Tag Archives: plant

Carnation

Dianthus caryophyllus
Dianthus caryophyllus

Carnation. Shot with my new Tamron 90mm 1:1 macro. Lens review imminent!

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Sunshine

Taking shots of your garden is a good way of practicing photography. Today has been the hottest and sunniest day in the year so far, and I thought I’d practice the art of getting completely different perspectives of the same scene by using wildy different lenses.     

Firstly, I used my close-up lens; an f1.8 50mm prime fitted with an Opteka x10 macro attachment…      

Brachyglottis Sunshine (Syn. Senecio Sunshine)
Brachyglottis Sunshine (Syn. Senecio Sunshine)

The cool thing about using a fast lens is that you can get a large amount of sharp detail in your shots, and can crop right down to pixel level whilst retaining detail.      

Senecio Sunshine
Senecio Sunshine
Senecio Sunshine (close crop)
Senecio Sunshine (close crop)

As an aside, I’m not getting the super saturated yellows through Photoshop/Lightroom post processing, but am instead doing it through altering camera settings prior to the shot. I’m using ISO400 on a very sunny day, with a full stop of overexposure on top. A Senecio has bluish leaves and stalks thus also giving a good contrast to the yellow flower heads.   

 Secondly, I used my 18-250mm zoom  lens set to the max zoom.  This is still a close-up, but not macro.     

Senecio Sunshine
Senecio Sunshine

Finally, I used wide angle to get more of the plant in the shot.     

Senecio Sunshine (wide, cropped)
Senecio Sunshine (wide, cropped)

I’m using a particular type of composition beloved to stock photography here.  It is a view from directly below the plant pointing directly up towards the sky (I’m also using a circular polariser here to stop the sky whiting out).  

Like many people, I always assumed this type of  composition was taken from the side. You do not get the same effect from the side because the flower heads will now be side on (so you hardly see them) and you will not get the same ‘full sky’ effect. 

Note to Self – try the last shot again when more of the buds have flowered!

Update July 2010: here’s that last shot tried again…

Senecio Sunshine
Senecio Sunshine

Weeds

Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Buttercup (Ranunculus)
Buttercup (Ranunculus)

Summer weeds are always a problem for the gardener.  For the photographer, weeds can be as photogenic as any cultivated plant.

Bleeding heart

Bleeding heart
Dicentra spectabilis

This shot was taken using the Sony DT 18-250mm, one of the now ubiqutious ‘super zooms’.  I set the zoom to close to the maximum (250mm). The lens is a bit soft at that setting, but gotta love the smooth background blur.

The Bride 2

The Bride
Exochorda x macrantha

‘The Bride’

Exochorda x macrantha, 2 of 2.

Funny how technically inferior images can sometimes be the most dramatic. See the previous post for a technically superior but – in my opinion – more boring image of the same plant.

You can use a Lensbaby (which allows you creative control of the depth of field) to get this sort of dreamy effect.  You can also do it with a masked blur in Photoshop. I perfer to use a macro diopeter attached to a long lens (Sony 18-250 zoom set to 200).  See also previous entry here for a similar effect.