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.
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.
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