Peony Blossoms - 50with50 No. 20 and 21

Beautiful Blossoms

A peony flower in our front yard is the latest entry in the 50with50 series

A peony flower in our front yard is the latest entry in the 50with50 series. You can definitely see the effect of the 50mm prime lens here.

Several years ago, we planted several peony bulbs in our front yard, not really knowing if they would survive or not. See for yourself - these flowers have survived well, despite the fact that our thumbs are often less than green.

Fortunately for us, peonies are bulbs, so they come back year after year without us having to do anything to keep them going. We just cut them down at the end of the season, and then they make their return the next year. And they had a nice splash of pink here and there in our yard. Those are the best kinds of flowers, at least for people like us.

Round Buds

Peony flowers about to open up in our front yard

Before the peony flowers open up and show their beauty, the buds are nice, round ball shapes, which also look beautiful in their own way. Growing up, I was used to seeing the teardrop-shaped buds of roses, but I had not seen these rounded buds before. That is just another way that nature is fascinating to me.

It would have been much easier for God to make all of the flower buds the same shape. But instead, he decided to make them different. How cool is that?

Just another reminder to be sure to check out the beauty of nature, even if it is just the nature right there where you are.

What to Post?

Like most everyone else, we are still spending lots and lots of time at home. We haven’t gone many places besides the grocery store in the last two months. That presents me with a little bit of a personal challenge.

As you may know, we had a few trips planned for the spring, and I was excited to be going somewhere different to have more photos to share here from those interesting sights we were going to see. But of course, those trips did not happen, for good reason.

I do still have several photos from our past few trips that have not been posted yet, and I have continued to share those here. However, those photos will not last forever, although they will still last for a good while.

I have seen a few different posts on social media saying, “Stop sharing old travel photos.” Those posts were not directed at me personally, but they do make me stop and think. Most of the travel photos that I share here would probably be considered “old,” at least slightly, because I usually don’t start posting photos until at least a couple of weeks after our trips. But I do not see any harm in posting old travel photos anytime, and especially not right now. I can see how for some people those photos are a reminder of our inability to travel right now. But for others of us, they remind us of good times from the past and keep us hoping for the chance to go places again.

If you don’t like seeing old travel photos, that is certainly fine. But if you do like seeing them, they will be in the mix here for the foreseeable future, because that is what I enjoy.

But then there will also be some photos from home like the above two photos as well. I like exploring, both exploring physical places and exploring what I can do with a camera, and the latter is the whole purpose of the 50with50 project to begin with. So that will continue here, too.

If you share things at your own website or on social media, keep on sharing whatever brings you joy. You don’t have to follow someone else’s suggestions. Just keep doing your thing.

Don’t let others dampen your joy.

Bible Verse

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. - Philippians 3:1

About the Photos

These photos show the power of the 50mm prime lens. Check out that beautiful bokeh, which is the blurry part of the photo around the main subject.

Believe it or not, for the first photo I did not have the aperture wide open to f/1.8. I wanted to make sure that the peony flower was in focus, so I used an aperture setting of f/2.4 instead. As you can see, that still gave that wonderful bokeh effect that I was wanting, while having more than just a small part of the flower in focus.

However, for the peony bud photo, I did go back to f/1.8. I figured that because the bud was smaller without as much detail, I could use the wider aperture. And that one turned out just fine.

Experimenting with camera settings can be fun!

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: SonyFE 50mm f/1.8
Date: May 11, 2020
Location: Home, WillistonTennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.