Lupin Lustre

Raindrops merged into a megadrop on this lupin leaf today.

Specific Feedback Requested

It was very overcast, but I closed the shutter almost to the max and underexposed to get as many details of the drop as possible without blown highlights, as well as to include the leaves. Wanted to use the tripod and try stacking, but the plant was too low for this. In PS I selected drop and leaves and adjusted them separately for tonality. I also lowered the brightness of the bg. Could I have approached the exposure in a better way?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500 + 105mm f2.8 with Raynox 250 close-up lens. 1/800, f32, ISO 1250; diffused flash


Quite unusual and well seen. Without being there it’s tough to say how you could have done this better. If you couldn’t get low enough with the tripod, could you use something else, say a bag of beans or frozen peas or coffee? I use a ziplock bag with two bags of rice inside it as a beanbag for super low angles.

Oh my, Mike, this is quite the raindrop in the center of this Lupin. I’m good with the exposure. I am wondering if a square crop could improve this already wonderful image? Just a thought. I would at least try cropping in from the right, just to have all pedals cropped off some. Just my thing, probably, but that one pedal that wasn’t cropped seems out of place. Excellent image as presented. I just love that large rain drop in the middle.

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Mike: I love the subject and comp. One thing you might consider regarding the exposure dilemma is to shoot this as an HDR. I’ve been experimenting with 5 exposure bursts spaced one stop apart when the dynamic range is challenging. It works well for flowers/macros as well as for landscapes. I have found the HDR blending in Lightroom to be quite good. >=))>

Gorgeous image, Mike! The megadrop is really stunning. I agree with Shirley. IMHO, square cropping to cut off the tips of the right pedals would make the image more symmetric. On the other hand, I wonder it would make the image less dynamic. Your thoughts?

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@Shirley_Freeman and @Nao_Koju Yes, definitely better with the symmetric crop - now I’m starting to like this shot. But @Bill_Fach I would really like to try the HDR approach next time, tripod allowing. It would be a first for me. And thanks for the stabilizing tips, @Kris_Smith ; on this occasion the shape of the plant made it too risky to try putting anything too near, as it would have dislodged the drop, but thanks for your ideas.

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Wow, Mike! That’s amazing! Very beautifully done!

Mike, this is very nicely dramatic. That big drop in the center initially looks like some kind of exotic bloom. I think your offset framing also works well.