Posts from the ‘Tutorial’ Category
Spring is finally returning to Sweden! I was really looking forward to it after such a long period of snow & ice, overcast & clouds and drizzle & rain. The sun has been shining for a couple of days now and outside of my apartment some tulips have started to color the world around them once more…and probably decrease ‘Swedish depression suicides’! Even though it was quite windy I just had to get out there and have fun with my camera, the results of which you can see below. Forgive me for turning up the saturation so high (giving the overly bright colors) but I’m just so happy to see something else than grey all the time that I just had to. Just to be clear…the ‘barf-in-your-face-colors’ are by no means the best way to post-process your pictures.
I actually have some tips for if you want to start photographing flowers.
‘WHAT! Actual useful content, wow you’re so amazing Rik…tell us more, tell us more!’
Now that my ego matches the great weather…here they are:
1. The Composition
Avoid photographing from above. I have only seen very very few pictures that actually pulled it off. Usually the picture just ends up boring or very flat, especially when the ground is just a bit muddy or just plain grass. There’s bound to be a more interesting angle that not only captures the colors but also the shape of the flowers. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and low to the ground…I mean my new white woolen shirt is ruined but at least I got some great pics
The effect you want to create is to blur out as much of the surroundings as possible and create a single focus point. If you have a DSLR you can do this by fully opening your diaphragm…or a low f value…or a large aperture. (If you find this confusing check back later because I’m planning on doing a DSLR introduction series where you get to learn all about ISO, f-stops and camera modes) The reason why you want to blur so much is because flowers tend to grow together in groups and if all of them would be in-focus there would be way to much information and no ‘guidance’ for the viewers eye. (Once again, check back later for a tutorial on compositions). To fade out the background even more you can use a zoom-lens (or macro, but I don’t have one) and zoom right in. Just remember that less is often more.
One really cool thing when doing macro photography is that it’s very easy to fake a background…because there is barely any visible. Just get some nice colored paper and hold it behind the flowers you want to photograph. You could for instance create a contrast-color background or just a plain white/black background. Just experiment! Another advantage using this technique is that if you aim your paper at the sun you can diffuse the sunlight and get a really smooth look which is great if you are going really close up and want to capture all the details.
4. Fake It Till You Make It
You see those nice little droplets on the flowers…I didn’t wait for the rain. I just took a good sip of water, thought of a good joke, and spit it all out laughing. (Joke is not necessary if you can spray water without it, but it’s still fun even if you can). Also if there are no pretty flowers…just go to the flower store. Since you’ll be doing mostly closeups anyways it doesn’t really matter, and if you bring some paper for the background you can easily hide that you’re cheating.