Calla Lily Heaven

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mm f/2.8__f / 32__ISO 100

Earlier this week, I received three calla lilies to photograph.  For three days, I left them in a corner of my dining room where I have found magic light in the past (see blog post from October 2009).  I hung my every-ready black velvet on a chair behind the blossoms.  On the second day, the early morning sun glanced across this one flow.  Aiming downward, I needed f/32 and a little lens tilt to hold sharpness in the vase and flower.

Due to the wide contrast, I bracketed seven exposures that were one stop apart.  This image was made with six of those frames using Photomatix by my assistant John.  The exposure blend enabled us to show fine separation of tones in the white, nice shading in the green stems but left the background black.

I made about 700 exposures in various light, including some blurs and many 7-frame brackets, so I still have much editing to do.

Until I can polish up some more selects, I hope you enjoy this one.  Let me know your thoughts!

Cheers,  Bill

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Published by William Neill

William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature's Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for BetterPhoto.com and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park.

4 replies on “Calla Lily Heaven”

  1. Expertly made HDR image, Bill!!!! Very nicely done. Give props to John for that. I love the composition, too. Showing the two stems on the right side, but not the flower is brilliant.

  2. First of all I like the composition and overall exposure. It is a well-executed image, but I have to admit that the bright part feels slightly odd (like a harsh highlight on an otherwise muted scene). I don’t know if it is the small image size here on the blog or just reading too much into what I’m seeing. I look forward to seeing your other interpretations.

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