Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 29th, 2011

Day for night

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Each of the last two posts has featured a sunny and colorful wildflower in a bright blue sky, so let me put off another picture of that type till tomorrow; too much of a good thing may be too much of a good thing.

After taking today’s photograph on December 27, I was reminded of day for night, a term used in cinematography for any of several techniques that allow a scene filmed in daylight to simulate a night scene. That wasn’t my intention, but the sun behind this cattail was so bright compared to the plant in front of it that I set my camera to underexpose by 3 f/stops, and then to compensate for the underexposure I used my flash to keep the cattail from coming out black and devoid of detail. The result is as you see it here, with the background seeming to be almost a nighttime sky even though I took the picture at 1:43 on a bright and clear winter afternoon. I’ve long been intrigued by the way the seed heads of cattails, Typha latifolia, blow apart in the breeze, but this was a new way for me to photograph that unraveling.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 29, 2011 at 5:11 AM

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