I nudged myself to get out in the backyard and experiment with some flower photography today. Summer 2020 should be the summer of experimentation, right? I played with long exposures and spinning the camera while pressing the shutter. My favorite image was this one of my hydrangea plant that preserved the outlines of the leaves.
If you want to try this method, you need to set the camera to manual and dial in a long exposure like a third of a second. To achieve a correct exposure, you will need to stop down the lens (to perhaps f/11 or f/16), and set a low ISO (such as 100). The settings will vary for you based on the available light. Focusing is still important. Once you have achieved a good exposure with shutter speed, aperture and ISO, it’s time to play.
Iceland owes its rugged landscape to volcanic origin, dark and bitter cold winters on the Arctic Circle and deforestation by the Vikings. There are a few equally rugged farmers and fishermen who live in rustic isolation. It’s hard to imagine this life in the summer, not to mention the winter.
Like Sydney, Reykjavik Iceland has an architectural gem along its harbor, and it is a music hall. While I photographed Harpa from our ship as we departed the city harbor in the evening, I did not have a chance to visit the inside.
I have started to make my list of things to do in Iceland for my next trip. Iceland is a photographer’s dream.
My friend Tamra is leaving for a cruise to Alaska this week. I hope she gets to see lots of Alaskan Wildlife as we did when we sailed on Silverea’s Silver Shadow in 2004. We loved watching bears grab salmon from the stream and eat them, leaving leftovers for the bald eagles near Wrangell. July is a great time to visit Alaska.
Whales were bobbing and breaching as well near Juneau, and in Sitka, we observed some colorful starfish.
As for me, I’ll be departing for Iceland this week, where I hope to photograph the Puffins as well as many waterfalls and volcanic landscapes.
This morning’s heavy rain gave way to sunshine, and my Rose of Sharon bushes — both purple and pink — were dotted with raindrops. It was a good time to test out my friend’s Sony A7r. I purchased the Metabones Nikon adapter, so I could attach my Nikon lenses. For macro images of flowers, I love to use my 105mm Sigma lens. Because I was shooting hand-held and focusing manually, I raised the ISO to 1,000.
My friend Erika planted 3 1/2 acres of wildflowers several years ago to create a summer meadow. The deer sleep in there at night. “I think the deer think we did this for them,” she commented. Perhaps the bees do too, as they are busy doing their work by day.
The Provence region of France can be blistering hot in July, and you might think that you were a month or two late to enjoy seeing rows of lavender growing in the fields. You’re not! You might be a month late to see fields of sunflowers in Provence as well as Tuscany (in Italy), but you are right on time for the lavender.
When my daughter Courtney and I took our road trip through Provence, driving in our “putt-putt” between Avignon, Gordes, Les Baux, St. Remy, L’Isle sur Sorgue and Roussillon we discovered this lavender field at the Abbey de Senanque. The abbey’s location is just at the foot of the hill near Gordes. I shot this photo, but you may have seen a similar shot on many book covers.
While the weather is hot and dry in July, you will hardly notice it. The delicious cuisine, the colorful farmers markets, the pottery shops and the local wine (Chateauneuf du Pape), provide ample distraction. Oh yes, there is the scenery and landscape photography too, to capture and hold your attention.