"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Exploring Photography: Hydrangea Gallery 3 of 4

Exploring Photography: Hydrangea Gallery 3 of 4

The gallery below features another fifteen images of new blooms on three Blue Billow hydrangeas that I previously wrote about here.

I aimed for precise focus on the green bud at the center of each of these blooms, with only partial success. Holding a spring breeze responsible for the slight softness seems like a good strategy; though in reality I would have probably had better results by pulling back a foot or so then cropping half of the extra content out of each one. The tiny center bud is only about the size of a pencil eraser, so getting it in focus with the camera hand-held was a challenge. When working with a macro lens, also, I often find this to be true: subjects like these blooms will come out at least as good, and often much better, If I step back rather than lean in, and will still “fill the frame” appropriately once I get a look at them in Lightroom rather than basing the composition on what I see using the camera’s viewfinder or LED screen.

That’s actually the approach I took in the fourth gallery — of Bluebird Hydrangeas, which I’ll post soon — and it worked out a lot better. In my ideal version of the photos below, both the center and most of the adjacent petals would be tack-sharp. I liked the compositions so worked these photos using typical Lightroom adjustments and Nik Collection filters anyway; hopefully what they lack in focus in some cases becomes less significant if the compositions and lighting are technically decent.

These blooms are more open than those in the previous set, and most (but not all) of the green tint that I described there has faded into white or pale blue. The last photo is just weird — like a landscape from the distant planet Hydrangea — so weird I couldn’t bear to part with it and posted it just for fun.

Select the first image to view larger versions in a slideshow. The previous gallery is here: Exploring Photography: Hydrangea Gallery 2 of 4; and the first one with some additional notes on how these photos came about is here: Exploring Photography: Hydrangea Gallery 1 of 4.

If you use Lightroom and were interested in the B&H EventSpace webinars I described in that first post, you might want to check their June and July offerings, where several new Lightroom webinars have been scheduled, along with a couple new post-processing sessions.

Thanks for reading and taking a look!


  1. Beautiful photos, as usual, and very interesting commentary. Of course, moving back a little bit gives you a bit greater depth of field and to some small degree mitigates any subject motion. If your camera has sufficient resolution, you have lots of cropping freedom later. We all remember the time when12 megapixels seemed enormous. Looking forward to the next installment.

Leave a reply ...