Today, I Celebrate…

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I believe in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.  I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.  I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

-Audrey Hepburn-


Story behind the image…

Swan Island Dahlia Farm is located just south of Portland in the town of Canby, OR and are the largest Dahlia growers in the US.  Every year in late August to early September they open their fields to the public, sharing the beauty of 40 acres of blooming flowers.  They bring in vendors to sell snacks, there are shows and demos going on, an entire building is dedicated to showcasing these beautiful flowers in elaborate boquet after elaborate boquet and you can even buy cut flowers by the armloads (which many people do) to take home and enjoy or order “tubers” to be shipped at planting time so you can grow your own little beauties at home.

I like to visit right at sunrise when the dew is still fresh upon the flowers, the sun is still low on the horizon, wind is less likely and the crowds have not yet arrived.  In order to respect the rules of not walking in the actual gardens, I will often times use my AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR lens for flower photographs.  I have the versatility of the zoom, I can add teleconverters to reach even deeper into the flowers or to reach those farther away and I can attach either extension tubes (Kenko makes a set of three for most major brands) or close up filters (the Canon 500D is an awesome little “macro” lens).  I also have a diffuser (Lastilite Tri-grip) and/or flash with off TTL cord for off camera use, handy to modify/control the light as needed.

My preference is early morning on a lightly overcast day, using the sky as a giant softbox to eliminate hard shadows and to extend my morning shoot.  I can get lost amongst the flowers for hours and hours.  Image created with Nikon D2Xs, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR at 105mm ISO 100 f16 @ 1/60 sec