Sunday morning I packed my camera with a 150mm macro lens in my backpack and went out for a bicycle ride. I knew where some wildflowers would be with maybe some butterflies and bees and I needed some exercise so I biked to them. I was expecting a lot of yellow flowers, but when I got there I found these purple flowers that I have been looking for this autumn but haven’t seen until now. This late in October, I thought that I had missed them.
According to the internet these are called Eryngium leavenworthii or Leavenworth’s Eryngo, though I have heard them called Purple Pineapple because of the shape of the flower. I usually see these wildflowers in September around the area and I have looked around and haven’t really seen any until today and I wanted to shoot them for their unique shape.
These were growing very low, not far off the roadside in my town and after squatting a while without much success holding myself still, I ended up just sitting in the grass. I shot these photos using the Irix Dragonfly 150mm macro lens that I wrote about previously. There was thankfully very little breeze, which made focusing easier with this manual focus lens.
Shooting this close up, the focus depth is quite thin. I shot between f/8 and f/11 the entire time to recover some small about of depth of field. The above photo was shot at 150mm, f/8, 1/200s, ISO400. I was very close to the flower and this image is not a crop. I didn’t even notice the spider’s web until I looked at the photos on my computer. One nice thing about the very shallow depth of field is that the junky background is completely lost and you just get the flower.
I really love the bright, spiky flower petals on these flowers. Many of these were going gray and past peak, but I found a few that were still bright purple.
It was completely overcast when I shot these photos and they came out of the camera kind of dull, in my opinion. In Lightroom I warmed up the white balance to give the images more of a sunny look and I think that this worked out quite well. I also slightly dropped the luminance on the purple and magenta hues to deepen the color a little. Maybe I over warmed the photos, or maybe they look different on your screen. If you are looking at this on a phone, these screens tend to be a bit cool so maybe it looks fine.
I took some of these shots through the view finder and some holding the camera down low and trying to look at the screen. I think that I had better luck through the view finder. My view finder focusing trick with this manual focus lens, is to partially hold down the shutter button and watch the focus indicator in the view finder while I dial the focus. When there was a breeze, I had to just time the oscillation of the flower to when it would be in focus. Oh and I deleted many more photos than I kept.
The photo below is my favorite and I exported it as a larger JPG than the others. I mainly just like the composition better than the others. Shot at 150mm, f/11, 1/320s, ISO800.
I hope you enjoyed my close ups. I am trying to get out to shoot more, but have not been all that successful motivating myself; probably because of a stressful month at work. But, I finally got some purple pineapples.
Thanks for reading and please tell me what you think below. And for some good, fun stories, go check out Chasing Unicorns.