Welcome to my 2018 Twelve Days of Photos, where I look at one of the images I chose to include in my best of year selection and talk a bit about it. To see the entire list of images I chose and learn more about my year in photography, please check out my 2018 Best Photos of the Year post. You can also look at all of the images over on my Smugmug Portfolio Site, and I’ve embedded a slideshow at the end of this post. To see a larger version of the image, you can click on it.

Hibiscus Macro Close-up

Hibiscus Macro Close-up

This image is really two, sort of: a color rendition and a black and white one. I’ve been trying to remind myself to do black and white conversions and practice going monochrome, because some images frankly look better without color, and it’s a good way to make it easier to study composition and structure be reducing the distractions. In a good monochrome image, the bones of the composition have no place to hide, and using that to study a shot can help you improve your composition for all images down the road.

It’s now August, and I’m finally setting up and testing up my tabletop photography setup, which I’ve been meaning to get to for years — being able to do that was one motivation for finally setting up the home office I’m now in. And after a bunch of tweaking and experimenting, I did a set of shots using various flowers out of the garden, including this hibiscus flower, and I really love the result here. I think the separation between the pistil and stamen and the petals is about perfect. If I were to shoot it again, I’d put a light on the background so it’d go pure white instead of grey, but I also feel I’m nit-picking at that. And in monochrome, the structures come out and take over as the color fades away, and shows what I think is almost a perfect focus point.

In case it’s not obvious, I really like it. And of course, given my schedules, I haven’t had time to set up the tabletop rig since, but that’s on the list for common use in 2019.