The Flower Photography Guide


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erwinx

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Jan 18, 2002
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Flower photography Guide (with bias towards outdoor flower photography)

Part I:

Essential things to observe

Sharpness considerations
1. Use a tripod
2. Many flowers are quite large. A macro lens is not essential.
3. Use aperture priority. f/11 to f/22 are common apertures. If photographing white flowers, seek advanced help beyond this guide.
4. You may need to manually focus. Beginners - focus on the most important part of the flower. Beyond beginners - focus 0.5-1.0cm in front of the most important part.

Aesthetic considerations
5. Make sure background is not distracting. To assess the background, ask whether the shot will look better if you simply draped a black cloth behind the flower. If the answer is 'Yes', it means that your background is not 'adding value' to the photograph. Personally, I think natural surrounding have the potential to add value to any flower photograph. Otherwise you might as well photograph cut flowers in a studio setup and get maximum sharpness
6. Make sure light is not too contrasty unless effect is deliberate.
7. Decide on whether you are shooting a single flower, a bunch of flowers, or the whole plant and compose accordingly.



Part II:

The problem about forums is the transient nature of posts (no one really wants to dig through the archives). POTW helps a bit but it is by its nature limited.

For fun , I have decided to created an index of links to good flower photographs in older threads that newbies can refer to.
Not that I am a great photographer, am just trying to make it easier for newcomers to look for good photo examples rather than slowly going through all the old postings. I'm starting with recent posts first....

Xdivider (2nd photo): http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4539

Zhapchit (use of black cloth) http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5962

U-KnOwHo (look at the backgrounds) http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7712

vivre (nice waterlilies)http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4196

Part III: My own photos

Pentax Z-10, Vivitar 105 mm MF lens, Ektar 100, scanned with HP photosmart. My earliest flower photos taken ages ago at BG.



 

Edmund

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#3
Thanks for the guide erwinx, I'll move it to the Technical Discussions sub-forum where it'll be easier to find. ;)
 

erwinx

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#4
Its just a quick and dirty rule to follow for flower photography. I feel that it is more pleasing if the parts of the flower before (i.e. nearer to the camera) the most important part of the flower are sharp. Not for advanced photographers like yourself :)

Originally posted by willyfoo


Can anyone explain why 0.5-1.0cm in front??
 

phero-man

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Apr 29, 2002
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#5
Like this?


Coolpix 900 Macro without UV filter
6 40 am, right after rain.
added a little more contrast and colour adjustment in PS 6
 

Eugene

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Apr 30, 2002
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Originally posted by erwinx
Beyond beginners - focus 0.5-1.0cm in front of the most important part.
can i ask if the focus distance equal to the distance from the lens to the object? roughly estimate the distance izzit?
Thanx.


:what:
 

erwinx

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you can use autofocus to set the distance, then switch to manual, and refocus 0.5-1.0 cm in front (nearer to the camera) of the autofocus point.

Originally posted by Eugene


can i ask if the focus distance equal to the distance from the lens to the object? roughly estimate the distance izzit?
Thanx.


:what:
 

zan

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#9
so what's the shuttle sp setting for still or if there's a slight movement from the wind?
 

erwinx

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Originally posted by zan
so what's the shuttle sp setting for still or if there's a slight movement from the wind?
For shuttle speed, check my earlier post. Its about 8km/s on re-entry : http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6006&highlight=shuttle+speed

When taking flower photographs, I've never looked at shutter speed. Setting the correct aperture is more important. If theres wind, too bad.
 

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