Monday, March 5, 2012

Flower Photography! A fine way to keep your photography alive when it is bitter cold outdoors.

While I will occasionally photograph outdoors during the winter, I figured this winter I would try something new both to beat the cold as well as further develop my image making skills.

I decided to take some courses in flower photography.   I learned from some fine photographers just how hard it is to capture images that look great.  I have only begun to discover the possibilities.  However, I did learn that flash does not help much even indoors, since the light is too harsh.  Furthermore, it is always best to use natural light even when indoors.  However, if you carefully select artificial light, there are possibilities with studio lighting to help capture light in a way that will enhance how a flower looks.   The following are a few that I think were somewhat successful with some description of how I took the picture:

Shooting through the Purple.

The image was taken with a Nikon D700 and a 90mm macro lens.  The objective was to do some selective focusing on one of the purple daisies while keeping a fairly shallow depth of field around the subject image.  This enabled the image to contain a large amount of purple that guides the eye toward the daisy that is in fully in focus.

Delicate Curves

This image was taken with the D700 as well as the 90mm macro lens, also.  The object was to focus on the undulating delicate curves of the rose and create an image that doesn't show the entire rose, but rather gives one the sense of beauty in the lines and curves of the delicate petals.

Gracefully Aging Chrysanthemum

This image was taken with a D700 but here I used a 28-300mm lens at 300mm.  The goal was to capture the inner beauty of this flower even as it started to show signs of aging.

White Rose

One of the many things that are so important is to work an image many different ways.  In this case, I started with a bouquet of about 10 white roses.  I photographed the flowers at many different angles from inclusion of all the roses to just selecting part of one rose.  This is on that particularly liked where I selected a very nice angle to capture the full essence of one of the roses.  This was taken again with the D700 and the 28-300mm lens but focused at 105mm using natural window light.

I truly recommend that if flower photography is something that might interest you, go to the store and set the flowers up indoors with as much natural light or carefully defined artificial light and work the flowers over and over until you come up with interesting and creative scenes that capture the beauty and essence of the flowers.

John D. Roach
March 5, 2012