Our “Go-To” Place

Sometimes you need a “go-to” place that is convenient and affords a wide variety of shooting options, and I find that place to be the Dallas Arboretum.

We have had several shooting oportunities there and I think everyone who has gone agrees.  There are flowers galore, sculptures, water features, critters, butterflies, insects and we can get some exercise as we shoot.   It is also a great place to practice shooting portraits.  And all of this is within reasonable traveling distance of home.  Since I have a membership, I am able to get one person in for free each time we go and I will rotate this perk amongst members.  If you enjoy it and plan to go several times in a season, it is well worth thinking about getting an individual membership.  This includes parking and entrance for one guest.

So Donna, Lorraine and Tess and I headed to the arboretum for a day of fun.  It is always best to get there when they open to take advantage of the morning light and also because of the extreme Texas heat.  On this particular day we arrived about 9AM and continued to shoot until 1PM.

When we arrived, we started our day reviewing our basic camera settings and it seems that most people simply pick up their camera and go.  Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s so much more than shooting on automatic.  We want more control.  So today we set our ISO to 100.  The light was bright and there was no need for a higher ISO; thereby maximizing the quality of our photos.  And then we set our cameras to aperture priority so we could better control our depth of field (the depth of the photo that is in focus).  As we headed out to shoot some roses, I noticed that everyone headed to the sunniest spot.  Think again.  Those roses in the bright shade photograph beautifully without the glare of the sun.  So we shot in both locations and came to appreciate the soft more diffused light in comparison to the harsh light.  A simple thing, to be sure, but it may make the difference between an OK photo and one that is a winner.

Lorraine captured the droplets of water on the foliage.
Looking beyond the big picture brought her unexpected delight.

In spite of the heat, our attention was focused on the moment.  The rest of the world was temporarily forgotten as we practiced getting our shots.  Lorraine surprised me because rather than running the opposite direction from the bugs and critters, she was running for them, ready to focus and shoot.   She was even making herself laugh.

But alas, Donna’s phone rang with a message from the real world, and we saw a photographer attempting to multitask.  Just hope she doesn’t try texting and shooting at the same time!  LOL!

Donna is multitasking…
(Photo by Fay)

We were tired, hot and sweaty and ready for a break by 1PM, and decided to top off the day with a trip to the Cheesecake Factory.  As we ate our lunch… the fun continued.

“There it is!” Shooting dragonflies in Monet’s garden.
(Photo by Fay)

Gotcha!
(Photo by Tess)

The CWPC in action. Thanks to an arboretum volunteer for getting this shot!

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