Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Sanja Vatra asked me to take some pictures of her fire show during the Uferlos Festival last week. I was more than happy to oblige.

The weather was horrible, it was raining cats and dogs. Despite this, a nice crowd gathered to see a great show.

Sanja Vatra Poi Fireshow

In order to get the fire swirling and some of the background, I dragged the shutter at 1/3s. The auto-focus of the Canon 5D decidedly did not feel up to the task, so I used f/8 for a good depth-of field and focused manually. These choices left me to use ISO 400 in order to expose the fire right.

I then fired the flash on ETTL with -1EV compensation to Sanja properly. Judging by the recycle time, the flash was firing full pop.

Looking at the pictures on the camera LCD after the show, I thought the whole effort was wasted. After I got home, warm, and dry, I had another look on the computer and felt much better. :)

Have a look at my Flickr! photostream for some more pictures.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bleeding Heart Flowers

The windflowers in the last post are wilting away, unfortunately before I had a chance to re-visit them. Instead, the bleeding heart flowers are in full bloom - such is the cycle of life.

The bleeding heart, also known as Venus's car, Dutchman's trousers, lyre flower or by their latin name lamprocapnos spectabilis is originally from Korea and north and western China, but it seems to do very well in almost any temperate climate, so it is a very popular garden plant.

We simply let it grow and cut the wilted stalks short in the fall and they come back year after year.

Bleeding Heart Flowers in a Row

In order to take the photo, I mounted the camera on a tripod and used an insane amount of extension (over 50 mm for a 70-200 mm lens). Despite an aperture of f/16, the depth of field is extremely shallow, about 2-3 mm in my estimate. That, combined with the light wind that moves the flowers like swings on a playground, made it challenging to get sharp images.

What really amazes me is how the lower white parts of the blossoms are textured. I had never noticed this with the real flowers before taking these pictures. Which just goes to show how photography can expand your awareness of the world. :-)