Search
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Toad Blog

My blogs about anything related to photography, and equipment, with a focus on non-technical enjoyment of photography. I like to publish these for the pure pleasure it brings. My equipment, and techniques shared here with a mix of landscape, macro, birds, flowers and all articles written by the person who uses the equipment - TrueToad.

The Toad Blog

Flower Photography
TrueToad / Sunday, May 28, 2017 / Categories: The Blog, Image of the Week

Flower Photography

Beautiful Details

Flowers are wonderful to look at, mostly symmetric with soft flowing edges, bright colors and varied sizes and shapes. The great thing about photography and flowers are they go hand in hand.  Truth is you really do not need specialized equipment to capture beautiful flower photos. I encourage you for when you are out on your next outing - take 5 minutes to take a couple flower photos.  Once you do, it is habit forming and every time you go out you will begin to see more and more flowers.

Below are some of my Techniques to getting the best images. Starting in the spring and all through the summer you will find flowers everywhere. 

Finding Flowers: Sounds simple right? A good starting point is just get out to your local park and take a stroll. In North America, You can find wild flowers starting in late March all the way through the first frost. I have my favorite areas, these are normally found in areas that has open fields and trails with plenty of sunlight coming down to the ground. Flowers can be found almost anywhere, in darker areas, along marshes, close to flowing water, or growing in fields in vast numbers.  If your just staring out in a new area or just now becoming interested in flower photography your fist season will be a learning experience. I have covered my area for a couple years by walking, hiking, and driving many miles each month. So now I have a "flower map" in my head depending on the time of year.  Do a google search for wild flowers for your location, this will give you an idea what you may run across, or if you like a challenge try to photograph each species. This lady slipper is a rare find especially in the wild and I was lucky to find a small grouping on this wonderful morning day.

The Gear: As stated and promised you do not need specialized gear. You can take your current camera and kit lens and enjoy fine flower photography. The point here is get out and enjoy life.  After your first year, if you are like me you may find a need to add a macro and flash to your bag for optimal results. Otherwise plan your outings that favor the early to mid morning light, take a lunch break and then got out in the afternoon for some softer lighting with a possible sunset as an added benefit.  My favorite flower lens is a Nikkor 60mm on a FX body and sometimes on a DX body depending on my mood.  The great thing about the 60mm is it has close focusing for fine details or I can pull back a bit and capture the entire flower. The other cheap item to pack along is a small fold-able reflector. Even when I am outfitted for birds I sometime find a great flower and shoot away, nothing wrong with a good opportunity.

The Time of Day: Any time you enjoy photography is the right time. My best images I captured are mostly in the morning, maybe that relates to my preference of starting early - but I have hundreds and hundreds taken from sunrise to sunset, It is a matter of finding the right angle and getting your exposure & white balance right.  Most flowers growing wild will be scattered in areas, so even if you find one that is too harshly lighted, just look around and find one in filtered light and pull out that reflector I mentioned.  The bumble bee photo was taken as the sun was high, I just focused on the flower as he came in for a landing.

The Challenges of Great Flower Photography

Your Exposure: For me this is ONE of the most challenging aspects of great flower photography. The bright Yellows, Reds, Whites, can trick a camera meter and you will have blown out highlights and details.  For Reds Whites and Yellows I dial down my exposure by 1/3 stop or even more to ensure I get the highlights and if you have not heard check your histogram, please do.  If anything I perfer a slight underexposed image, I normally can always fix the shadows but the highlights can never be fixed if they are blown out. If you are in luck and your camera has R G B histogram please use it, very useful for flowers. Why not use all the FREE tools your camera offers? One of the biggest benefits to my photography is learning my camera, and settings.

Weather: Friend of Foe? Wind = Foe. Some rain can add drama to your images, Spring showers, and summer rain showers can really drive your creative talents, allow it to happen and use it as a creative tool, those rain drops on the flower is awesome. Be prepared, carry a plastic bag big enough to shelter your equipment if a down pour occurs - been there done that. When the wind is howling, little you can do to get a good sharp image, you may consider a creative long exposed motion blur as your saving grace. 

Get Out: Your first step is packing up your gear and go out and shoot. You will feel better, refreshed, and rewarded and ultimately have an appreciation for nature and live and the animals that depend on it.  Life is special and rewarding so, photograph it! get out and go for it!

Print
Rate this article:
5.0
424
Lens
  • Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 ED Macro
  • Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Micro
  • Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
  • Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF ED VR
  • Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 ED FL VR
  • Nikkor 600mm f/4 FL ED VR
  • Nikkor 200mm f/4 ED Macro
Camera Body
  • Nikon D500
  • Nikon D810
  • Nikon D800
Flash Used
  • SB-5000

Leave a comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:
Add comment

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x

Thank You Nikon!

Thank You Nikon! Read more

Thank you Nikon for being a wonderful company. In particular as my camera company of choice, I could not think of photography without Nikon as being part of it.

Stellarvue SVR102T Review

Stellarvue SVR102T Review Read more

I have been around the Astronomy community for some time with many telescope adventures under my belt. One of the scopes that I was looking to acquire is a nice 4" refactor, not just any refactor but a premium performer, capable of doing what I wanted to do visually and imaging wise, my choice was.....

Wood Duck Photography

Wood Duck Photography Read more

I was not all that lucky in previous years of getting any real useable photos of Wood Ducks in the location I lived, due to the scarcity and short time frame they seem to stay in this area during the late spring season.  I find the Wood Duck a stunningly beautiful waterfowl. The males in particular with iridescent browns, blacks, white green, ornate patterns on nearly every feathe, this is one pretty bird.   Females very attractive but have a less colorful pattern but the same distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. I find Wood Ducks in the wooded marsh ares that have hardwood forest adjacent to the water.  With some research I discovered they nest in holes in trees or use man made nest boxes. Little did I know they are one of the few duck species with claws that can grip bark and perch on branches- see my photos of a group perching.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing Read more

Each year I am blessed by the migration of the Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum through my area of the country. Their visits are timed almost perfectly with the arrival of the fruiting trees and bushes.  These delightful birds will stay in the area for several months basically as long as the fruit holds out. See my gallery and read more on these birds.

Flower Photography

Flower Photography Read more

I have a couple photographic weakness, Birds and Flowers.  Whenever I am out doing some photography shooting regardless what my intentions are, if i run across a great looking flower I stop and take a photo or try to incorporate the flower into my scene. The great thing about flower photography is you really dont need any specialized equipment.  I have even taken flower photos with a fish eye lens. I you want to discover more about flower photography read on...

Rainy Day Photography

Rainy Day Photography Read more

I admit I like being out during rainy days  Why?  It is refreshing and stimulating to walk a wooded trail hearing and feeling the rain,  and besides that, It offers many opportunities for photographers - if we come prepared.

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit Read more

You probably noticed most of my blogs cover the upper end of the Photo Spectrum. I owe it to many my recommendation for getting a 90% solution for fantastic wildlife photography.

Nikon WT-7

Nikon WT-7 Read more

This is a write up from Don C who added an extensive "comment" to my WT-7 post/review. I though it was worthy of an individual post.

The remainder of this post is Don's comments: I decided to breakdown and purchase the WT-7a,..being that 1) I own a D500, and 2) I love to shoot untethered. Note, my forte' in the photography world is "Event Photography. That is, capture and print "onsite". It's 90% of my business model and every since the days of the mighty D2X and WT-2a, I've always admired the ability of "capturing and image and it instantly popping up on a display monitor" for customers to see, and of course, buy prints! Well, time has changed since those 'good old days' to newer 'good old days' of the D500 and WT-7a!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Read more

I am lucky to live in an area that the Great Blue Heron is found in most of the year. Here in North Va, you can expect to see the Great Blue Heron in numbers starting in Mid April through Late September. I really enjoy watching and photographing these birds. They are large and somewhat predictable and with some good planning you can acquire a few good photos on most occasions..

Rest in Peace Easter

Rest in Peace Easter Read more

Our family feline of 13 years passed away early this morning, bringing to closure Easter's wonderful life with our family. At his passing he was believed to be 20 years + of age. Everyone in his family will miss his presence and are saddened by the loss of  our cat Easter. He is survived by Teeny his fellow feline house companion, and three caretakers who provided and received his love over the years. 

Woodland Photography

Woodland Photography Read more

I truly enjoy the outdoors especially during spring months, plants and animals begin to flourish and the forest comes alive with colors, sound with a calm atmosphere.

Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye Review

Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye Review Read more

The review of the newest Nikon fisheye lens.  This new fisheye was released along with two other new lens and this one in particular will be my favorite and must have, the Nikkor 8-15mm Fisheye. The new AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm ED supports a zoom range of 8-15 mm range with a maximum aperture between f/3.5-4.5. Used on your FX body, the lens can produce circular fisheye images and full frame diagonal images, all with one lens when zoomed all the way out (wide-angle position). Zooming close to all the way in enables full-frame fisheye images with a diagonal angle of view of 180°. The best is DX support.... read more

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount Read more

This is my review of the Wimberley CK-100 Sidemount Conversion Kit.  I have owned the Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base for a couple years without any issues.  But, I was looking for a more compact setup to use.  I ran across the sidemount kit from Kimberley and decided to give it a try.

DX or FX Camera Bodies

DX or FX Camera Bodies Read more

This is about using a DX camera body or FX body with teleconvertor. Which combination is better?  I am sent this question many times - it depends...  

Photo Storage +

Photo Storage + Read more

So, you are an avid photographer with thousands of images in your collection.  Maybe you have been relying on an USB 3 external drive to as your file backup along with your lightroom database;  one copy on your work computer and a backup on the external - does this sound familiar?  While that approach is a viable one, you just might be at risk of serious data loss.  Here is my story on the near loss of many years of work, and why I decided to go pro, and invest in a serious NAS.

Coming of Spring

Coming of Spring Read more

This wonderful Male Cardinal sits on a perch as sleet comes raining down, and is undaunted by the ice crystals that are falling on his face and feathers. The Cardinal is a native species of North America and suited for the elements, he appears well protected from these elements.  

Auto Focus Lens Calibration

Auto Focus Lens Calibration Read more

I was preplexed as to why some images were soft and not to an acceptable image quality.   In the beginning I thought it was me, I have a new lens and maybe I am not accustomed to using it and might need some additional practice. But,  After weeks of use I could not explain why some images were good while others not.  Then I took a deep dive into the fine tuning of  lenses.

The Morning Commute

The Morning Commute Read more

I enjoy the early morning rise before the sun in hopes of capturing one good image.

Sekonic L-858 Light Meter Review

Sekonic L-858 Light Meter Review Read more

This is a review of the L-858 Light Meter from Sekonic.

Potomac Sunrise

Potomac Sunrise Read more

This is my early sunrise overlooking the Potomac. This photo was a result of taking 4 images and merge both the exposure and panographic ends together to form a single photo.  

RSS

Get Wired

At Comic-Con This Year, the Biggest Stars Were the Moderators

  • 25 July 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
At Comic-Con This Year, the Biggest Stars Were the Moderators
With Reggie Watts, Terry Crews, and Damon Lindelof descending on Hall H, the era of prestige panel moderation may be upon us.

'Dunkirk' Ambushed Genre Movies at the Box Office–And Won

  • 25 July 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
'Dunkirk' Ambushed Genre Movies at the Box Office–And Won
So much for our assumption that genre movies and comedies have an unshakeable stranglehold on the summer!

The Rise of AI Is Forcing Google and Microsoft to Become Chipmakers

  • 25 July 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
The Rise of AI Is Forcing Google and Microsoft to Become Chipmakers
The race to build up artificial intelligence is driving software companies to roll their own silicon.

Inside Andy Rubin's Quest to Create an OS for Everything

  • 25 July 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
The Android mastermind is on a mission to connect our devices into a single consciousness. Ambitious? Absolutely. Possible? Maybe.

Jared Kushner's Senate Testimony May Forget Russia Meetings, But the FBI Would Remember

  • 24 July 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Jared Kushner's Senate Testimony May Forget Russia Meetings, But the FBI Would Remember
Anything the Russian ambassador says on the phone almost certainly gets caught on a FISA wiretap.
RSS
Copyright 2017 TrueToad Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top