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Pollen Count

24th May 2017

Pollen Count

I was up on the hill at about seven yesterday morning walking the dog and saw that the pasture was just hitting that fabulous spring moment. The moment when everything is bursting into life and battling it out for success. The bracken uncurling its tips like a forrest of aliens, buttercups and dandelions dotting the long grass with their tiny yellow and fragile white splotches, and the long grasses shivering in the breeze. I startled a young dear as I climbed over the fence, and it bounded away, leaping a high hedge so effortlessly it made me feel very old and stiff! I had my macro on so was looking at all the flowers and grasses and noticed pollen coming off the some of the grass as I walked. I knelt down in the dew soaked grass and started hunting for lone grass heads that were in the sun and had dark trees behind them and set to work.
Pollen Count

It was tricky without a tripod, and trying to focus close while I reached forward with my other hand to tap the grass stems and catch the pollen blowing off in the light breeze was challenging to say the least. As the light was low I had to work with a very low f stop, so my depth of field was pitifully shallow and my shutter speed not nearly as high as I’d like. It took myriad attempts to catch the very delicate pollen, as well as the grass head, keep the background dark and try to reach forward to tap the grass stem which I couldn’t see (as I wanted my hand out of shot of course), but of the many shots I missed, I’m pretty pleased with the one or two I managed to get. I went up again later in the day with a battery powered studio flash and snoot, stands, a black background, my tripod, a pair of scissors to trim grass around the stem I wanted to isolate – way way too much stuff, and failed to improve on. Sometimes working with what you have is the best solution!

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