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Thread: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

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    Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    This thread was started to discuss the photography of grasslands.
    Last edited by Simon C; 10th July 2013 at 04:13 PM.

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    I think that density of the stand is important, a few individual grasses get lost too easily in the background. I tend to use the grasses as a supporting element or background to a more central subject.

    Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    In my neck of the woods, the grasses can grow to over 6 feet, roughly 2 meters; trying to effectively show the full plant with enough detail and with good composition is more than this artistically challenged duffer has been able to manage. I pretty much stick to individual inflorescences with macro against a backdrop for detailed shots.

    I plan on hitting a couple goat prairies this weekend, now I have a project.

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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    That is the main problem with grass, particularly dried grass be it long or short. Too close and you get a bunch of sameness, too far and you get a bunch of something.

    I too would be interested in suggestions due to numerous failures on my many attempts.

    Strangely with our eyes we can see all the nice and beautiful patterns and textures and colour variations but for the camera..... zilch. On the other hand, as a supporting element for something else, they enrich that other element very well.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 4th July 2013 at 04:47 AM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    I'm not sure how much the following thoughts contribute to thinking.

    What I don't think we understand from the way Simon has framed the question is - What is the purpose of the image? Is it art in which the object is to create an attractive picture that will be appreciated for its artistic merit, or is it a scientific endeavour in which the picture needs to illustrate not only what the grass is like, but possibly also the environment in which it grows?

    The answer to that goes some way towards considering the questions posed.

    In general terms and in order to try and capture some detail on the grass, but also set it in a context, I would be thinking very wide angle. That also helps achieve large depth-of-field if that is important.

    One of my own experiences is not with grass in the wild sense, but with crops. The following was with a Tokina 11-16 on a Canon 40D.

    Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    Simon, there are quite a few options open to you for the photographs and as Donald indicated, your purpose would call for some direction. For example, in your first two shots there are a couple of problems as I see it. Shooting from above in what looks like noon-day sun give zero depth. Also shooting from directly above with nothing else in the photo gives me no feeling of size. Your A and C, as well as Randy's, only allow me to guess at how big they are. That may be fine if you are using text to elaborate but as a standalone entity I'd need more related info. If the purpose is strictly photographic then perhaps your B and Randy's are fine as it's not important if the subject is 3 inches or 2 feet tall. Again, it's the intended use that may get some help from an alternate perspective.

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    One option is to photograph the component features against a complementary background

    Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    A piece of black felt may come in handy as a portable background to separate individual specimens from other plants

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing grasslands -- any opinions or techniques you are willing to share?

    I never made it, the wife other ideas; like swimming, hiking, she would not have been keen to my taking off to some remote location. I will try to make it this weekend. Most of our grasses are still vegetative, some of the grama should be showing up soon.

    Big Bluestem is our dominant native grass, it is at its prime in August

    I'm kinda new at the landscape style of photography, I pretty much started my photographic journey with macro, then telephoto

    I have included some shots from last fall, one of which is prairie cordgrass

    Sherburne NWR
    Last edited by rtbaum; 9th July 2013 at 02:54 AM.

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