“The Psychedelic Succulent.” Photo ©Erika Burkhalter. All rights reserved.

Photography

The Psychedelic Garden

My spring garden, an 85 mm lens, and a “psychedelic” preset

Erika Burkhalter
Feb 27 · 4 min read

Spring has sprung in my Southern California garden and I spent yesterday morning exploring her explosion of colors with my 85 mm portrait lens. All of the following photos were shot with an f5.6 on my Nikon Z7II mirrorless, full-frame camera.

While editing one of the photos in Lightroom today, I decided to play around with a very “psychedelic” look. I liked the way it turned out, so I decided to create a “preset” (you can see my settings at the end of this story) with these settings and apply it to several of the other photos. I thought the results were rather fun. I think several of the pictures looked much more interesting this way than they would if I had done more minimal editing.

I just planted my early spring flowers last week and I have to say that the Ranunculus Asiaticas are my favorites. They remind me, every spring, of my great-aunt, Sally, who lived in Oceanside, about an hour south of me. Each spring, we would make a date for me to pick her up and take her out driving to see the fields of ranunculus planted there. I’ll never forget the patchworks of colors draped across hillsides, or the joy that Sally took in seeing the flowers.

And wait, what’s that? A psychedelic cat! Well, Freyja was just enjoying her little catnip patch.

I loved the way these agave blades look as if they are lit from within.

The butterfly bush’s exotic flowers remind me of a royal crown, maybe one for a fairy (because I know for certain that there are at least a few of those little winged ones living in my garden).

This ranunculus had just gotten caught in the shower of my sprinklers. I love how using an 85 mm lens brings the subject into such crisp and clear focus, but blurs the background. I might try opening up the lens a bit more next time to be able to capture more flower petals in focus. The bigger the f-stop, the more depth of field you can photograph. But, the bigger the f-stop, the more you lose the blurring in the background.

I liked the close-up of the agave (above), but here it is nestled in amongst the ranunculus.

I’ve always thought that the name, Bird of Paradise, was very fitting for this plant because the flowers really do look like exotic birds, don’t they?

I hope you enjoyed your journey through my “psychedelic garden.” If you want to try my settings in Lightroom, this is what I did:

Erika Burkhalter is a yogi, neurophilosopher, cat-mom, photographer, and lover of travel and nature, spreading her love and amazement for Mother Earth’s glories, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MS Neuropsychology, MA Yoga Studies). Erika is also an editor for Mindfully Speaking.

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Photos and story ©Erika Burkhalter. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the photographs without the author’s permission is a violation of copyright law and will be prosecuted.

SNAPSHOTS

An art and photography publication focused on visual…

Erika Burkhalter

Written by

Photographer, yogi, cat-mom, lover of travel and nature, spreading amazement for Mother Earth, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MA Yoga, MS Neuropsychology)

SNAPSHOTS

SNAPSHOTS

An art and photography publication focused on visual narrative in storytelling.

Erika Burkhalter

Written by

Photographer, yogi, cat-mom, lover of travel and nature, spreading amazement for Mother Earth, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MA Yoga, MS Neuropsychology)

SNAPSHOTS

SNAPSHOTS

An art and photography publication focused on visual narrative in storytelling.

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