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How I Got the Shot: Pink Lady Slippers

Photograph by Mark Bowie

Photograph by Mark Bowie

Title:
Natural Garden of Pink Lady Slippers

Exposure Data:
1/100 second, f/2.8, ISO 100
Nikon D80, Nikkor 80-200mm lens set at 95mm.

I happened upon a profusion of pink lady slippers growing in a small marsh. As they are a threatened species, I won’t disclose the location. Hopefully they’ll continue to flourish here.

Contrary to the classic landscape technique of having everything in sharp focus, I decided to concentrate attention on the two nearest flowers by focusing on them, and shooting at a wide-open aperture to allow all else to go softly out of focus.  This simplified what was a visually chaotic scene and lent it a bit of mystery. Just how many lady slippers are here, and what else is there to explore in this natural garden? I positioned myself to arrange the softened, repeating forms of the heart-shaped petals in an oval pattern, to lead the viewer around the scene. The limited color palette—all pink and green—lends a welcoming feel to this woodland paradise.

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a much sought-after public speaker, offering presentations to camera clubs, environmental groups and others. He recently released a new e-book, Finding November, about his quest to seek out the hidden beauty beyond the month’s bare trees and gray skies. He is a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute (API). See API’s 2016 schedule of photo workshops, including the newly announced Bandon Beach, Oregon, trip, at www.adkpi.org. For more on Mark’s work, visit www.markbowie.com.

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