Monday, May 7, 2012
Great flower photos can be made any time of the day. These tips will help when light is at a minimum.
Flower photography can mean different things to different photographers. Whether it's a sprawling field of orange poppies, a pattern in a field of tulips, a juxtaposition of a new bud with a freshly opened blossom, or a close up of stamens, each presents a series of challenges. The key challenge is to come up with something both technically and aesthetically fresh. Key factors that come into play to meet this challenge are proper use of depth of field, lighting, and composition. For this week's Tip, I target the concept of light as each of the other aspects are unique and reserved for their own write up.
A big benefit of photographing flower close ups is a great image can be made any time of the day. The majority of great nature images are shot at sunrise and sunset but because you'll be working with a small subject, you have the luxury to shoot at noon and augment the light with flash, a diffuser, or reflector. The use of each of these tools will net a different effect of the same flower.
Reflector: Reflectors are used to bounce bright light back onto your subject to fill in the shadow areas. This softens the contrast as light is added to the dark portions of the flower. Doing so brings the highlights under control as the contrast range is lessened. White reflectors bounce soft light, silver ones create more of a pin point source, and gold ones cast a warm tone. Each has its own advantage. Its use should be dictated by the effect you want to create. Interesting effects can be had combining a reflector and diffuser.
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