Another February in Florida, Part 3

Today’s Post by Jamie Zartman

Naples, Florida has spectacular botanical gardens, which provides an abundance of photo opportunities and challenges for a photographer. The light was quite bright and harsh and combined with dark shadows in many of the garden areas during the time I was there. In addition, the garden’s close before any golden hour light is available, unless you are able to catch one of the special evening events. Water lilies, in particular, are often at low angels a distance away and require reduced exposure values from the reflective water surrounding them. On this day, I chose both my Panasonic GX-85 with an Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, and my recently acquired Olympus E-M1 Mark II with the superb Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens.

The dark interior of a grass roof cabana, used for teaching and presentations, presented a real challenge. I seldom use HDR, preferring to leave my tripod at home and rely on stabilization. However, by shooting in RAW and using Lightroom sliders in post, I was able to get the photo I wanted using the GX85 and Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 lens combo.

The diversity of plant life was amazing, and here again, I was able to process a single photo despite the very dark shadow area of the rocks and palm in the foreground.

In the two photos below, I used the full telephoto range of the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with the new E-M1 Mark II. This provided both a close-up of the delicate colors within the water lily below, and a wide perspective, which included the reflections of one of the origami tower sculptures near the pond. The origami sculptures were the theme of this year’s art in the garden. The shallow depth-of-field insured that all attention was focused on the water lily. I try to return to the Naples Botanical garden, each year, as it provides a breath of the Spring that is still a few months away back in Colorado.