Showing posts with label botanical gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label botanical gardens. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Creative Flower Photography

Getting Creative with Flower Photography

Use your Imagination to Create Beautiful Flower Photos

Everybody takes pictures of flowers and it takes minimal effort to take some really nice shots. With just a bit of practice and patience you can take some unique photos that will really stand out.
When you are photographing flowers you need to first remember some basic tips.
1. Look for flowers that are in good shape. That may seem obvious but it is amazing how many times I start to take a photo of a flower only to realize that the weather has gotten the best of it and it is on the downhill side. Take the time to look for the best flowers.
2. Use a tripod to get a steady image.
3. Kneel down to get the best angle.
4. Shoot when there is little or no wind.
5. Early morning or late evening shots are best.
Now that you know some of the basic rules, don't be afraid to break them. Any of the above rules can be changed to fit your creative needs.
I took all the photos on this page with my Sony D57 DSLR camera but I will tell you that I have taken nice flower shots with my point and shoot camera and even with my camera phone. So you see, you are not limited with the equipment you have with you. The big thing is to enjoy what you are doing and try something different. You will be happily surprised by the results.
Happy Photographing
all photos by mbgphoto

Single out One Flower

One technique to use in flower photography is to focus in on a single flower within a group of flowers. This geranium is a single bloom within a pot that is sitting on my patio. If I were to photograph the entire pot it would look pretty but rather ordinary. The geranium would blend in with the rest of the pink flowers in the pot. It didn't particularly look interesting until I zoomed in on it and looked at it apart from the other flowers.
To create this photo I used a 50mm lens and set it on aperture priority. I used an f stop of 1.8. By doing this I was able to focus in on the one bloom and put the rest of the flowers in a blur. The background then washed out completely and became a nice green backing.
If you are using a point and shoot camera try putting it on the macro setting (look for the little flower symbol) and it will give you similar setting to capture the individual flower. Be sure to get as close to the flower as the camera will allow.

Learn from Others

One of the best places to get ideas is to look at the works of others. View the photos, imagine what they did to get the image and then try to recreate it. Once you have mastered the techniques it will become increasingly easier to use you imagination to create unique images of your own.

Try a Closeup Filter

A closeup filter on your camera will allow you to get in even closer and pick up the very small details. In this photo I am using a Cokin closeup filter on my 50mm lens. You will note that when I do this I only get a small portion of the flower in focus and the rest is a blur. You will need to have your camera on a tripod to get this type of shot.
This is a great way to get raindrops on a flower petal.

Daisies up Close

DSLR

If you are looking for a good basic DSLR camera, I highly recommend looking at Sony. I have been shooting with Sony products for the last 8 years and have been very satisfied. When I started I virtually knew nothing about the DSLR cameras and the instructions and books I read with my camera were very helpful. This camera is great for the beginner as well as the more advanced photographer.

Using Props

Props can be useful in capturing a unique flower photo. I took this photo for an assignment for my photography class to take an unique flower photo.
To set up for the photo I used a few props. I had a small pot of Gerbera daisies that I sat on a chair in front of our glass patio doors. I then took a black velveteen skirt that I draped over the back of the chair. I set up my tripod in front of the chair and started shooting from various angles. I was using a 70-300 mm zoom lens on my Sony DSLR.
I had taken several shots of the front of the flower and they turned out great but not really anything different so I decided to shoot from just below and behind the flower. I love the way the flower petals are bending down to give just a touch of the peach colored front of the flower. The black skirt gives a great background to make the bloom pop out in the photo.

Capturing a Bouquet

If you receive a special bouquet of flowers it is nice to have a photo to remember the occasion. This is a bouquet that I received for Mothers Day. I took several shots of the whole bouquet with the vase but I think that this shot taken from above the flowers turned out best. I sat the bouquet on the floor and then stood above it to photograph the flowers.
Shooting flowers indoors is a great way to practice different techniques. You don't have to worry about the wind or insects getting in your way. I place my flowers near an open window to capture the outdoor light.

Shooting after the Rain

You can never go wrong shooting flowers right after a rain storm. I love to capture them before the raindrops are gone. When there is no rain for days, try spraying them with a fine mist. It can take the place of the real thing or perhaps you catch some flowers right after the sprinkler goes off.

Favorite Flower Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Photography Techniques

Sometimes I need a nudge to get my creative juices flowing. Reading or looking through photography books usually does the trick. Here is one on flower photography.
Click Here to View on Amazon




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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tips for Fall Photography

This week I'd like to share with you some of my tips on fall photography.

  • Use a Polarizing Filter
If you have never used  a polarizing filter on your camera you will be amazed by the results.  Think about how fall colors look to you when you put on your sunglasses.  The tint in the glasses filters out some of the suns rays and what you see are strikingly more brilliant colors.  The same concept is what happens when you put a polarizing filter on your camera.

Be sure to buy one of the circular polarizing filters so that you can adjust the amount of light you are filtering out.  I have one for my SLR camera and I also have a polarizing filter to fit my Canon point and shoot camera.

The photo at the left is a tree in a nearby park that I photographed with the polarizing filter on my camera.






  • Go to a Botanical Gardens   If you have a favorite garden in your hometown be sure to visit it in the fall.  Most gardens have special displays for the fall and it is a great place to take photos.  I love the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.  Here is a hubpage I wrote on the garden in the fall. Autumn at Missouri Botanical Garden  The photo below shows a scene from last fall at the garden.



  • A Farmers Market is a Great Place for Fall Photos   I like to stop by my local farmers  market and photograph the produce in the fall.  The bins of apples, pumpkins and ghourds always make great photographs and many of the markets have special fall displays.



  • Don't forget to include children doing fall activities in your photos.  The pictures below are my granddaughters enjoying the pumpkins in the fall.



  • Get in close for some interesting photos.  Leaves are often hard to photograph in the fall because when you look at them up close you find they have a lot of wear and tear from the year,  Be sure to look for some that are not too beat up and then zoom in close.



  • My top tip for fall photography is enjoy yourself.  Have fun with your camera, enjoy the scenery and relax and you will capture some outstanding shots!
View more of my photographs of fall at Autumn Art





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