Photographing Flowers, award winning techniques

Large White Trillium
Large White Trillium

Photographing Flowers is easy, if you know a few simple things. A good image will have detail in the foreground, and few distractions.

1. Use a tripod. Having your camera steady is the Key.

2. Get close to your subject. This means 1.) you’ll need a lens that will allow you to get close or 2.) an attachment that will allow the lens to get close such as an extension tube or closeup diopter. A macro lens will also do the job. My preference is an extension tube, or set of extension tubes as they can be used on all your lenses, are lighter to carry and less expensive. The above image was photographed using a Sony a6000 Camera, an 18-200mm lens set at 20mm, and a 20mm extension tube.

Morning Glory by Bob Grytten
Morning Glory by Bob Grytten

The image to the right was photographed using a Nikon d70s and a Nikon  18-200mm lens set at 200mm. No Extension tube was needed as that particular lens allows one to get close enough for the background to go soft.

The “f” stop was set wide open which reduces the depth of field. Usually, the greatest opening on a lens produces the shallowest depth of field. Both of these pieces of equipment are available on the secondary market at reasonable prices.

3. Use your telephoto lens. The distractions around the sides of the frame will be reduced and the background will have greater Bokeh. However, because most telephoto lenses have a greater distance to the subject than a macro lens, you’ll need to use an extension tube to physically get closer. You will also gain magnification with this set up which is helpful. The trade off is that the depth of field will be reduced, which can be compensated for by stopping down on the aperture setting, if you need more sharpness on your subject. A longer lens also allows us to get further away from a subject which can be helpful if not wanting to disturb wildlife.

4. Eliminate distractions. Look around your frame and in the background to make sure small light areas do not distract from the subject.

Bee on Tickseed Sunflower in backyard by Bob Grytten
Bee on Tickseed Sunflower in backyard by Bob Grytten

5. Include a bug, butterfly, or bee. Rohn Engh, author of would say that a marketable photo should include a nondistracting background, a Person (or insect for nature) symbol and involvement. Just recently, a magazine editor remarked to me that he sees many beautiful wildflowers come across his desk; but, he would publish mine because there was interaction with a bug.

6. Have a decent camera. Decent means one that has features that allow you to do the foregoing things. That probably means you’ll want to have a camera with interchangeable lenses, or attachments that allow you to do the things interchangeable lenses do.

Today, because technology is changing rapidly, equipment is available on the  secondary  market at a very reasonable price. KEH, a well-known internet provider of pre-owned equipment,  checks them over with ratings on condition, and offers a good return policy.

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