Story Behind Image

Good Evening Rose of Sharon by Todd Henson

A Rose of Sharon bud just beginning to open.

The day was winding to a close, the sun slowly setting and evening fast approaching. A few small rain drops fell, landing on leaves and petals. The Rose of Sharon was blooming, some fully open, some just beginning.

It was a beautiful evening. The light was soft, with just enough falling on the flowers to handhold my camera and capture a few frames. I used a Lensbaby Velvet 56 to create a nice soft feel to the edges of the young flower, keeping the central portion in focus but allowing it to quickly fall off to a pleasant blur.

I brought the lens in very close to the flower, filling the frame, and choosing an angle that would minimize any distractions in the background. Such a light and bright flower in an otherwise low light area resulted in a very dark background. It helped that the background was at a distance from the subject. This is very useful for isolating and focusing on a subject.

If you’d like to see more from the Lensbaby Velvet 56 you can read about my first impression of the lens, see a pair of Dianthus flowers photographed with the lens, and view a bumble bee sheltered inside an open Rose of Sharon.

The resources below contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. This is at no extra cost to you.

I first learned about the Lensbaby Velvet line of lenses through Kathleen Clemons in her CreativeLive classes.


Dianthus Duo by Todd Henson

A pair of dianthus photographed with the Lensbaby Velvet 56.

My folks grow many beautiful flowers throughout the year. This year they have several variety of dianthus, such as those in the photograph above, with their deep and rich colors. I love the patterns in these flowers, and it’s always nice when there’s a little dew, or in this case a few rain drops on the petals (granted, they are very small).

I photographed these flowers with my Lensbaby Velvet 56, a lens I’ve been having a lot of fun with. It can create such nice and soft out of focus backgrounds. But it’s also capable of capturing sharp details in the subject. This photograph demonstrates both the sharpness and the soft blur.

If you’re curious about this lens check out a previous post where I shared more of my thoughts on the Lensbaby Velvet 56.

The resources below contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. This is at no extra cost to you.


Canal Falls by Todd Henson

Canal Falls

I was introduced to this scene by a friend many years back. It’s located along a canal and shows the falls between two levels. The key to this photograph was the long exposure, 15 seconds in this case. It allowed the water to blur, giving it that nice milky look as it goes over the rocks. It also lets the water at the bottom begin to swirl and flow into a circular pattern.

Ideally I would have liked more of the swirling water at the bottom, but on this day there was a lot of very slow moving foam just out of view that didn’t look very appealing, so I framed the image without it. Perhaps a slower shutter speed could have blurred the foam enough to include it, but I didn’t have a neutral density filter with me that day. I achieved the 15 second shutter speed by setting my ISO to the lowest setting (ISO 200) and closing down the aperture all the way (f/36). Thankfully it was an overcast day so I didn’t have to worry about harsh sunlight creating extreme contrast or blowing out the highlights in the water.

I’m thankful to my friend for showing me this peaceful and beautiful location that I might have otherwise overlooked.

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