Wisteria blossom macro photo with soft focus and bokeh.

Speak Softly

Wisteria blossom macro photo with soft focus and bokeh.
Speak Softly — 100mm | f/3.5 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/80

Speak softly and carry a macro lens. And that’s enough Teddy Roosevelt for this post. Besides, I’m quite a loud talker. Despite being sans computer for the better part of the past month I was still out in my yard making photos. I’m sure my Mid-Atlantic flower peeps noticed the stellar wisteria bloom that manifest this spring. It was something else. When these little beauties go they create one of my favorite flowering spectacles. Tentacles of blossoms unfurl with columns of flowers serving as would be suction cups upon chlorophyll tentacles.

Centered in my backyard sits a small wisteria. It annoys me to know end come late spring; stretching without mercy to attach itself to most anything. These bad boys grow at an alarming rate. The only way to greet it is head on—trimming shears in hand—and on a regular basis. But during the years they bloom en masse, all the invasive conquest that comes later is worth it.

As for the photograph above we’ve got a few things working here. Some good and some accidental. The good? The light play. Rich afternoon light set up ideal conditions to capture the petite blossoms. The accidental? I was shooting handheld with my 100mm lens and not paying enough attention I dropped a 1/80 second exposure. As a general rule I like my exposure to be greater than or equal to the focal length of the lens. In this case an exposure greater than (re: faster than) or equal to 1/100 second. Holding to this formula helps keep your handheld shots sharp. Yet in this case the accidental soft focus builds on the photo. It drops a layer of whimsy onto the frame; a warm glow calming the soul. Sometimes our mistakes work in our favor.

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