Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grass Roots Movement

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green In A Drought

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Judging by this shot of fresh green grass in our garden, you wouldn't think this country is still in drought. Melbourne's dams and catchment areas are hovering just above the 30 per cent mark, but the gardens and nature strips of this beautiful city are greener than they were three weeks ago, courtesy the rain we were blessed with just after Easter.

I took this shot a couple of hours ago because I was entranced by the late-evening autumnal light. These blades of grass are less than an inch high, but this SMC Pentax-DA 1:2.8mm macro lens really captures the smallest details with exceptional clarity.

You can actually see the shadows and the delicate variation of light on some blades in this frame. Even though this is only a low-resolution version of the original, you can see the last of the day's sunshine highlighting the delicate "fur" on the sides of a couple of shoots of grass.

This shot is for Anna Carson's Project Green - and when you consider the fact that the newly-mown grass is only the height of an SD memory card, you get some understanding of how good this lens is.

Now here's a question for all of you. Which of these versions do you prefer: the first shot or this one below?

29 comments:

lynn said...

I prefer the first, seems sharper and more more honed in, somehow.

The fur is what i noticed too, so delicate.

Mima said...

Definitely the first, I love the upright that just seems to anchor it all into place. The light is really beautiful, well caught.

Bob-kat said...

Isn't it amazing how grass can seem to come to life again so quickly after some rain even in the dryest conditions?

I definitley prefer the composiiton of the first shot as the shallow depth of feild really brings the blades to the foreground :)

Seamus said...

I like the sense of scale in the 1st one.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I prefer the first too. I like the contrast of the thicker brighter horizontal blade, against the tall thin darker blade. I also like how your eye is drawn up the taller blade. Great shot.

Hilary said...

Fine, I'll meekly raise my hand and dare to say that I like the second shot better. I like the way the diagonal blade of "furry" grass becomes the focal point across the horizontal image.

I hope your drought ends real soon.

willow said...

You are having the best time with your new lense, David! Nice shot. Hope the rain clouds come your way soon.

Blog Princess G said...

I love the first shot for the contrast of colour and the proportion. Wonderful... especially that furring along the edges. Well done O Lensed One. :)

the amoeba said...

I have a hard time picking - but then, this subject comes close to where I do my photography - under the microscope - and our aesthetics are different. The shallow depth of field that you exploit for its range of colors and textures is, to me, an annoyance, as it obscures the structures of the subjects. I like "flat". Can't help it. One man's treasure ... ;)

Sandi McBride said...

What a fantastic shot of grass. It is truely lovely. We are finally pulling out of our drought (for now) and hoping that we don't have a season like last year with all the ponds and lakes drying up...couldn't find a puddle to put the boat in last summer...with any luck you will get some nice gentle rains to replenish your dry earth...

the teach said...

Oh David, your photos are ALL so great I find it hard to choose! But maybe the first one and I don't know why... I'm sorry about the drought your experiencing in Australia. I hope you get a good soaking rain soon. Am loving your photos on Picture This! :D

the teach said...

Oh David, your photos are ALL so great I find it hard to choose! But maybe the first one and I don't know why... I'm sorry about the drought your experiencing in Australia. I hope you get a good soaking rain soon. Am loving your photos on Picture This! :D

Therese said...

Because of my own interpretation of the picture I prefer the cropped one.

LZ Blogger said...

I love the Macro shots David! ~ jb///

pat houseworth said...

No drought in Ohio David...3 lawn mowings in the past 10 days!

Rhea said...

I like the second, more close-up/cropped one, shot best. Love the grass fur.

quilly said...

I like them both for different reasons. I like the symmetry and depth of the first shot. It evokes the feeling of luxurious grass.

On the second shot I like the clarity of detail. IT isn't that the detail is less on shot two, but there is less to focus on, so it becomes more obvious.

I suppose my choice between the two pictures would have to do with what mood I was trying to set or what point I was trying to illustrate. Form and function, don't you kow.

Velvet Ginger (Rubye Jean) said...

Those are pretty so up close. I live on the desert & have found you can get anything to grow with a little love and care!

A.Bananna said...

I like the second shot. :)

CAROLYN said...

I thought the grass was taller in the first shot. We need rain here too.

San said...

Both are stunning, but I prefer the lilting grace of the first composition.

Raven said...

Hi,

Both lovely, but I'm with the majority. I like the first one. I think the height and the softness of the background highlight the grass blades better. I hope your drought comes to an end. We had massively destructive and historic floods three years running where I live in NY State. It looks like we may escape this year, though there was a scare about a month ago. But I ramble. Sorry. I like both photos, but the first gets my vote.

Corey~living and loving said...

The the first shot. It is the winner all the way. it draws my eye up and it really gives me a sense of length. I also like to have at least one blade complete. :)

Momma said...

I like the second shot. Though the first one is good, the second one caught my eye right away. The details on the blade are amazing.

D

David said...

This would be a close call, but I'd say the second. It seems as if you're somehow "closer" to the grass - I prefer to be more "connected" with the subject, even if the first is aesthetically better composed.

Cheers,

David Webb: Nature Pictures

Christy said...

I like the first shot best. The light play is more interesting.

Misty Dawn said...

I like them both, but I think I like the cropped version better, because my eyes are drawn to more details of the shadows and the furry edges of the blades.

We've been having way too much rain - I'll gladly send some your way.

Anna said...

You know, Atlanta (where I live) had a terrible drought last summer and technically we are still in it. I love your green grass shot. I have been known to get on my stomach and take pictures...it is always fun and gives me a great angle!

Nice one and I hope you are well over there!

Anonymous said...

The second one, because it's larger than life and brings hope of more greenery to follow. After fierce snow storms in March, April showers have brought the the brown & desolate lawns back to life in Toronto.

A beautiful hue of green "kochi kola pathar motho - like the very young banana leaf"

Rene.