Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Vignette: The lion roars

For today's Wednesday Vignette, the weekly feature hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum, I took a few photos of the combination of plants I see through the window when sitting on the living room couch.  The view has been energized by a strong showing on the part of Leonotis leonurus, also known as lion's tail, but the assemblage also includes Achillea 'Moonshine', Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Gaillardia 'Arizona Sunset' and Leucadendron 'Jester'.  I took multiple photos as my husband gave me a new camera for my birthday and I used this as an opportunity to evaluate the differences between my old camera and the new one, which came with multiple lenses.

This photo was taken with my old point-and-click Canon PowerShot.  It provided the most vibrant colors.

This photo was taken with my new Nikon D3400 using its standard lens.  It provides a wider view but the colors are more muted.

This photo was taken with the Nikon camera using a telephoto lens, which compresses the spaces between plants and blurs more of the area surrounding the Leonotis

It's going to take me a while to determine which camera is best for which uses.  I'd hoped the new camera would improve my ability of capturing photos of the hummingbirds.  No such luck.

I lurked around the feeder at a comfortable distance for a long time but the hummers are currently more focused on battling one another than feeding.  This one took chase just as I was focusing my shot.


Visit Anna for more Wednesday Vignettes.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. Hooray for a new camera!!! And, happy belated birthday, Kris! A lovely vignette in all, but that Coleonema blows me away - just stunning! As for wildlife that don't want to pose - I have best luck when using the sports-setting on my camera. Then, the chances improve that at least one frame will turn out alright. Have fun with your new treasure! :D

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    1. I'll have to look for a similar setting on my camera, Anna. At the moment, any photos I get of the hummingbirds are pure serendipity.

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  2. I want to sit in your living room...now that's a view ! Have fun with your new lens. I have a old 35mm and forget how to set it most of the time so it's always on auto.

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    1. I usually run my camera on auto too, Patsi, although I've tried out some of the special effects settings on my new camera.

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  3. Very nice view. Color combinations (plant palette) excellent--blends and echoes and very fresh. Well done, Kris. I prefer #3.

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    1. Thanks Jane. Image #3 has the most energy to it, I think.

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  4. Look for a photo workshop in your area Kris..I can't even tell you how many I've taken , and in fact have another full day class at Western Hills this weekend with Saxon Holt. I learn something new ever time.

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    1. I'm nosing about for a local class for amateurs. In the meantime, my husband's pushing me to just read my manual. (He even loaded it on my Kindle.)

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  5. I use both of my cameras on auto. I leave a closeup lens on my digital SLR, so I mostly use it for that, and my point-and-shoot takes crappy closeups so I use it for long shots. But it's a pain to carry both and switch back and forth. I think I managed to get the one good photo I've ever taken of a hummer with the digital SLR, so keep trying.

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    1. I don't imagine I'm going to start lugging around 2 cameras either, Alison. I expect to take just the smaller, lighter PowerShot with me to the Fling. I'm eyeing the Nikon mainly for close-ups such as the Bloom Day photos - the PowerShot isn't great there.

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  6. Those colours, so vivid and pleasing to the eye! Very impressed with the point and click one especially.

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    1. I admit I was disappointed by the somewhat faded tones produced by the Nikon. It may be that there's a setting somewhere to fix that but, if so, I haven't found it yet. Capturing a wider or more long-distance image may just mean more faded color. I did find a special effect that produces a super vivid image with the Nikon but it's cartoonish.

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  7. New camera, whee! I like the Nikon shots more. Your arrangement of plants there is just right.

    Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks HB! I didn't point out the small, sad Grevillea 'Superb' also planted in that area, which seems to be especially hard on plants in that genus, despite repeat applications of elemental sulfur. I'm giving the plant another year or so and will continue to work on the soil alkalinity problem.

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  8. Happy belated birthday, Kris, and what a great gift - nice hubby! The learning curve can be challenging, can't it? It took me 6 months to get used to my current camera. Do you post edit? You can fudge with the colors to get them right.
    Hummers need a high shutter speed like 1250, I think. I don't use manual mode too often. I'm kind of lazy that way. :)

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    1. I'm lazy in the same way, Eliza. I usually do crop, straighten and otherwise adjust photos before posting them to my blog. I tried to improve the color of the Nikon photos and wasn't able to achieve the same intensity but perhaps I need to spend more time on that exercise.

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  9. The Nikon shots are much sharper. Worth persevering!

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  10. Also on that learning curve.
    And the manual, pages and pages.
    I will stay with practical experiments first.

    Going to the birds tomorrow (and he can use his telephoto while I enjoy landscape and details)

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    1. I learn best by experimenting with the camera myself, Diana. Enjoy your birding adventure!

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  11. A belated happy birthday! And hooray for a new camera! It's always fun taking a new camera out to shoot and learn its quirks. The default settings on Canons render pretty vivid colors, if I recall. You should be able to ramp up the colors on the Nikon by delving into the settings. When I got my last camera, I was disappointed by certain aspects of the image quality, too, until I fiddled around with the settings. Digital SLRs (or micro 4/3 in my case) are so customizable. You definitely want to take advantage of that. I almost always shoot in manual so I can control the exposure. Shooting a bit darker than what your camera tells you can also give you richer colors. I tend to shoot .3 stops darker than what my camera tells me is right, but sometimes I have to go darker or lighter. Your camera might have an exposure compensation button (+/-). Mine doesn't, so I have to adjust the shutter speed or aperture to change exposure. Have fun getting to know your new camera!

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    1. Thanks for the insights, Evan. I played with the "Super Vivid" effect setting on the Nikon but didn't go so far as to try to adjust its values to temper the impact. Lots more experimentation is called for!

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  12. More belated happy birthday wishes :) And I'm excited to see you're getting to use a D3400; I still use my old D3200 and still love it. For me it was pretty intimidating at first and I got some very wonky results ;-), but experimentation and a bit of online photography knowledge (there's so much out there) helped a lot. Settings are so easy to get to in the Nikon; for instance, don't be afraid to switch your white balance between sunlight and cloudy (shade settings may be too strong for SW sunlight in my experience), or to play with the saturation and contrast in Picture Control. Best of luck with those hummingbirds!! You didn't go for the easy challenge, did you?!!
    I love all three views and am admiring your Leonotis... from a distance, as it doesn't seem to want to grow here unfortunately.
    Your plant combinations are just wonderful!

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    1. I was playing with my new camera in my foggy garden this morning and did play with color saturation after-the-fact - it made a lot of difference.

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  13. Such gorgeous colors in your garden! Darned hummingbirds simply won't sit and pose for pictures. What's up with that?

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    1. My brother claims that "his" hummingbirds (which he says he recognizes from one visit to the next and which he names) do sit for photos. He's indicated that I need to exercise greater patience...

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