Photographer Steven Schwartzman shares tips on wildflower photography
In this image I wanted to contrast the poppy's white petals and its green buds and leaves with the darkness of the burned trees in the background. In order to extend my focus from the flower, which had to be sharp, out into the trees as far as possible, I used a wide-angle lens because it has an intrinsically greater depth of field than a regular lens. The brightness of the sunlit prickly poppy allowed my lens to stop down to its minimum aperture of f/22, which provided its maximum depth of field. As for exposure, I knew from experience that digital-camera sensors often misread a very bright subject and end up underexposing it. To counteract that, I set my camera to overexpose by 2/3 of a stop, which also helped bring out some details in the dark parts of the trees that might otherwise have been lost.
From the June 2012 issue.