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  • Cindy Ellis

Flower Photography 101

· Use Tripod. The closer you are to a subject the steadier you must hold the camera. Camera shake may cause your photos to be blurry. To increase your chance of a sharp or in focus photo, use a tripod and your self timer (or remote).

· White Balance. White balance compensates for the differences in color temperatures from different light sources. For example, tungsten lights often produce an orange-yellow cast. When photographing under these conditions by choosing to pre-set or manually white balance or by selecting the white balance specifically for tungsten will remove that yellow cast from your photos. Even the most basic cameras often allow you to white balance. So if you notice your white daisy is not white in color then consider adjusting your white balance.

· Polarizer. A polarizer filter may help eliminate reflections and increase contrast or saturation allowing for more detail in your image. Choose a circular polarizer for digital SLR cameras. Some point and shoot digital cameras may allow you to apply this filter before or after your image in taken. Polarizer clip on filters are made for cell phones/ipads cameras are well. See example below of photo with and without polarizer.

· Angle of view. Vary your angle of view to make the photo more interesting or to control shadowing due to light. Consider shooting straight down, from the side and even consider shooting from underneath the flower. Shoot the entire flower, part of the flower, or a whole field of flowers.

· Focus points. Be mindful of focus points. When you take the photo, often there will be boxes that illuminate inside your viewfinder or LCD screen that indicate the areas that will be in focus. Make sure these points are on the part of the flower that you want to accentuate.

· Bring a water bottle to spritz your flowers. Often lightly spraying your flower with water, will make the flower look healthier and more colorful. Also when using the macro setting, the beads of water can add interest to your photo. So stop by the drugstore's hair accessory section and grab a small spray bottle or just take advantage of heavy dew or light rain. Remember to protect your camera from the rain.

· Control your Depth of Field. Depth of Field can be really critical when photographing flowers or objects at a close range. By controlling your depth of field you can control how much of your photo remains in focus. Simply by choosing a smaller aperture number like f2.8 or choosing the portrait mode, you will notice a blur in the foreground and background as in the photo above. By choosing a larger aperture number like 16 or choosing the landscape mode, you will notice less blur in the foreground and background (more of your photo will be in focus, the greater depth of field you will have)

Managing a Sunny Day. Sunny days produce shadows, reflections and harsher light. Reflectors allow you to soften the light, change the color of the light, and redirect the light. To soften light, place the diffuser between the sun and your subject. If you have the option move your flower out of direct sunlight. You can either shoot the flower in the shade perhaps using a little fill flash or redirect the light back towards your flower using a reflector or simply a white piece of board.

Embracing a Cloudy Day. Often cloudy and rainy days bring out color and eliminate shadows. However rain can damage your camera gear. Make sure you protect your gear. If your gear becomes damp, towel dry and remove your batteries. Then place your camera with a drying agent in a zip lock bag overnight.

Look for unusual combinations. Don't be afraid of imperfect flowers or ugly bugs. A tattered flower shows interesting curves and details.

Do you know that we are having weekly photo challenges?

Each week we are posting photography tips on a certain subject then that subject becomes our photo challenge of the week.

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