Photography by Jim Doty

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Skyblue Penstemon in the Rain
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Most flowers look good in soft light. Finding some beautiful flowers covered with raindrops is a real plus and the two hanging water droplets were a huge bonus.

I carry an umbrella in my car for this kind of occasion. Its purpose is to keep the camera and lens dry, not me. 

Most of the time, flowers look best from their eye level, which means laying on the ground (in this case, the very wet ground) to get the shot. Nature photographers do this kind of thing all the time.

I used the depth-of-field preview button on the camera to check on the overall near-to-far sharpness of the image. I wanted the flowers sharp and the background blurred. Making this choice is often a compromise. While pushing the depth-of-field preview button, I turned the aperture dial back and forth and watched the scene change (the camera had to be on a tripod to do this).  f/8 ended up being the best compromise between reasonably sharp flowers and a semi-soft background.

The flowers were moving a bit so I set the camera ISO at 400 to get a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion of the flowers.

I didn't get to shoot for very long. An uptick in the breeze dislodged my favorite water droplets.

Canon 10D, 28-135mm lens at 70mm. f/8, 1/90 second, ISO 400.

May 13, 2010

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