Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Diagonal Flower Power

EXIF: f/6.3 - 1/100 sec - iso100- 60mm-sun-no flash
I love shooting photos of flowers, and I never lose my amazement of the variety of color and shape of these wonderful miracles of nature. Think this is why almost every person who have a camera, tries to capture the beauty and color of flowers.

To photograph the essence of a flower is not difficult, but one has to have a plan of execution.

Of course everyone has their own photo style. I like to think that it's pretty easy for other photographers who know me to recognize my photos.

If your eye is not trained to study photography, your creative brain takes over and sort of fills in the gap between a poor picture of a flower and your own experience of how this flower really looks like.

You like it, because you like the color or that kind of flower, -you might even have one in your own garden.

Many can relate to this when talking of cute puppies or kittens. A picture of a kitten or a puppy can be a blurry, trerrible wrong cut piece of crap -photography wise, but because you like kittens and puppies you still like the way the picture makes you feel. Kittens and puppies are cute.

Still, to make a good quality photo of a flower, or a puppy for that matter, it takes more than just a snap with camera set on auto. You need to think section, focalpoint, section and dept of field.

Initially want all my photos to be razor sharp and focused. If I publish a photo that isn't sharp, it's only because I have decided to blur or glow it. I am my own worst critic, both when it comes to sharpness, section and expression.
EXIF: f/5.6 - 1/80 -iso100-60mm-shadow-no flash

The problem with sharpness in photos is often due to light conditions. If you set your camera to auto, the camera will compensate the dof to get more light.

Fact: The lower f-number - the more light gets through - the narrower dept of field .

Above you see two very different flower photos.The pink peony is a macro shot directly from above and, as you can see, I have done quite a bit editing to it after. In an earlier post I talked about sections. In this photo I have used both the rule of thirds and another trick; diagonals. I love diagonals. You can get away with a lot as long as you have a strong diagonal in your shot. The purpose of the diagonal is to lead the eye through the photo. I'm not very fond of selective color, but sometimes it works. I think it turned out ok in this photo because the BW in this particular case is the wood. Wood has such a great texture in it self. By making a photograph like this, you show off the flower in all it's beauty, and also play with the ideas of popart.

The photo of the bud is a very different photo. This particular bud is a delphinium. The photo was shot after some heavy summer rain last summer and, as you can see, from a very different angle. If you want to shoot great flower photos you can't be afraid of getting your knees dirty. You can of course have a little spray bottle with you if you want droplets on your flower, even if it's dry.

As you see the background is smooth against the wet bud. This is due to the aperture setting and the distance to the background. I think the droplets really make all the difference in this photo. It makes the little bud look a bit sad and melancolic. I guess you can spot the diagonal? Yes, it's in this photo as well. The flower stem makes a quite natural diagonal through the photo.

EXIF: f/7.1 - 1/160sec - iso100 - 60mm -shadow -no flash

Remember it's always fun to shoot photos from different angles. The last photo I will like to show you today is this single dahlia . When inspecting the flower I noticed the very strong stripes in the petals, and decided to pick the flower and hold it up against the sky when photographing it.

In this shot the eye moves from the center of the shot and out, due to all the lines pointing outwards.

So there you have it; my three very different angles to flower photography!

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