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Old May 24, 2010, 2:33 AM   #1
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Default Strelitzia: a spectacular flower

[EDIT: I posted this in the DSLR section by accident. Could one of the mods please transfer it to the P&S Panasonic/Leica section? Thanks.]

(Can't find a sub-forum for flowers, so I'll post this according to my camera.)

Although I've had my Lumix FZ35 for a few weeks now, here are the first two photos that, in my opinion, are worthwhile posting.

It was a matter of timing.

It's late autumn here in Pretoria, and the Strelitzia reginae (Paradise Flower, Crane Flower) have started to flower in our garden. Yesterday afternoon, the Strelitzia bed was already in the shade of its cousin, the tall Strelitzia nicolai (wild banana). Suddenly, a single ray of sunshine trickled through the taller plant and fell right onto the Strelitzia, illuminating it from behind.

I was carrying my son (17 months) on my left arm, grabbed my camera with the right hand and did two single-handed shots from the haunches, using a sliding door for stability.

I used spot focus on the orange part of the flower, and deliberately kept the background subdued. Any more light, and the orange would blow into an unnatural yellow.

Here they are:
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Old May 24, 2010, 11:17 AM   #2
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Beautiful shots (particularly the first one where the exposure is just right. I find the second a bit too bright but I guess it's because I'm comparing it against the first. If the second image was by itself, then it would look OK). Lighting was impeccable. Well done!
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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Thanks for the compliments, Tullio. Yes, I also prefer the first one in terms of exposure. As far as composition is concerned, however, I prefer the second - that's actually the reason for having taken it: I find that the flower sits too far to the right in the first shot. Unfortunately I didn't quite get the spot metering right in the second one, so the two bright petals have started to blow yellow - one can hardly see their ribs (edit: veins) anymore.
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Old May 25, 2010, 3:52 PM   #4
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Mark, all moved as requested.

Thanks
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Old May 25, 2010, 3:59 PM   #5
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Beautiful Mark well done....I like the second also...the blue stigma reminds me of the British Airways Concord taking off...lol...beautiful shots...thanks for sharing...
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Old May 25, 2010, 4:13 PM   #6
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Mark, these are great.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:25 PM   #7
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Excellent work, Mark-

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Old May 25, 2010, 11:10 PM   #8
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Very beautiful photo. Lighting plays a very important role in this photo. I think this flower is also commonly known as 'bird of paradise'.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu View Post
Very beautiful photo. Lighting plays a very important role in this photo. I think this flower is also commonly known as 'bird of paradise'.
Correct, Raghu. My Mum has plenty of them growing in her garden, they are quite common here in South East Queensland.
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Old May 26, 2010, 4:49 AM   #10
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Thanks to my namesake1616 for moving the thread from the big-shots to the small-fry! I felt very "out of league" amongst the dSLR guys. *wiping brow nervously*

And thanks for all the feedback! Glad I could finally post something more worthy of the FZ35. The longer I use it, the more I realise that it's not just a simple replacement for my stolen Fuji Finepix S5100. It's a HUGE improvement. However I'm still confused sometimes with the position of the buttons, instinctively looking for the power/record/playback where the FZ35's zoom lever sits. Actually, I find it very awkward switching the camera on and off (or from record to playback) with just one hand! I find that it requires a major shift, and I'm wary of dropping the camera... Any tips?

Cheers,
Mark
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