Devil’s in the Details

IMG_0292tallYellowIris480In our last expedition, we were anchored pretty close to our daughter’s house in a coastal suburb near Wilmington NC due to our child-care responsibilities. Every time we go down I say I’m breaking free to find the nearest coastal nature or wildlife preserve, but I have so far failed to put sandals on that notion.

So at least I would put my new Canon Powershot G7X through its paces, home-bound as I was, and with the unwelcome addition of a bout with subtropical depression. Her name was Ana.

About the subject: Pale Yellow Iris, aka Iris Aquatica. Iris lutia. Yellow Flag. Yellow Iris. Fleur de Luce. Dragon Flower. Myrtle Flower. Fliggers. Flaggon. Segg. Sheggs. Daggers. Jacob’s Sword. Gladyne. Meklin. Levers. Livers. Shalder. Or Iris pseudacorus, if all the common names have your head spinning.

Fliggers it shall henceforth be! Can also be used as an expletive.  You’re welcome. [Larger image is here.]

The challenges were many. This plant grew beyond the wire fence that actually runs down into the wetland waterway behind the house, so I could not get any closer than about five feet from this one surviving bloom among its spent siblings. The G7X max optical zoom is 100mm and that’s where this image was taken, as I recall.

The sky was forbiddingly dark and the frontal winds before the approaching storm where whipping these five foot tall leaves and flower stems such that at least a 500th second shutter speed was required, I thought.

Howver, EXIF data at Flickr shows ISO of 125 and shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. Granted, this image was cropped from the larger full image from this 20MP camera. Manual setting is turning out to be my go-to for fixed focus and lighting, as well as for action shots (of the grand daughter serving in a volleyball game earlier in the day.)

So I’m happy with the camera whose ergonomics fit my hands better than the Panasonic Lumix LX7 that my buddy Ed in Roanoke is now using mostly for its excellent macro function. Happy shooting, all!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Nice shot, but what I really enjoyed was learning all the common names attached to this one plant!! Fliggers indeed.