Delicate and Strong

Delicate and Strong

As I mentioned before, Juliette and I went to a wedding this weekend. We'd both been looking forward to it, in part because we've been wondering for years now what it would be like--the couple are two of the most interesting people I know, and the bride has an eye for detail that is unmatched. This image is one example of that attention to detail. The chairs for the ceremony were decorated with little flower arrangements that were tied onto the backs, a large soft flower surrounded by what I think were thistles. The contrast was wonderful--not just in the play between the pink of the flower with the blue of the thistle, but also the textures and characters of the two blossoms. I love the idea of the soft, pale, delicate petals of the one being balanced by the prickles and tenacity and strength of the other.

Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/1.8, shutter 1/30 sec, ISO 800. Post-processing in Aperture 3: curve for highlight recovery and contrast; BW conversion with yellow filter.

Thoughts for improvement: If I had a camera that had better low-light performance, I would have liked to try this at f/2.8 or maybe even f/4. I like the way the shallow depth of field makes the thistle bloom soft while keeping the closer points of the leaves sharper, but it's a shame that some of the texture in the large flower is lost.

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