September week 1

Since I knew I would be posting my weekly images on 9/11 I set out to photograph a rose.  The rose in many cultures is a sign of the Divine and used for love and remembrance.  All those things are important this day.  Since the mornings in San Francisco have still started out in fog the diffused light is perfect for flower portraits.

The rose season in Golden Gate Park is all but over, yet a few blooms continue.  The water drops from the fog (or the sprinklers) were beading up on the center petals of the yellow roses I stopped to smell.  When viewed up close they gave the impression of tear drops.  So I wanted to add a soft feel to bring out that emotion.

I started out taking full buds and roses and then moved in to capture the curves and texture of the petals.  I used a 100 mm lens at a wide open aperture (f/2.8) to render a very shallow depth of field.  Most of the petals quickly go out of focus.  The whole feel for me seemed to convey the words of a prayer I reviewed the day before, anticipating it’s use in a 9/11 remembrance at herchurch this morning.  It is a prayer for peace:

“Compassionate and merciful Divinity of many names,  Holy One, Allah, Yahweh, Wisdom-Sophia, Goddess, God of All, Providence,

We pause and remember in honor of 9/11 as we reflect on and work for peace. We gather with your people through the ages who have turned swords into plowshares that peace may be harvested.”

© Diann L. Neu, from Peace Liturgies, WATER,

The second image I share with you is from the beach at Princeton by the Sea, just north of Half Moon Bay.  This is the area where the Maverick’s surfing competition takes place.  But when that’s not happening the people strolling on the beach are few and far between (before 9 AM that is).

I enjoyed watching the gentle incoming waves move shells and sea weed back and forth.  I was especially drawn to an empty sea urchin shell.  The incoming waves often left sea bubbles around the shell.  With a shutter speed of 1/45 you are able to convey the movement of the water (some blur) and still freeze the shell  which is slightly moved by the water.  In this case you want to take many shots because the water is moving quickly in and out of your composition.  Take a meter reading off the shell and sand and then manually dial in that setting, otherwise the white of the water’s foam will through your light meter reading off.  (Or take a few shots and check the histogram).


This entry was posted in Weekly 2. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.