Tech For Flora Photography..i'll Show You Mine; You Show Me Yours...
I do most of my flower photography with a long zoom lens 55-250. I generally have the lens set at 250, with a F stop set at 6.3 (to blur out the background), and the shutter speed hopefully no slower than at 60 (I seldom use a tripod as I am to impatient and I like to move around my images). I set the ISO at 400 just so that I can get a faster shutter speed.
I can always "add" color to my flowers once I put them into a photo editing program. And, of course, I ALWAYS use RAW over JPEGs. RAW images allow us to be more creative in our photo editing.
Sigh, I do wish I had a more expensive digital Canon Camera. I use both T1 and T3 Canons. And, of course, I also would like a long zoom lens in the over $1,000 range (for better glass)...
I use natural lighting and avoid direct sunlight.
Do you have a favorite tech method for photographing flowers?
For flowers I use Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, Nikon 60 mm f/2.8, Tamron 90 mm f/2,8 and very rarely Nikon 50 mm 1.4... Usually set them on 2.8 (shallow DOF) for the colorful abstract and some impressionistic effect. More playing with colors, light and shapes (lines)...Often go for high ISO as do it without tripod most of the time. If Im on Aperture priority also often go with high key +0.7 +1 ... to get some heavenly effect. And sometimes using incamera multi exposure (2-5 frames).
Graflex Crown Graphic, tripod mounted with a 150mm Schneider Symmar and 4x5 Fomapan 100 sheet film. Aperture about f/32 for an exposure of around 1s, allowing for bellows extension and a couple of stops for reciprocity failure. I think you can see the difference this makes compared with the other shots here ;)
I just purchased a Nikon D600 and am looking forward to learning the manual controls. For now, I've kept it on Auto as I gradually get a feel for it. The package was bundled with a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR as well as a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED.
Before my new purchase, my DSLR was a Pentax K10. I purchased two, with standard and zoom lenses primarily to mount on a rig for 3D stereo photography. Of course I used them for 2D as well. I used the zoom lens for macro shots. I had to be at least 6 feet away from the subject and zoomed between 180-300mm. When I wanted a serious capture, I would use a tripod, ISO of 100, and slow shutter to allow enough light to enter. A higher ISO meant more noise.
Last Friday I attended the annual Flower Mart in Baltimore, MD and christened my new Nikon with it's first legitimate outing. I'm still processing images but here is one with flowers taken in the auto mode and then one of my favorite Iris flower macro with an older camera...
Nice thread Robert and great looking flowers everyone!
Last summer, I was still using my Panasonic DMC-TZ5 (P&S) for all my photography. For macro work, I used a homemade lens that slipped over the fixed Leica lens. This allowed me to work with dof, something a P&S with no manual controls, does not natively allow you to do. Here are two examples, from that camera.
right now i have no solid method of presenting flowers that sell. i plan to start shooting shallow, but my lens stops down to 6.3 on 300mm. when i get the camera back from the shop (brand new and already had problems), i can practice more. it has a good focus ability so i should be able to get better things. i haven't been impressed with my flower stock as of yet. i think mostly because i go for more detail and don't play with bokeh like i should. i've tried different methods in the past for presenting them, but on vacation we plan on going to some garden and i'll have to play more with shallow, and try new methods.
I typically use my 100 mm macro with f16 or smaller aperture. A black velvet cloth is used to provide the black background, but many of mine are shot "in situ" with a natural background. Some are shot on a makeshift light table. I use a shallower DOF in some cases.
I use my 50mm 1.8 almost exclusively. All of these are with that lens, wide open. I happen to have a day job as a merchandiser for a greenhouse, so no shortage of flowers to photograph when I get new ones or interesting ones in.