In case you haven’t noticed, things are changing. By “things”, I mean for most of us, the season. There are little details; it’s not as warm in the morning and not as blistering hot as it was two, three weeks ago. And then there’s the undeniable sign, the one that makes my blood curdle every year. You’ve probably already heard it, the dreaded “Pumpkin Spice”! Once they start mentioning it, it’s guaranteed Summer is ending. My approach to the seasons is like this: I welcome Spring, I LOVE Summer, I tolerate Fall, and . . . Winter and I don’t get along. Hate is such a strong word, but it doesn’t even come close to expressing my feelings about Winter.
So, why am I mentioning this?
Because there is still time to take advantage of what is left this wonderful season.
One of my things this time of year is Water Lilies.
Once the water temperature falls below 68 degrees, Water Lilies begin to go dormant. So, if it’s like most years within two weeks they will be gone. This is my last chance to photograph them for about 7 or so months. So that’s what I do and did.
There are two locations nearby for Water Lilies, Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I went to both.
For this shoot, I used a Canon EOS-R converted to Hyper Color and brought along a Super Color filter.
I only needed one lens, I used the canon 70-300L.
This is before I received the new 24-240mm, or I would have tried that.
The thing to keep in mind with Water Lilies is they close up at night and if you go first thing in the morning, chances are they will not be fully open.
The best time I have found is between 11 am and 2 pm. Which is one reason why Infrared is so great, you can shoot at any time of day. This is the time of day that most color photographers would never shoot, so you are also going to have uninterrupted shooting.
Another advantage of shooting during this time is dragonflies are quite active.
Here’s a tidbit; according to legend, dragonflies have two sets of wings so that angels and fairies can ride them. All the dragonflies I saw where without riders.
Now if you want to shoot water lilies, here’s a couple of suggestions to maximize your results.
1.Use a zoom lens. As I said, I shot this with a 70-300mm, but I’ve also used my 150-600mm zoom with good results.
2. Move slowly when getting close to the water so you don’t scare off dragonflies or frogs which can add to your image.
3. Watch your light and shadows, use them to your advantage.
3. Watch for reflections in the water. Infrared images can have great water reflections.
4. Shoot everything bracketed. It’s digital, there is no such thing as overshooting
5. Adapt your camera angles to each setting. Try some low, some directly down.
Most importantly, enjoy the experience, savoy the beauty of what you are capturing.
But don’t wait, soon it will be gone.
Make the most of the next few weeks, . . . Winter is coming.