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Thread: First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Southern California, USA
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    Real Name
    Daniel

    First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

    Photo #1: Beauty Amongst Chaos
    First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes
    Camera --> Olympus E-500
    F-Stop --> f/8
    Exposure Time --> 1/30 sec
    Exposure Bias --> 0 step
    ISO --> 250
    Focal Length --> 14mm
    Flash Mode --> Auto

    Photo #2: Close Up Into The Flower
    First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes
    Camera --> Olympus E-500
    F-Stop --> f/10
    Exposure Time --> 1/50 sec
    Exposure Bias --> 0 step
    ISO --> 400
    Focal Length --> 23mm
    Flash Mode --> Auto

    Photo #3: Close Up Off Axis
    First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes
    Camera --. Olympus E-500
    F-Sto​p --> f/8
    Exp​osure time --> 1/40 sec.
    Exposu​re Bias --> 0 step
    ISO --> 100
    Focal Length --> 20 mm
    Max Apperture --> 3.6
    Flash Mode --> Auto

    So these photos were snapped during a weekend BBQ last Saturday evening, (8/11/12). The bloom only last for about 18-24 hrs before it starts to wilt away and the fruit starts to grow so I had to start snapping photos right away. These are all taken at night with the back patio lights on in the background; I did not have access to a tripod so I used a table and an upturned planter to steady the camera. Please provide some C&C remembering this is my first real attempt at plant portraits. I am trying to capture how "crazy plant life can be" the plant appears to be growing all over the place and in many directions while still being able to produce a beautiful flower.

  2. #2
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Miltos

    Re: First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

    I like the second and third Daniel. They are dynamic images with motion, the cactus looks like a moving snake to me ready to bite the viewer with its flower poison head.

    The main problem with your images is the background. It is close to the main subject and is heavily light by the flash. If you could move the cactus about half meter from the wall (or more) it wouldn't be so bright and the eye would be constrained to your main subject. This way you also avoid the heavy shadows. Alternative you could have used a snoot or a flag to guide the light from your flash to this beatiful flower in order to highlight it better in your composition. Or just try some post processing. Here is a quick attempt (if you don't mind of course):

    First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

    Moreover keep in mind that when shooting with a flash at low light condition it is not important to use a tripod unless you want to capture ambient light.

  3. #3

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    Gretchen

    Re: First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

    I agree with Miltos --I like his tight crop. It's tough when there are so many interesting things going on with a subject. Your cactus (?) is fantastic. I like the close-up on the flowers. I like the last two, in which you got down on ground level to take the shot. The shadows are very dramatic. I'm still working on lighting issues myself, so I can't offer any ideas. Just have fun!!!

    thanks for posting.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Daniel

    Re: First attempt at Flower/Plant Portraes

    I should have said in the beginning I was hoping for some "field" tips. I would like to learn how to get the best shots I can then when needed, much later down the road when I can get a computer, worry about post processing the photos. For number 3 is there anything thing I can do with my camera’s setting to get a better picture? Would a day time shot have been better in terms of shadows?

    MilT0s - Unfortunately the cactus has tendrils that are anchored to the fence, these help it climb and grow in precarious positions. This means I cannot move the cactus with risking damage to the plant. Would a shallower depth of field, that focus on the flower be of a benefit to this particular image (I am thinking a less focused fence would be less distracting)?
    I really like your PP of the third photo.

    Ggt – Here is a Wikipeda link about the cactus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya) and yes this is a type of cactus.

    Thanks for the advice.

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