I recently visited one of the most beautiful places on earth; Gibbs Gardens in Ballground, Georgia. The gardens is open from 9-5 so I chose a time of the day when I thought the light would be the best which was mid to late afternoon. In the middle of August however the sun doesn’t set until 8:30 PM so the light was very harsh. My first stop was the Monet Lily Ponds. There were about 4 ponds and I could have stayed there all day because the lilies were in full bloom. I did a lot of shooting and was not happy with my exposures because of the harsh light on the water. Normally I shoot in aperture priority at around f/4 so I have some nice bokeh. This time I decided to change my thinking for a more dramatic result. I shot the image on the left at f/40 which resulted in a very slow shutter speed of 1/5 second. I also chose spot metering instead of the default evaluative metering to bring more emphasis on the flowers. It made the background almost black. Now the lilies really stand out. The small aperture made everything in focus from the closest lily pad to the furthest lily pad. While composing I thought about how cool this image would look above my fireplace as a pano so I made sure I left space on the top and bottom so I could crop it in post-processing. The only post-processing that I did was to saturate the reflection and the cropping. Now that’s what I call composing in the camera.
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