"Sweet Country Climber"
(1/320 sec @ F/3.5, ISO 100, 50mm prime lens, Center Weighted Metering, Shade)
Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, so I thought today would be a fabulous day to post such a sweet, delicate pink climber as the image for Friday's theme. Thinking about a sweetheart this weekend? Missing someone perhaps? Secret crushes out there? Then this one's for you!
I had no intention of photographing tiny delicate roses the day I took this image. I was out setting up the right roadside location to photograph gardening and landscape crews for a job. It was extremely warm for late May, you broke a sweat just thinking about planting hundreds of annuals at the side of a lengthy road. I had to keep my gear in any shade I could find, and I had to work fast so that the city crews could work unhindered for the rest of the morning before it got any warmer. They were very kind to me just the same, allowed me to get in the way, then I hightailed it outta there!
Just as I went to get back in the car I saw it. One solitary rose, a climber beginning to sprawl along a fence under a group of shady trees. It was the only bud and in full bloom! It was love at first sight. Perhaps the sun at some point saturated that spot with light, causing it's early growth spurt despite the heavy shade it currently sat in. But the effect was enchanting, since it was the only one to see, and it's sweet scent only noticeable if you leaned right in against it. Sure, an entire bush would have been a lovely sight as well. But because it was the only one, timidly residing in the shade, it made it seem rapturously beautiful and enchanting. I had to preserve it in the lens.
This was taken with what is normally a portrait lens. The Nikkor F/1.4 50mm prime gives soft focus, lovely bokeh, and will enhance selected details in very low light if needed, and quickly. Handheld shots are a pleasure with this lens. And I love using it on nature instead of people. Flowers become characters getting their close-ups, dreamy soft portraits with intense selective detail to show off their best angles. I fall in love with the process of photographing all over again every time I use this approach to a floral image. I hope you can see why!
Take the time to stop this weekend and think about why you really love your sweetheart in prep for Valentine's Day. Like capturing the single rose, when you spend time with a loved one, deliberately removing all the distractions, their full beauty is revealed for you to fully appreciate what it is that always draws you to them in the first place.
Thanks for letting me ramble on, and please come and check out my special Valentine's Day Contest Draw for a free print when you add your "like" to my Facebook page here . Under the Contest Post Image, leave the name of the person you love in the comments section and on Monday Feb.14th your name could be selected in the draw for a free 11x14 size matted original limited edition print, signed and numbered. You will be contacted by FB message if you win! So have a wonderful Valentine's Day everyone! See you Monday!