Today, Mady and I walked for an hour and a half along part of the Miner’s Ravine Trail in Roseville. It is beautiful there now because it is all green and the oaks are leafing out and the creek is running high and the wildflowers are abundant. With 80+ degrees forecast by this weekend, it won’t be long before the wildflowers are gone and the grass has dried to a golden hue. I’m glad I discovered this lovely area. It offers lots of photo ops.
I made myself leave my zoom/telephoto lenses at home so I can learn to use my new Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens. It is incredibly fast and when I manage it, the focus is crisp. The depth of field is so shallow at the widest aperture, 1.4, that very little of the scene is in focus, especially at close range. The bokeh this lens produces at even much smaller apertures is beautiful. Today, except for a couple of shots, I kept the lens wide open and at that aperture, the depth of field is so shallow that I managed to miss my focus on most things. Mostly I tried to capture wildflowers. I saw lupines and California poppies and vetch and a yellow daisy-like flower called tidy tips. But the wildflower I was most intrigued with, was a purple flower on a single stem that protruded from the grasses. When I got home I discovered that it goes by the unfortunate common name of Blue Dick.
Here are eight of the shots I took on our walk today. With one exception, all are closeups with shallow depth of field, and, I cropped two shots slightly, but exposure of all of the shots is SOOC. I tried to keep in mind the rules of composition that I’m suddenly finding so difficult to follow of late. I ended up cropping the two shots of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly slightly because once again, the subject, the butterfly, was smack dab in the center of the shot. I plan to return to Miner’s Ravine with my long lens and try for better shots of the pipevine swallowtails. I think a long lens will let me get up close to them without scaring them away.
Focal length 50mm
Focal Length 50mm
Focal Length 50mm
I shot the last five photos at ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/4000; I cropped the two butterfly shots to improve the composition.