Iris macros

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I’m not much of a flower guy, when it comes to photography.  It’s a popular subject for many, and there’s certainly a beauty in it, but it just isn’t something that I generally have much interest in.

But I’ve got gardens now, and surprisingly enough I find myself doing most of the work to tend them, and even enjoying it.  There’s a certain pride that comes with planting something and having it grow and blossom.

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These iris come from my mother’s flower beds in Vermont; she brought me several bunches last summer to plant in front of my house.  It was a hard first summer for them, very hot and very dry.  But they made it.  And they were absolutely lovely for Memorial Day weekend, and I couldn’t resist going out to take a few photos.

I used my old Takumar 50mm macro lens, a fully-manual dinosaur with beautiful rendering that I drag out a few times a year, for shoots where I either need the close-up ability, or where I just want to slow down and enjoy a careful process.

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For this kind of shooting I divert from my standard pattern and fire up the E-M5’s rear screen and use it to compose, focus, and set my exposure.  I normally eschew shooting on the screen, but working from the tripod, it’s easiest, and especially for zooming in to focus while using narrow apertures.

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Most of my iris are the traditional purple, but there are a few white ones that snuck in – my mom called them Russian Iris.  And they are especially lovely, especially since the optimal exposure for the whites drops the background exposure a bit, resulting in more color saturation.

There’s a lot of fun to be had on high-pressure, on-location, client-centric projects.  But there’s something to be said for going out your front door with a tripod and a cup of coffee and making some nice, quiet, photos on a cool morning.

Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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1 Comment

  1. Marie Pennington

    They are Siberian Iris! But, that’s in Russia so it’s OK

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