Well, here we are again. Seriously, on one hand I think, wow, we've done nine of these already and then on the other hand, I think holy frijoles, it's already mid May!!! The double take train is rolling along fast. This topic so far has truly been the hardest one for me. I spent a couple of weeks with my "nifty 50" just glued to camera and I shot darn near everything wide open at f/1.4.
I struggled to show the depth in a landscape scene. I felt like I was always trying to pick out one spot to focus on and make sharp, but wanting to show a wider vista in front of me. I also wanted to break out of the norm. I would normally shoot a detail like flowers wide open, but when stepping back and taking more of the scene in, it became easy to see how challenging that was with a shallow depth of field. We are all so used to seeing a landscape scene fully in focus shot something more like f/13-f/16. In fact, I feel pretty inspired now to keep trying this technique. I think I could leave the 50mm on my camera for months and just keep playing.
In the end, I settled for a shot that I'm not 100% in love with, but maybe was the best attempt of the look I was after. Both Dave and I decided on shots from our recent Flickr outing to Allerton Park in Monticello, IL. My image is of the beautiful Peony Garden. I wanted to show the seemingly never endind sea of colorful Peonies, but I wanted to focus on one to show how beautiful just one could be when singled out. I don't really feel that I got all the way there, in fact I have shots with more depth of field that maybe show the landscape scene better. It just stands to reason that more practice is needed.
Dave's shot is of the pretty Asian formal hedge garden. With a walk way separating a north and south side, each with their own stone fish statue, there is a lot of ground to cover photographically speaking. It also appeared challenging to shoot. I watched Dave spend time setting up various shots and angles. He definately worked the scene and what he came away with, I think, is a home run. I really love the second fish carefully composed and framed in the nook of the first fish. It's a very creative view of the scene.
We've also already settled on our shots for the special bonus topic, "Jubillee College State Park". If your playing along, you still have more time. You have until the 31st. Also up next is "Formal Gardens". I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.