Urban Landscape + Lifestyle Photography

Abstract Agaves of SoCo

Austin SOCO Abstract Agave 1

Abstract Agave 1

In the SoCo (South Congress) area of Austin, located just south of downtown, there are newly created trendy stores and restaurants. What was once, not too long ago, a seedy area has been reborn into a designer and family friendly destination. I’ve been there several times on photowalks with my photography friends. Instead of the typical plants, the sidewalk plantings, especially near Motel San José, are these wonderful agaves. Agaves are succulents from Mexico, also found in Texas and the southwest.

There are many forms of Agaves but they all tend to be very spiny and have a strong architectural quality. The grey-green color on some varieties look very simple and strongly defined which, I believe, nicely compliment modern architecture.

All 3 images were taken on the same day back in early April. I’ve taken Agave images before but this time, I wanted to do closeups and get an abstract feel. I used my 35mm f2.0 lens and wanted to get a nice shallow DOF. This was one of my first outings with my new (at the time) Canon 7D. I was very pleased with the sharpness of the images over my previous cameras. I’m wondering if the newer autofocus system on the 7D does a better job at fine and precise focusing. With this new camera, I have found a new-found appreciation for the old 35mm F2 lens.

Austin SoCo Abstract Agave 2

Abstract Agave 2

Austin SoCoAbstract Agave 3

Abstract Agave 3

My Thought Process

Image 1: I really like the grey-green of this agave. I wanted to focus on the texture near the purple-ish spines and have them run diagonally through the image.

Image 2: I shot this image looking down into the plant. I focused on the red spines and with a large aperture, I wanted a shallow DOF that would blur the image as it went deep into the leaf.

Image 3: This image was also taken looking down into the plant. The white edges and lines are the attraction here and I wanted to create a nice pattern of lines on a field of green. I decreased the aperture a bit so that more of the lines will be in focus.

Image Details

The 3 images were taken with a Canon 7D and Canon 35mm f2.0 prime lens. Taken as a 8MP JPEG.

Post processing in Apple’s Aperture 3 program included some sharpening, added some color saturation and a slight vignette, and creating the square crop.

Image 1: f2, 1/320 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 100, 35mm
Image 2: f2, 1/60 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 100, 35mm
Image 3: f3.2, 1/60 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 100, 35mm

10 responses

  1. Andy, great work!! Welcome to blogging!!!!!! I check back often!! Congrats!!

    August 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

  2. Those are cool shots Andy, nicely done. Jim

    August 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm

  3. Thank You, Jim and Pete!

    August 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  4. These are still among the best shots you have done.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    • Thanks Tony. These came out better I originally expected. Hopefully, I can keep improving.

      August 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm

  5. joeandrews

    awesome series, I’m particularly loving #2, awesome compo and depth.. fantastic work!!

    August 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

    • Thank you joeandrews, There is a certain zen feel I get when I get a nice abstract.

      August 27, 2010 at 7:34 am

  6. thanks for sharing!

    September 3, 2010 at 7:03 am

    • dendy, thanks for visiting and commenting.

      September 3, 2010 at 9:45 am

  7. Pingback: More Abstract Agaves of SoCo « atmtx photography blog

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