Flower photography.

Den Wilson valden@vectis52.freeserve.co.uk
Sat, 25 Sep 2004 10:35:59 PDT
Hello all,

I thought I'd pass on the following advice from a photographer who took
wonderful images of alpines in the wild. The notes were originally intended
for 35mm SLR cameras but I've found they work extremely well with digital:

1. Try not to photograph in direct sunlight. If direct sunlight is
unavoidable try to choose early morning or late evening. If possible provide
some light shade (but not dappled shade). Strong light will dilute the
natural colour.

2. Use a macro, zoom or close-up lens unless you want to capture the
plant in habitat. These lenses have a very short depth of focus and will
throw the background out of focus which has the very desirable effect of
sharpening the subject.

3. The key to good flower photography is the point of focus. Remember that
anything between your chosen point of focus and the camera will be blurred,
whilst anything beyond your point of focus will remain clear for a short
distance (the depth of focus). With close-up images it is very important to
focus accurately on the anthers if present. If not, consider focusing on the
stigma. It is usually a mistake to focus deep into the throat of a flower
which will throw the anthers, stigma and outer segments out of focus.

 4. Learn to give yourself time to study the image through the viewfinder
before you press the trigger. Make sure your chosen point of focus is
crystal clear. Usually, what you see is what you get.

My note: The above was mostly aimed at 'in the field' photography. It is
possible to get good results by using a standard lens and a background
screen but remember that the 'chosen point of focus' rule and light
consideration still applies. The depth of focus will be much longer.


Den Wilson
Isle of Wight
Zone 8 (maritime) almost frost-free.

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