasm I grabbed my camera and shot what you see here. The light was about an hour past ideal but the shadows were still fairly soft and the sun was cheering up the scene without hardening the light.
I enjoy both the aesthetic and the problem solving sides of photography. If I have problems with a particular subject I will tend to go at it it off and on, often for years, until I am at least comfortable with it. At the moment I am locked in mortal combat with or at least gnawing at the edges of, vegetation. The following images represent no more than the latest round in the battle.
A technical note. the photographs in part one were little more than snapshots, these are better quality. I used my Nikon d40x with an old kit lens from an N55 film camera. This is a great lens but gives a harder bokeh (out of focus area) to work with than recent lenses, i.e. very defined circles as opposed to the smeared effect of the newer Nikon kit lenses. This is not all bad though as it may be easier to get an acceptable result with the newer lens it is possible to get an exceptional one with this lens.
The lens is of course made for 35mm film so not all of it is used with the digital 3/4 sensor. This leads to the happy accident insomuch as there is very little distortion towards the edges as is the case when it is used with a 35mm surface as originally intended.
It also has something of an x factor, it gives something to an image that the newer lenses don’t. The Nikon kit 55-200mm is an excellent lens in all respects and can hold its own against much more expensive lenses but it doesn’t have something that the lens from the N55 does and it isn’t in the performance numbers but it is definitely there. Seriously, if you see one of these on ebay and you own a Nikon dx 3/4 sensor camera snap this up. You’ll lose the autofocus (never a bad thing in my opinion) but everything else works just fine. It is a 28mm to 80mm zoom which is the 35mm equivalent of around 42mm to 120mm. To my mind this is an ideal ‘walking around’ size, much better than the 18mm to 55mm Nikon are currently putting on their 3/4 sensor range.
If you want to see these and the rest of the images that I shot this morning in a much higher resolution they can be found here