Photography

Spring flowers, courtesy my Yashica-D and a Spiratone close-up lens

After I figured out I had the close-up lenses on wrong on my Yashica-D, I knew I’d want to shoot with them right to see how the photos turned out. So I attached them correctly and loaded some Kodak Ektar, and waited for the flowers in my gardens to start blooming this spring. One by one, I photographed them as they emerged.

I shared the first of them with you yesterday — the best photo of them all, if you ask me. But here are some more, starting with my grape hyacinths.

Spring flowers from my garden

I forget what these are. I bought them at Walmart, of all places! I planted them in the middle of my big bed and they didn’t flourish. So a couple years ago I moved them to a largely shaded spot just outside my front door and they’ve been very happy ever since.

Spring flowers from my garden

And of course, there are daffodils. Verna, who built my house and lived in it first, planted these. My neighbor says she created the big front bed a few years before she passed. I’m happy to be the current steward of her garden, and to have added my own flowers to it.

Spring flowers from my garden

These are Grecian windflowers. A smattering of them come up every year, bloom for a few days, and then retreat.

Spring flowers from my garden

I forget where my Lily of the Valley come from. I remember planting them, I think. Did Mom give them to me after she and Dad moved out of my childhood home? Did I buy them at Lowe’s? It’s funny how such memories blur after a while.

Spring flowers from my garden

Purple is my favorite color, and I’ve favored purple flowers (like these irises) when I’ve chosen them.

Spring flowers from my garden

These purple and white irises were already here when I moved in. Since my parents retired and moved here, my mom, who misses her gardens, has worked hard in mine. A pine tree Verna planted had grown so large it shaded these irises from full sun. So Mom moved them, and they’re so happy in their new location that they now bloom in the spring and in the autumn.

Spring flowers from my garden

As you can see, I didn’t get the whole flower in focus. I wanted blurred backgrounds, so I chose widest apertures possible in the available light. I wish I had narrowed the aperture a stop or maybe two, which would have brought the whole flower into focus. I’ll bet I would still have gotten blurred backgrounds.

The Yashica-D remains a total joy to shoot. Despite being shaped like a brick, it’s comfortable to hold. Its controls move with silky heft. But it’s the big, bright viewfinder that charms the most, elevating even the most mundane scene with jewel-like color. And now that I know how to properly attach the Spiratone close-up lenses to it, I’m getting good results. Look at this color, this sharpness, this bokeh! The Yahinon lenses are not diminished at all by these inexpensive aftermarket accessories. They let me move to within inches of my subjects while carrying through all of the Yashinon lenses’ great characteristics. Win!

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14 thoughts on “Spring flowers, courtesy my Yashica-D and a Spiratone close-up lens

  1. Vivid but natural color from that film.
    I like medium format, but have never got quite the results with close-ups I’ve hoped for from any of my mf cameras including the YashicaMat and the Mamiya C330. The main problem for me is the lack of dof preview; there is always some guesswork in focusing. The other issue with most of the tlr cameras is that seeing what you’re doing while shooting downward requires a Rubberman neck which I don’t seem to have. The C330 has an accessory prism finder which solves that problem, but the camera’s weight challenges my enthusiasm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Y-D is as awkward as you would expect to shoot close when low to the ground as I often was for these shots. But by the end of the roll I was getting the hang of it.

      DOF preview would have been nice. But I made some educated guesses at what it would be and got it right enough times. I’ll guess better next time.

      Like

    • Ektar is always a solid choice for flowers.

      When I bought the house I felt sure I’d be overwhelmed by the work the gardens would demand. I actually briefly considered plowing them under and planting grass. I’m glad I didn’t now. They do take a lot of work but the flowers are worth it.

      Like

  2. Heide says:

    I loved all of your shots in this series, but the first one is flat-out GORGEOUS, Jim. Beautiful, beautiful work.

    Like

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