The Last Dogwood Flower

The nearly white flower caught my eye

I was out in the front year taking photos of granddaughter Emma a few days ago, and spotted this single dogwood flower. There had been dozens, but just this one remained. I thought that it would make a good photo, so I quickly framed a shot and took it without even adjusting my camera settings for it.

A few days later, I found this image.

Technical info: this was taken with one of two Sony lenses I am testing: the 85mm f/1.4; the other is the 50mm f/1.2. Both feature very wide apertures for their focal length, and both are regarded as pretty sharp lenses.

(The 85mm is not regarded as a sharp lens wide open at f/1.4, but is said to get sharp quickly as you stop down.)

This images was ISO 100, 1/1250th of a second, and f/2.2. The fast aperture freezes movement (Emma was doing tumbling) and the closed-down aperture was to improve sharpness. If you click to look at the image at a larger size, the sharpness is apparent.

I took some shots the following day, which have yet to be processed, but at a glance the f/1.2 images definitely were softer (but in an interesting way), but had quite noticeable chromatic aberration in high-contrast areas (purple and green fringes). I’ll have more about those shots another day.

For this day, the sharpness of the lens was impressive. I have definitely seen lenses that are noticeably sharper, but the lens was able to give me a crips rendition of the flower and leaves. On the downside, focus is slow (it missed focus some of the time). It is a good lens for portraits with that slight software wide open. I’ll have examples of that later on in a separate post about portraits.

I could have processed the image to make the flower brighter, but I kept it back from full brightness to preserve the subtle texture of the petals. This reflects how the subject was lit originally: indirect sunlight only.