A Florida Gazebo

January 28, 2019  •  1 Comment

During my last road trip through Florida, I captured this photograph of a gazebo at Washington Oaks Garden State Park in Palm Coast, Florida:

Washington Oaks GardensWashington Oaks GardensGazebo under oak tree at 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast, Florida on December 8, 2018

This picture presented some technical challenges. My lens was positioned very close to the foreground leaves. So, even at a narrow aperture (f/16), it wasn't possible to get the entire scene in focus. Ultimately, I set the aperture to f/9--which yielded a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second and focused stacked a few shots. But, that didn't work either. The leaves in the front were blurred due to the wind at such a slow shutter speed.

So, I captured an additional exposure of just the foreground leaves at 1/250th and opened the aperture up to f/7.1 (just so that the ISO wouldn't have to go too high). The ISO ended up at 1000--which wasn't high enough to compromise image quality too much. Rather than use ISO 1000 throughout the entire frame, I applied it only to those leaves in the very front of the picture. The rest of the image is at ISO 64 (optimal image quality) at the slower shutter speed of 1/10th of a second. This mixing and matching of various apertures and ISO settings within the same photograph can help solve a number of problems out in the field!

Another consideration in a scene such as this (i.e., a lot of foliage) is to control the glare off all the leaves. Even in overcast conditions, the glare from the light hitting the leaves sucks color and contrast from the greens. I attached a polarizing filter to cut through the glare to enable to greens and yellows to pop more.

While capturing this image, I made sure to wait until some clouds covered the bright sunlight. This took a bit of patience, but this photograph wouldn't have been worth taking in direct, harsh sunlight. Direct sunlight introduces too much contrast into a scene like this one.

Creating photographs such as this one will often present challenges. I enjoy trying to solve photography problems like this by blending various exposures and using the appropriate filters. Sometimes it works...and the desired photograph gets produced.


I think this is a real great blog post.
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