Closeups of flowers question.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Stan, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. Stan

    Stan Guest

    Using an Olympus C-2100 in macro mode. Using spot focus and continuous
    focus (automatic focus).

    Taking photos of fairly small flowers (Portulaca) and not satisfied that
    they are well-focused.


    1. Do I need to use a tripod because the focal distance is so sensitive?

    2. Any other suggestions for doing this kind of photo?

    Stan, Jul 4, 2004
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  2. Stan

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi Stan...

    I love doing this too... using a c-700, and am more than
    pleased with the results. Though I'm not a photographer,
    I just take pictures.

    Only difference is that I don't use continuous focus,
    don't like it searching while I'm snapping.

    And I pick really bright sunny days, so that the
    depth of field is as great as possible.

    I have one of my "accidentally good" pictures of
    a marigold with a very very tiny wasp in it.
    You can clearly make out the veins(?) in the wasps
    wings. Couldn't see it in the viewfinder, but it's
    in the picture :)

    I'd be happy to email you a copy of it if you'd like.

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Jul 4, 2004
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  3. Stan

    Bob Williams Guest

    When you are operating at the close focus limit of your C-2100 i.e., 4",
    if you move even 1/2 inch, you are out of focus. Use a tripod at these
    close ranges.
    Also, if you use flash, cover the flashtube with about 4 layers of
    Kleenex to diffuse and lower the intensity of the light.
    Flowers are my favorite subjects. Nothing else is so colorful and
    beautiful. I have a bunch of nice macros of flowers at my website. If
    you are interested. See:
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Jul 4, 2004
  4. Stan

    EdO Guest

    From taking hundreds of wild flower images I have found that it is not
    always the focus as it is the movement of either the camera or the
    subject or the camera. At these close distances it only takes a minute
    movement of make everything "out of focus." Check your images and see
    if there is any point in the image in focus and if not it is probably
    camera and or subject movement. If you study your self taking flowers
    your are usually bent over or in some contortion trying to get down to
    the subject - not conducive to holding the camera steady.

    I use a monopod with a home brew adapter so I can get down low. This
    helps a great amount.

    Ed Oliver
    EdO, Jul 5, 2004
  5. Stan

    Guest Guest

    Yes, use a tripod. Or if you don't have one, enlist a neighboring
    rock or camera bag.

    And, use the timer on your camera so that it's done vibrating from
    your finger on the shutter button by the time it makes the exposure.

    Guest, Jul 5, 2004
  6. Stan

    Geoff Bryant Guest

    I'm a professional horticultural photographer and you can see plenty of
    plant shots of all types at my website.

    If I had to condense it all down into a few lines I would say that my
    experience says that for the best flower close ups you should always use a
    tripod and try to shoot on days with an overcast but bright sky. If you have
    to shoot in full sun use fill flash or a reflector (or both) and if you have
    to shoot on really dull days be prepared to wait for absolute stillness. It'
    s tempting to rely on flash alone, which you can do for super close-ups, but
    at any distance those black backgrounds soon become a bit repetitive.

    I've always used SLRs and never a compact or EVF style camera, so the
    following points may not apply to you. I nearly always use mirror lock-up
    with shutter speeds below 1/15 second, the exception being when I need to
    grab a shot during a brief lull in the wind. I always use a cable release.
    Always use a mode that allows you to control depth of field, either aperture
    priority or manual. The exact plane of focus is important, so do it manually
    if you can, but often it's not so much where you focus as what the DOF
    covers. When using digital I always shoot RAW because it will give you far
    greater options when trying to avoid washed out highlights with very light

    If you choose to expand you horticultural work (branch out??), you can
    always use those sunny, blue sky days for tree portraits, which don't work
    as well with washed out overcast skies.
    Geoff Bryant, Jul 5, 2004
  7. Stan

    Stan Guest

    I'd like to thank everyone who has responded for their help and
    insights. Now I'm ready to try again.
    Stan, Jul 5, 2004
  8. Stan

    Mike Guest

    Nice pics Bob

    Mike, Jul 5, 2004
  9. isolate one flower with MAYBE one in profile nearby
    use a bit of rock or bricks or whatever as a contrast
    keep your background dark and your flower bright
    use a 100mm Macro lens to allow you to stand off a couple or three feet
    do use a tri/monopod
    direct sunlight is rarely best, better early(dawn) shots or open shade
    carry a small mister with water, for just a tad of droplets

    the flower should stand out from its surroundings by using dark foliage and out
    of focus/soft focus.
    Do experiment with depth of field within the flower itself but not so much as to
    place the background into focus.


    schuetzen - RKBA!, Jul 5, 2004
  10. Your flower photos are beautiful. I

    In macro mode depth of field is very narrow, so that it is important to
    decide what portion of the flower you want to be sharp and focus on that.
    The remainder of the flower will be increasingly in soft focus depending on
    the distance from the actual focal point.
    Bernard Saper, Jul 5, 2004
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