While exploring the north side of the museum grounds, I found some dandelions that I decided to play around with. After examining them, I picked a favorite (or at least one that I wanted to use for compositions). Due to the very early time of day and the lack of light on that side, use of a plamp was required. My initial measurement for shutter speed was at six seconds and Mother Nature rarely gives you that much time without some wind. The problem with a flower head that you can see through is that the resulting image will often be influenced by the plamp (depending on placement, of course). One way to counter that is to find something that can be used to cover the plamp that has the same colors as other flora found in the flower’s natural environment. A large leaf from a nearby weed with nice purples and greens was perfect to hide the plamp.
For my Dandy piece, my artistic vision was to focus down inside the head. That decision created an abstract with what appears to be an explosion of seeds shooting out in all directions. Due to the razor thin depth of field at nearly two times life size magnification, the pappus disks (sometimes referred to as a parachute) are outside the zone of sharpness and add white splashes and strands. Pieces of pollen and tiny hairs on the achenes can be seen.
For Wispy, I decided to see pull the focal point back to the top of the pappus disks. That still created an abstract, just with different qualities. Though both images were created using the same subject, they appear quite different. Additionally, the light had dramatically improved by the time I composed this so I was able to reduce the shutter speed by more than half. Pollen and individual hairs can be seen here as well.