What happened was, I was sitting on the back porch in the sun drinking white wine and shooting flowers while the rest of the family cleaned up after dinner (I’d made it so that’s OK) and picked fruit and so on. Only the camera was a little out of whack.

As a side-effect of the expansive low-light photography project, it turns out that the K20D was hard-wired to ISO1600, which is not exactly the best choice for shooting brilliant colors in direct if slanting sunlight. Fortunately, modern DSLRs will cheerfully crank the shutter speed up to silly values like 1/4000 sec to deal with this. Do you think that the mechanical shutter timings are accurate to four digits of precision? Me neither. I’m having this slightly twisted vision of those poor little pixels with their receptivity cranked to the max cowering away from the cruel sun.

But when I pulled ’em into Lightroom, I liked ’em. I think those poor overloaded pixels held their own again against the nearest large-scale helium-fusion reaction. They looked amazingly like what I recall seeing. Here’s some crocosmia in front of some hydrangea.

Crocosmia foreground, Hydrangea background

I don’t know what the apricot thing behind the black things is, but I’m looking at the black things, myself.

Apricot blur behind black botanical silhouettes

The next few are of flowers which are hanging down. A basket is involved; there is horticultural magic of which I’m ignorant but results in one being able to buy a hanging basket which will reliably produce flowers between early summer and late autumn, and lots of them hang down.

Here are a couple of them. Shooting in this configuration implies really short shutter times and narrow apertures, which means you’re going to capture the little hairs on the side of stems, and a hard-working bumblebee in transit.

Hanging flowers overexposed in the evening sun
· · ·
Hanging flowers overexposed in the evening sun, with bee

Finally, some shocking pink.

Hanging pink flowers overexposed in the evening sun


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Alex Morega (Jul 30 2010, at 01:57)

Those poor pixels did not suffer much because, IIRC, the ISO setting affects the gain of an amplifier in the pipeline that reads the bits from the sensor, and analog amplifiers don't mind being saturated. So yeah, don't feel guilty about it :)


From: David Edmondson (Jul 30 2010, at 02:16)

The second picture is fantastic. Bravo.


From: John Cowan (Jul 30 2010, at 06:00)

That's not pink, that's fuchsia. (If you don't call an actual fuchsia flower 'fuchsia', you might as well write your color vocabulary off.)


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July 30, 2010
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