that I do before taking a picture
the flower that I want to photograph.
order to do this I take a proper scan of the place
for the most interesting flower. Most of the times
the most interesting subject is not definitely the
one that catches out attention.
the environment for the flower.
environment in which the flower is going to be placed
depends on the background we chose for the subject.
Most of the times that we are out to photograph
we are at the liberty of choosing the background
for the objects to be photographed. I choose a contrasting
background so that the flower stands out in the
shot. The rule of the thumb I follow is when ever
possible for bright colored flowers choose a darker
background and for dark colored flowers choose a
the shot, wait for the right time and take a shot.
Wind is the most annoying factor as far as photographing
flowers, be patient wait for the wind to subside
and take a snap.
have tried photographing flowers with ordinary zoom
lens and have not got a decent photograph of flowers.
That is when I considered getting a macro filter like
500D for my 100-400L IS lens and am glad that I got
it. All the shots in this article have been taken
with the 500D attachment to the 100-400L IS lens.
camera does not auto-focus to my satisfaction so I
use the manual focus on it. Do I use a tripod? The
answer is no, not until now. All the shots I have
taken of the flowers are hand held, this gives me
more freedom to move around while looking through
the viewfinder for distracting elements in the background.
So the only equipment that I have added to my arsenal
is a 500D macro filter. It is pretty tricky to use
the camera with the 500D attachment but once you figure
that out, the results are really good. Here is an
example of a shot that I had taken during my first
day out with the 500D filter.
photograph was taken in harsh sunlight. This
gave me the ability to push my aperture up to
f22 to get all the DOF I needed to capture the
details of this flower.
of Light on the photograph
most important factor that I consider during photographing
flowers is the amount of light that is incident on the
flower and the nature of light. I usually avoid harsh
sunlight, because it tends to cast harsh shadows, at
the same time I avoid photographing in the shadows because
it tends to give me a color cast. The right amount of
light on a flower can bring out the highlights as well
as make an interesting shot of an ordinary flower.
are a couple of shots that I had taken that illustrate
the use of light to bring out the details
chose this flower because it was partly in the
sun and so I could use a background that is completely
in shade giving it a dark background.
choice of this flower was based on the fact that
it was illuminated by a soft sunlight. The flower
is not illuminated as much as the flower on the
left but illuminated enough to give it a dark
can also be used to give a dramatic effect to the flowers.
Here is one of the best examples that I can give on
the effect of light on a flower. Both these shots were
taken in the afternoon on same day about minutes apart.
The first of these shots is taken of flowers in full
shade and the second one is partially in the sunlight.
flower was in the shade of a tree making
it difficult for me to meter (slow shutter
speed). The background is in the shade as
well so no matter how much I reduced my
aperture I can still see the plant in the
background. I had to choose this angle because
of a bright spot to the right of the frame
from where I was shooting.
flower was in partial sunlight, the effect of
light on flower is great. The background is in
the shade of the tree and is completely underexposed
giving a dark background as desired. The background
chosen here is similar to the background for the
shot on the left.
of Depth of Field
have been playing around with the use of aperture to
create interesting photographs. When I require more
DOF in my photographs I push my aperture all the way
to f22. Remember that I have a working distance of 25
to 28 inches when using the 500D attachment and a larger
aperture of say f11 would mean a narrower DOF which
may not have been enough to capture all the details
of the common thistle shown bellow.
was taken in the evening around 5.00pm on a nice
and clear day. I could use a small aperture f22
to get all the details that I needed from front
to back because of the bright sunshine. I included
as much of the environment as possible to give
a natural look to the flower.
I used a large aperture to isolate the flower
in the front. The varying depth of field of the
flowers creates an interesting photograph.
I can say is experiment as much as possible. Try out
different things. I have put in writing all the things
that have worked for me. To get the exif info of each
of the shots go to http://www.noriravi.com/Macro/index.htm
for taking the time to read, hope it is of some help.