Up Close Wildflowers, How-to Technique

With Spring, our love turns to wildflowers. If you like to take pictures, while any camera will do, if you have one that will take different lenses, award winners can come easy.

Our first one finds a bee using a Columbine as a swing. It was made with a Nikon camera and telephoto lens with an extension tube on a tripod.


Next we find a handsome Rhododendron made with a Sony a6000 camera and telephoto lens with extension tube on tripod.




This third image is an interesting look at a Yellow Iris, converted to Black & White. Made with a Sony a6000 and telephoto lens and extension tube on tripod.

All three set ups are relatively straight forward. They all were made with a telephoto lens, as most everyone will have as part of standard equipment. The telephoto lens helps reduce the distractions around the sides of the subject.

A Macro lens will also work; however, in the first image with a bee, you may have to get too close, scaring the bee away. And that would be a shame, as he was having sooo much fun.

The extension tube allows you to get closer to the subject than most telephoto lenses allow. It’s placed between the camera and lens. It also helps blur the background. The closer one gets to the subject, the more blur or Bokeh.

Extension tubes are often sold in sets of three and cost around $100, a fraction of a decent macro lens. One set works with all your lenses. Find them at your favorite local camera store, or online at B&H Photo, Amazon or Hunts Photo.

And of course, the tripod holds everything steady.

Most people never see these relatively common subjects this close.  It changes our impression of them, makes them somehow more interesting. That’s what I love about getting this look. Once one gets the idea, it applies to almost anything we wish to photograph. Your audience will love it.

Instructional Meet Up

Next meet up will be a Weekend Field Shoot led by Bob Grytten to be held in Waynesville, NC. Details are listed above in the Workshop page or contact Grytten at bobgry@aol.com.

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