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Nature's Design

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 28 June 2009 in Landscape & Rural.

Nature's patterns are everywhere if one takes the time to seek them out. Often hidden from the naked eye are the intricate patterns within the simplest of vegetation.

I spotted a small hillside of salsify seeds along a trail leading to Fremont Peak which rises over 3100 feet above the Monterey Bay in central California. My eye was first attracted to a low shaft of light backlighting some of the seeds. Then I decided to take a look at a single salsify with a macro and a whole new world appeared!

In a perfect world, I tend to shoot the majority of my macro images at dawn as the cool air and ground generally provide windless conditions. However, I was with a client on a private lesson and we had driven to the Peak to shoot sunset over the marine layer which had enveloped the Monterey Bay (this will be a later post), so I only spent about 10 minutes playing with this scene.

This image was captured with a Canon 100 mm macro fitted with a polarizer. I was exactly 90 degrees off-axis to the sun which was bathing the salsify with diffused light filtered through a nearby tree. There was a slight intermittent breeze which made my fragile subject bob and weave, but I just waited for a pause and fired my frame. I also played with my aperture settings to vary the amount of depth-of-field. This was my favorite of the sequence.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/80 second F/5.6 ISO 400 100 mm

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