Fireworks flower

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While visiting San Diego in May, I ran across an epiphyllum flower exhibition in Balboa Park. Of all the flowers I’ve shot to fill up hard disk space, these were some of the most spectacular. The interior of it looks like a 4th of July firework surrounded by eye-overloading color.

One of the challenges of photographing in the exhibit hall where the horticultural shows are done is the lighting is mostly fluorescent. This means that there is a greenish cast to everything, wiping out the nice magenta colors of many of the specimens. As such, I had to ensure my white balance was not set on auto but rather on fluorescent.

Aside from the color aspects of shooting in that type of environment, there is the dim light. Even though there is plenty of light for humans to see in there, the light is actually not that strong, meaning a slow shutter speed or a high ISO has to be used to get the shot. Both of these factors can add up to a blurry or grainy picture.

The other challenge of this type of shooting is the depth of field of the image. This was one time where the Sony RX-100 came in handy. Small sensors make getting a large depth of field easy. They sacrifice a lot but this is where they excel. That’s why its so easy to get a photo with nearly total depth of field with an iPhone, Galaxy, or the like. But you can -almost- never get a pleasant shallow depth of field shot with those devices for the same reason.

After all of those technical aspects are considered, there’s just the plain joy of looking at a plant that resembles a firework.

Author: Aaron

Aaron Linsdau is a photographer.

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