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How To Photograph A Flower Close Up

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Enhancing the beauty of a wildflower

The joyful beauty of spring is upon us. That means we are treated to the presents of nature, one of them being wildflowers. I don’t care how old you are. You never get tired of seeing the kaleidoscope of colorful petals and inhaling the scent of fresh blossoms. Photographers, naturally, want to capture their beauty. I like to get in close to explore the tiny world inside and let the camera lens document their secrets. Here’s how I got this shot.

This wildflower was one of hundreds on a back road in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming. The light was pouring on the bed of yellow smiles at just the right angle. I stopped my car with my workshop students and we proceeded to photograph the flowers.

First, I put my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens on my 5D. Then a sturdy tripod was set up for a steady shot. Even the slightest hand movement will result in a blurry photo, so I always use my tripod. My camera and lens were only about 2 inches away from the flower. I knew I wanted a soft and emotional look for this image, so I used an aperture of 2.8 for the narrowest depth of field possible. This kept only the stamens in focus, and let the petals pleasingly blur. When working this closely to a subject, manual focus is essential. Auto focus may not pick the same spot in the shot as you would, so you need to take control and focus yourself.  A shutter release was used to watch the flower without having to squint through the viewfinder and still be able to fire when the right moment presented itself. My ISO was set to 50 for the clearest shot with no noise. Then it was a matter of patience. I released the shutter between windy breezes. My students and I went home with a sunny smile on our data cards.

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About Gina Genis

Hi Friends, I'm a photographer and artist who lives in Washington DC. I have two blogs. The Gina Genis Blog is about art and photography. My new blog, DC Discoveries is dedicated to showing you everything from fashion to art, food to entertainment in all sections of the District. I hope you will take the journey with me. I exhibit my work in museums and galleries across the U.S. I'm included in the permanent collections of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections Division of the University of Miami, Hard Rock Casino, Orange County Transit District, IBM, and the Sarah and Adam Markman Collection among others. My series "Window Peeping" was included in OsCene 2010 at the Laguna Art Museum, Truman State University, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Biola University, and solo shows at Gallery 825 and Cypress College. The "June Gloom" series was exhibited in a solo show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The "Kala" series has been exhibited at MPLS Photo Center, Cypress College, and Gallery 825. "Economy Portraits" was created as an Artist In Residence project at the Huntington Beach Art Center, and was awarded "Best Art Show of 2011" by the OC Weekly. I curated Wide Angle View, an exhibit of 16 international, award-winning photo and multi-media journalists at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to much critical acclaim. Recent reviews of my work have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art Scene, OC Weekly, Orange County Register, New University, Riviera Magazine, Coast Magazine, Huntington Beach Independent, and appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, and more. I lead the Gina Genis Photo Workshops where I show beginning and intermediate photographers how to jump to the next level with their work. I also teach online photography courses through The Compelling Image.

One response »

  1. Excellent information, thanks for sharing

    Reply

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