It’s winter, so of course I’m feeling a little bit blah. I often find it a real struggle to get inspired with so little colour around in my world this time of the year. Luckily, the University just up the street has a fantastic greenhouse with all sorts of tropical plants. It’s a great place to hide out from the winter and be creative. Last week was one such opportunity, and I spent most of the time testing out my close-up filters. I’ve had the filters for a couple of years now, but they don’t make it out of my kit nearly as much as I would have thought. The greenhouse, however, is the perfect place for them.
On this most recent visit, my favourite flower, the hibiscus, was not in bloom, so I was forced to seek my colour fix in other places. The brilliant orange of the bird of paradise drew my lens, and I spent most of my time trying to capture it in a unique and interesting way. With a close-up filter on my 1.4 lens, my depth of field got razor thin – which can be absolutely magical… except that even the slightest wobble with such a shallow depth of field would throw the focus completely out of whack. It’s funny how wobbly you realize you are when you are trying to be perfectly still. A smarter, more prepared photographer would have had a tripod along for cases such as this. But not me! I laugh in the face of preparation, and scoff at the mere … well, that’s not entirely true. I do very much value being prepared, and my camera bag is constantly stocked with all of my other camera supplies… I just never really think of that poor tripod until it’s too late. So, again, this shoot was complicated by the fact that I had to focus on keeping myself as still as possible – not to avoid camera shake this time, but simply to keep the focus where I wanted it.
Despite my knack for providing extra challenges such as this for myself all the time, I’m quite happy with this shot. It’s a lot more abstract than I usually shoot, but the vibrant colour is just what I need in the middle of this white winter, and I did eventually manage to get that petal curl perfectly in focus. It will definitely fulfill my colour fix until my next trip to the greenhouse … or Mexico!