Aug 082014
 

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I’m testing a new layout and some WordPress plugins which will (hopefully) make it easier for me to post more often. “Simplify, simplify, simplify” is my current mantra. I’d love to hear if you run into any issues or have other feedback as I change things up.

Jun 042013
 

Crabapple Blossoms ©2013 by April Siegfried

When I started practicing Miksang three years ago, we were instructed to “boycott your default position”. Sometimes, however, I just have to capture classic beauty in a traditional way. The light on these flowers was perfect, and the raw file needed very little post-processing. I love when that happens!

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f11, ISO 400 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 240mm (360mm EFL); focus distance 1.78m

Jun 052012
 

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Pretty flowers I couldn’t resist! The violet blossoms in the foreground are campanula, or “Bellflower”.  🙂

Nikon D300; 1/60 sec @ f5.6, ISO 3200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 92mm (138mm EFL); focus distance 2.11m

May 092012
 

Spring Light
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Nikon D300; f11 @ 1/350 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 220mm (330mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

Prairie Fire
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Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/125sec, ISO 3200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 165mm (247m EFL); focus distance 1.68m

“Dappled light” sounds pretty, doesn’t it? But high contrast and hard shadows have led me to dismiss it in favor of photographing subjects under soft, even lighting…

Until last month, during the Callway Gardens workshop, when a participant opened my eyes to possibilities I’d been ignoring. She was photographing the color and reflections of azaleas along a riverbank, playing with impressionist ripples in the water. What especially struck me, however, was the way she’d been drawn to one particular mound of blossoms spotlit by sunshine through a break in the surrounding trees. Ah-hah.

Thank you, for showing me the light!

Mar 032012
 

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Hungry for color, I broke down and bought a bunch of tulips the other day.

These were photographed with my Panasonic Lumix (on a tripod), because I originally envisioned a square format—though I ended up with a 4:3 composition instead. The ability to choose different aspect ratios in-camera is my favorite feature of the Lumix.

What really delighted me, however, was how beautifully the Lumix captured reds—normally so difficult to hold on my Nikon D300! This image required very little post-processing.

I did use a circular polarizer for this frame, but that was primarily to reduce glare on the waxy petals. Color was equally good on previous frames without the polarizer.

Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f8 @ 5 sec, ISO 80 (Neotec tripod);
Focal length: 76.4mm (424mm EFL)

Sep 052011
 

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Standing up above the rest, this white flower caught my eye in the garden of a courtyard building in our neighborhood. The background is a sidewalk, which sits on a small rise above the bed of zinneas in hues of orange, pink and yellow.

The morning was very still and calm, with quiet light, so that’s the word that came to mind as a title for this image.

I’m thrilled to write that I’ll be assisting Marti Jeffers next spring during her workshop in Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs, Georgia, and hope to have the pleasure of meeting more of you in person there!

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/180 sec, ISO 360 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 2.66m

photographed “in the field” in one of the neighborhood courtyard gardens I regularly prowl. The background is a sidewalk, which sits on a small rise above a bed of zinneas. One flower in particular caught my eye…
Jan 192011
 

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For the past five days, Chicago has received only 6% of possible sunshine. Flat overcast skies and a little dirty snow on the ground doesn’t even rate “dreary”, just “blah”.

So! Inspired by Tony Anthonye—one of my favorite flower photographers—I’ve retreated indoors to explore lighting in a basement “dark room”. It is not as easy as he makes it look!

I’m also trying to figure out how to light my setups so I can share photographs of those, as Tony has so generously done.

Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 3sec, ISO 200 (tripod);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 170mm (255mm EFL); subject distance .89m