Flower Power: Exploring the Public Gardens

Jess and I have been spending some of our evenings exploring our new city, trying to get a feel for what's here, what we should enjoy and where to find the best of anything.  Last night's visit to the Victorian-style Public Gardens led to lots and lots of flower photography, well-warranted by the sheer amount of amazing flowers that have been cultivated this year.

For starters, I really don't know the names of these flowers.  At this point, I only remember that there were some with amazingly saturated colors, beautiful textures and soothing fragrances.   

As you may have noticed, there is a pattern here.  Sometimes, while shooting, I'll ask myself: would I use this for a desktop?  

Depth is another thing that I find striking in an image, with the focal plane being a major player.  Where it's good to use a narrow aperture and get everything in the shot in focus, there are times when this strategy falls flat.  Generally speaking, I use F8 to F11 to shoot portraits and F2.8 to F4 to shoot close-up photos like the flowers you see here.  There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but the added drama you find in a shallow-depth-of-field flower image can really add a much needed kick to the composition.  I've really been trying to think of my composition in three dimensions lately, and I hope it's paying off!

Of course, what visit to Public Gardens would be complete without seeing some ducks?  I mean, they're part of the scenery, very tame and pretty cute.  These guys look as if they're this year's hatchlings, still getting used to their surroundings.  They'll migrate down south before winter sets in and possibly return in the following spring.

Cheers, More tk...