At the start of this photo-a-week project, I set myself an objective. No flowers. Unless absolutely unavoidable. So, for the third time, I am presenting an image of what else, ….. a flower. It is another in my series of desiccated tulips, a subject which I have been doing quite a lot of late. Far more than I have included in this series. There was even a week when my tulip images were far and away better than anything else I did. Yet, out of sheer obstinacy and contrariness, I excluded the whole lot of them. The best of those shots, incidentally, went on to do reasonably well in a recent competition against other local photographers.
Photographing a tulip
The recipe is simple. Buy a bunch of flowers and enjoy them for a week or so. Instead of throwing them out when they start to fade, hang on to them. They are nowhere near their photogenic prime. Only when they are bent and falling apart, having had an unpleasant odour for a couple of weeks or more, are they almost ready for their first moment in front of the camera.
Maybe you think I am exaggerating? My wife will tell you differently. A really good tulip or other flower can mature like a fine wine. Except you can only drink the wine once. The tulip can be photographed on many more occasions before it needs to go anywhere near the compost heap.
At the British Museum
While at the British Museum, I had a few minutes to try out a new lens, a Fuji 10-24 f/4zoom. This shot is of a honeypot location, the Great Court, which has been the subject of countless photographs. Considerately, the architect provided a high up viewing point for the purpose. Indeed, I had to wait my turn while someone else took their own photograph and others queued up behind.
Used at its widest setting, the lens performed reasonably well. As a consequence of the wide-angle of view, there was some distortion which I corrected in post processing. The edges are a bit soft, although I think that, for what I paid, the lens is a decent performer. The more so since it incorporates image stabilisation. It is difficult to design wide-angle lenses, a zoom only adding to the problems encountered. Fuji’s significantly more expensive, and bigger, 8-16 f/2.8 lens doubtless yields better results. Given the compromises of size, weight and cost, I am content to to stick with what I have.