From Wilmington to Raleigh and beyond, Azaleas are at or near their prime across North Carolina right now. Driving across the state, one gets the impression that every homestead has some sort of azalea blooming somewhere on their property. Driving down east, I passed an old abandoned tenant house on its last legs and there in the front yard, pink azalea blooms were peeking through the weeds.
About the shot. The azalea mavens tell me these scarlet red blooms are on an old variety called “Pride of Mobile” that dates from the late 60’s. “It exudes southern charm”, they said and who am I to argue. As I have said before, the main problem with this time of the year in North Carolina, aside from the seemingly constant rain, is the wind. It never stops particularly here on the coast. As soon as I arrived, I dialed in Shutter Priority on my trusty Nikon D7100. Of course the camera is already obsolete – Nikon, as usual, is already out with the D7200 which is a tad faster with a few other bells and whistles but with only just over 18 thousand snaps on the D7100’s shutter which is rated at 150,000, its hard to justify trading up.
As for the shot, I made four versions all with varying light. This one with soft, warm light, seemed to fit the azalea maven’s “Southern Charm” description. Here are the particulars: 170 mm, shutter speed:1/250, enough to stall the wind, f/5.6 gave me the background blur I was looking for. ISO at 400, Auto White Balance. The 7100 excels at Auto White Balance I think. Matrix metering. The camera rates at 24 mp so this shot yielded a nice large print for the azalea mavens who were very pleased.
The warmer weather has me juiced up for a day trip to the coast before the tourists clog up the beach road. Either the Outer Banks or more likely, the Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle etc, which is a bit closer. I must have 10 thousand beach and coast shots but what can you do. It’s an itch that has to be scratched. Watch this space! Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.