Monday, August 1, 2011

Hibiscus ~ Mono Monday!

"Rose of Sharon"
(1/15 sec.@ F/18, ISO 160, 200mm fl, Remote Shutter/Tripod, Overcast light)

I find Hibiscus challenging to capture properly and with any kind of finesse. They are only in their prime individually for about a day or so, then wilt considerably. I find it easier to photograph them before they fully open. The long flimsy petals crease, flop over, and stick together once they've bloomed. I stand out on the lawn with my camera and I find myself muttering things under my breath like, "come on, work with me girls!!!" as I try to find a single perfect flower to photograph. And if profuse on the tree, the blooms stand out in the background like a bad quilted effect, splotchy and clumped. So I thought I'd try to find a specimen from my front garden that would be workable as a monochromatic image today. It took some doing.

I let the fact that it was overcast after a rain, and that I wanted to use my telephoto, which is a fairly slow lens in low light, to dictate that I needed my tripod and remote so there was zero camera shake. I also know that in low light, my camera doesn't have great noise control when going higher than 200 ISO so I kept it down, also constituting the need for the tripod since after I metered and checked my histogram I realized my shutter speed needed to be longer to let in enough light.

I converted the image to B&W in PSPx2 by using the Platinum Film Fx filter and Curves to fine tune the exposure a bit while in Raw. Some high pass sharpen was applied when everything else was done. In the end, it reminds me of film instead of digital and I like how it looks as a print, with some texture almost.

Hope you all like it! This one goes out to my buddy Lonnie, who is always reminding me not to forget my love of B&W.

Thanks for the ramble, and have a great Monday gang!