This blog is now one month old, a baby still. And since this is an anniversary of sorts, I want to call attention to a book that has inspired me in my photographic journey, “Fine Art Photography, Water, Ice and Fog” by Tony Sweet,  Stackpole Books (not sure which year it was published). The book centers around the idea of working-the-subject, whereby the photographer focuses on one thing while using different lenses and techniques to bring out his or her vision. This tactic sharply contrasts with the hit-and-run method, more common, of taking a few snapshots of one subject and quickly moving on to another. 

I am drawn to the curves and shapes of the flowers of these solanaceous plants of the genus Brugmansia. Also known as Angel’s trumpets, these flowers contain hallucinogen alkaloids which, if ingested (don’t do it, it can be fatal), would cause them to look even more strange. Practicing the working-the-subject approach, I came back to the garden a few times and used different techniques to obtain my images. I liked the results of the one above, and a few others I might post here in the future.

Location: UC Davis Arboretum, CA, US;

Equipment: Nikon Z50, AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f2.8G, tripod, speedlight;

Settings: f/18, 1/200s, ISO 320;

Tips: to obtain a black background, put your camera in spot metering and calculate the exposure for the flower. I used an off-camera speed light going through a diffuser placed underneath the hanging flower to allow me to use flash sync speed, since it was a little windy out there. 

Published by Alessandra Chaves

I am an entomologist by trade living in California, USA. I grew up in the awesome city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photography is my hobby.

6 thoughts on “Curves

  1. I’m with you (and Tony) about working the subject. It’s far more satisfying than ‘hit and run’. I also enjoy how you’ve used flash ‘in the field’. That’s something I’ve told myself I should try but really haven’t yet.


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