Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest Post ~ Floral Friday!

"Rose of Sharon"

I love these guest posts! I get to share great inspirational photos with all of you, and I get to introduce you to some of the photographers that have been an inspiration or influence for me. Today's images are from a good friend and mentor from the Boston area, David Pratt. David was one of the first photographers to help me around the digital darkroom a few years ago and continues to be a huge encouragement to me. We first met at BetterPhoto where you can view his online gallery and I'm happy today to share two of his favorite floral images with you!

Here's Dave to explain how he captured these photographs;
"This was taken right after a summer shower. It was cloudy so I could have some nice soft light. I had been waiting for a shower to come by so I could get out and take a few shots of these beautiful flowers with the water droplets on them. The bloom above caught my eye and I set up my tripod. I shot this in manual mode. I was also shooting RAW so that I could have more control over the final version. I zoomed in nice and tight so that the flower would fill the frame. After tweaking the levels and curves in PSE , I then used Nik Effex for some final adjustments. I used clarifier, and tweaked the saturation a bit. Below is the shooting info."

Tv( Shutter Speed ) 1/8
Av( Aperture Value ) 20.0
Metering Mode Evaluative Metering
ISO Speed 100
Lens EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length 55.0 mm


"I wasn't even out shooting for this shot. I was actually sitting on my deck enjoying a cold beer, when my wife noticed this swallowtail sitting on our butterfly bush. So, like any photographer I know would do, I ran inside and grabbed my camera, quickly switched to my Canon 70-300 zoom, since I knew this guy would not be hanging around if I was too close.

Luckily he was still there when I got back outside. I got as close as I felt I could without scaring him off. Zoomed in on him and snapped away. I had the focus on servo mode so that I could follow him around if he flew. He hung out on the flowers for about 5 minutes, then flew off. This was my favorite of the bunch. I had the camera on program mode, since I did not have time to play with my settings. Made some levels and curves adjustments in PSE, ran it through Nik Effex for clarity and boosted the saturation a bit. This was the one and only time I have even seen a swallowtail around the house."

I'm extremely grateful that Dave agreed to be a guest for today gang! Hope he has inspired you all to keep photographing nature, and to be ready for any surprises that might come your way! If you've enjoyed his post today I encourage you to visit both his flickr page AND his new David A. Pratt Photography Page on Facebook. There you can also inquire about purchasing a print! Be sure to leave a comment below to let him know if you enjoyed the post below.

Thanks David for joining us, and thanks for the ramble folks! Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!


  1. Absolutely awesome photos. He is quite the photographer Christine. You both rank the same to me and I enjoy the fact that there is hope for me in taking close ups and insect shots. Keep the photos coming as I am enjoying the teaching that I am getting as well as the glorious nature that God has given us. Thanks again Christine for sharing Dave's photos as well as yours.

  2. Thank you so much Lori! It's good to hear feedback on whether the blog is helpful or not... and I know Dave will be thrilled to hear you enjoyed todays photos and post! Have a super day!

  3. Thank you Lori for enjoying my photos. Hope you can make it over to my FB page to keep following me. Christine, again thank you so much for posting these and letting me be your guest for the day.


  4. You're very welcome Dave! Was happy to do it!