I love taking photographs of flowers, and Bute Park in the centre of Cardiff is one of the best places to take them. From early Spring until the Autumn, the flowers change from month to month. There is a section of the park which has well tended flower borders, and this is where most of these photographs were taken. But some were also taken in wilder parts of the park, where they flowers are essentially growing unattended.
In one or two of the photographs I managed to catch an insect on the flower. I find this especially satisfying, as it is so hard to not disturb the insect when I move in close to take the photograph. The focusing also becomes increasingly difficult if one is trying to focus on a moving insect.
For the technically minded, all of these photographs were taken with my Nikon D70 DSLR in RAW mode, typically with an ISO setting of 200. Most of them were taken with a Tamron 70-300 macro lens, but not all are in the macro setting. I typically take these photographs in aperture priority mode, and play with different apertures to get the depth of field I find most suits the particular photograph. This is, of course, sometimes limited by how much light is available.
There is a rule of thumb I learned a long time ago when I was a teenager, that one should not try and use a shutter speed where the number is less than the focal length one is using. So, for example, if one is using the lens at e.g. 200mm then one should not allow the shutter speed to drop below 1/200 of a second. With a 50mm focal length one can get away with using as slow a shutter speed as 1/50s. This is because camera shake gets magnified as one uses a longer focal length. This is, however, only a rule of thumb, and there are steps one can take to reduce camera shake, such as bracing oneself against something, or crouching and using one’s knee to steady the camera etc. Also, with digital photography, one can try different apertures, and just keep the better ones.
Sometimes, if I am trying to catch an insect, I will switch to “sports mode”, which lets the focus continuously adjust. But when I do this I often find it focuses on the wrong thing, such as part of the flower. Most of my attempts to photograph insects in this way end up with blurry shots!
If anyone would like to tell me the names of these flowers I would appreciate it. Although my mother knows a lot about botany, I haven’t a clue. I just about know the difference between a daffodil and a rose, but beyond that I am lost……