One of the jewels of Albuquerque is the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, a refreshing oasis of floral beauty that has served as a photographic subject for me on many occasions. This week (April 7, 2017) tulips are on display throughout the Biopark campus. Don’t miss it!
The BioPark is my favorite nature escape in Albuquerque, and a delightful source of colorful photographic subjects. These photos were captured on various visits to the BioPark over the past decade or so.
The key to capturing good photo flowers is using the light to your best advantage. The top two photos were captured at the BioPark Botanic Garden on a bright, sunny day. However, by using backlighting (shooting with the sun behind the flowers) the flowers appear translucent and create fascinating compositions. The two photos shown below were shot on overcast days when the light is soft and even. This creates a softer, evenly lit composition.
Albuquerque Flowers Photos on Film
When I first started shooting flowers at the ABQ BioPark, most of my work was done on film. In particular, Kodak Ultra 400, a tightly grained negative film with wide exposure latitude and vibrant color. The truth was, at that time (about a decade ago), affordable digital cameras simply weren’t able to capture the dynamics of color and range that film at its best was capable of. Although, I’ve now come to believe that advances in raw processing software has overcome many of those limitations. Here is a photo shot with a Minolta X-570 film SLR, Kodak Ultra 400 (400 ISO), and Vivitar 70-150mm 1:f3.8 Auto Zoom. Modest equipment. But I do love the results. The one big investment I made at that time was a Nikon Coolscan V film scanner (I wish I had never sold it) which extracted excellent quality from my Walmart processed film negatives.
Here is another flower photo from the ABQ BioPark captured using the same film setup. I was sorry to see Kodak discontinue this film as it was a beautiful tool for capturing flower photos with lots of dynamic range and color.
All photos by Don Peterson, the man in the Panama hat …