Home photography ideas: Use long lenses for great flower shots in your garden
Watch the video: Home Photography Ideas – Long Lenses for Great Floral Photos
With the warm season upon us and the flowers blooming, you can get some great shots of your garden – but how do you take a shot that does justice to the mass of color in those bright borders?
A standard approach to photographing flowers is to shoot the macro lens – but this method shows the beauty of individual flowers, not the whole bed. Instead, you can try taking photos with a wide zoom setting and show the planting as the gardener planned it.
However, a more exciting solution is to go far and use a telephoto lens. The beauty of a telephoto lens is that it allows you to shoot the border from farther away, which changes the perspective so that bouquets of flowers different from the camera appear closer together. They’re compressed more tightly into the frame, which means you can really start to incorporate color into your image.
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You don’t need a particularly long telephoto lens to achieve this effect; a setting of 100mm is more than enough to get started. However, a lens with a zoom range of up to 200mm or 300mm will give you more options as you can use a wider range of shooting positions.
With a telephoto lens, it will be impossible to focus on every petal, so don’t even try! Instead, you should aim for a sharp bloom in the shot – then use that as a focal point and let all the others in front and behind softly blur. So you’ll need to set your focus carefully and choose an aperture that allows you to create a gradual blur across the entire frame.
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As the flowers ripple in the slightest breeze, you’ll need to set a fairly fast shutter speed anyway, so our advice is to forget the tripod and shoot handheld. Follow our simple steps to see how it’s done…
01 A Narrow Vision
The longer the lens you use, the farther you get – so it affects the perspective of the flowers. Even a modest telephoto lens allows you to squeeze the flowers more tightly into the frame. And small changes in camera position will allow you to change the flowers that appear in the background.
02 Pick a flower
Pick a flower to focus on, so it comes out sharp and can serve as a focal point. In the autofocus Custom Functions, set the AF-area mode to Single point. Now choose the exact focus point you want to use.
03 Get up to date
The main thing about exposure is to make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to avoid camera shake, and keep the flower in focus as sharp as possible. Use aperture priority, adjusting aperture and ISO values until you get a shutter speed of 1/500s or faster.
04 Exposure Compensation
Check exposure after each shot and use exposure compensation to brighten or darken the photo. With white flowers, expect to use around +1.0 EV compensation. With dark backgrounds you may need to go the other way, with exposure compensation set to around -1.0 EV.
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