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Spotted Touch-me-not

This is the time of year when the Spotted and Pale Touch-me-nots are out in great numbers along the Red Cedar State Trail. It’s something I look forward to photographing every year from midsummer on. This is a shot taken several years ago and won first place in the River Alliance Photo Contest.

Pale Touch-me-not

Normally I like to use my tripod and a my Sigma 150 macro lens to photograph them. Sometimes I use extension tubes to allow me to get a little closer. Most of the time I photograph them in the early morning when the morning dew is dripping off of them.  It also is very helpful if they are in the shade and the winds are calm.

Spotted Touch-me-not

Photographing them can be somewhat of a challenge because Touch-me-nots grow in large clusters. This makes it difficult to setup the tripod without causing the morning due to drop off of the flowers. It is also difficult to photograph the individual flowers while excluding background distractions. The shape of the Touch-me-nots presents a problem because it is difficult to get the entire flower in focus and any one time and at the same time exclude background noise. If you close the aperture down to extend the depth of field so the entire flowers is in focus you are likely to get a lot of distracting background noise in the photo. Sometimes, you get lucky, you can find a flower standing alone with a distant background.

Pale Touch-me-not

In order to control the control the depth of field I open the aperture to narrow the depth of field. I then take multiple shots changing the focus slightly between shots. I then process the photo in a program called Helicon Focus. this allows me to select the shots that include only those portions of the flower that I want in focus. The key to this technique is to have a steady hand, and not have any wind blowing. This is somewhat rare along a river valley so it can take a number of trips and some persistence to get the photos you want. This shot shows you what can happen when you combine several shots taken when the wind is blowing.


Spotted Touch-me-not

Pale Touch-me-not


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Touch Me Not | johnny ojanpera on 03 Apr 2014 at 3:29 pm

    […] Beautiful photo belongs to Philip Shwarz Photography Blog […]

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