Himalayan Blue Poppy - Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

Every year I try to start shooting something a little outside of my comfort zone. Last year it was black and white photography, and this year I decided on macro work. What prettier subject to shoot than flowers. Now I am sure that I could play around and teach myself to do this properly, but I am a believer in learning from the best. When I saw that my friend, Denise Ippolito, was conducting a workshop, I signed up immediately. Denise is a master flower photographer (as well as birds and anything else she shoots), and I was hoping that some of her expertise and creativity would rub off on me.

The first thing I learned was that flower photography isn't as easy as it looks. I had to focus manually for the first time in a while. I also had to contend with movement in the flowers, as even the slightest breeze is magnified when shooting macros. It was also the first time shooting with my Fuji XT-1 with the 60mm (90mm equivalent) macro lens. I must say that the focus peeking on the XT-1 made manual focus a breeze, and I was quite pleased with the performance of the lens.

This photo of the Himalayan Blue Poppy was taken at Longwood Gardens. These flowers are not found much outside of the Himalayans, and the display at Longwood Gardens is a huge attraction for flower lovers.  I am quite pleased with the results on this photo, as I had to push the ISO to 800 to compensate for the flower movement caused by people walking by the display.