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Thread: Rosemary flower

  1. #1
    ClaudioG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gauteng (South Africa)
    Real Name

    Rosemary flower

    Hi all..i just would really really appreciate some c+c on my flower new to all this macro work and want to expand into flower photography as well..bit difficult to find proper technique and compostion on flower photography..anyone who can help with preferred or better camera settings for flower photography as well as compostion would be a real help to me..thank you in advance.

    This is one of my few flower images..this is of one of the flowers of my rosemary bush in my garden..( where im trying to get images of bees that wont sit still!!!!!!!!!!!!!AAAArrggghhh.!!!). Please help, any and all info flash..time of day to photgraph,aperture settings, camera settings, advice, all is welcome Thank you thank you thank you.

    Here"s a little info i read on rosemary be honest i was never interested in flowers..but this little piece of info has intrigued me, and now when i photograph anything..i look it up.

    The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the 'Rose of Mary'.

    And not trying to influence or not influence anyone ..just some fun thoughts(which is what intrigued me)

    ....and if u like food..which im crazy about.. rosemary(leaves) can be used in stuffings for roast lamb,pork ,chicken(great with white wine and garlic ) and turkey.'s my image

    Rosemary flower
    SS 1/60 F/18 ISO 100 Tamron 90mm macro lens on tripod

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    South Devon, UK

    Re: Rosemary flower

    I once found a recipe for chocolate and rosemary ice cream!

    The one thing I find about macro photography is that there aren't any firm rules.

    Flash can be essential; it can also cause unwanted hot spots and reflections.

    Not using flash can cause harsh shadows and excessively long shutter speeds, or high Iso settings plus dark image problems.

    Sometimes, I find shiny surfaces are actually worse in natural sunlight when not using flash.

    A little bit of flash in shadow lighting conditions, when natural light levels are too low, can work well.

    Anyway. For macro shots my basic kit is a tripod (I never shoot macro hand held) and an external flash unit, which sometimes gets turned off.

    I did consider ring lights but thought they were too exposed on the end of my lens when shooting in the wild, under harsh conditions. Also I worried about them scaring insects, which are my main subjects.

    Manual focusing at all times. Very occasionally AF but expect a lot of rejects due to false focus problems.

    When using flash, I set the camera with manual controls then vary the auto flash output compensation as required. Typical camera settings for me would be 1/200 F14 to F16 Iso 200. Flash compensation usually around -1 to -2.

    At one time I tried using a cable shutter release but found I was missing so many quick insect shots due to fumbling for the switch. Even when I taped it to the tripod. After some experiments, I concluded that when using 1/200 approx (to prevent wind rock or subject movement problems) I wasn't actually getting any improvement.

    For flowers, you can use some of the studio type diffusers or reflectors for light control. But this can be extra equipment to carry on a long and tiring walk. A simple plant support will help under windy conditions.

    When suitable, taking two or more shots at different focus points then combining them with suitable software can be very helpful to improve focus depth of the final image.

    And bees are always difficult to photograph. Try waiting until they are settled on a large nectar rich flower instead of continually flitting around.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    South Devon, UK

    Re: Rosemary flower

    Tripod use, Claudio.

    I now use some form of ball head with a quick locking system. There are a number of models.

    My previous tripod had a one handed 'trigger handle' which gripped when you released the grip trigger. I reversed the camera attachment position to make it left handed. Which meant I could easily position the camera with my left hand while my right index finger was always on the shutter.

    The present system has a large lock knob but is easy to use. Although it will bite fingers if not fully tightened.

    Ball heads are so much quicker and easier for insects than having to position and hold the camera while two locking levers are tightened.

    But it doesn't matter which system for flowers or other subjects which aren't going to get frightened and fly/run away from you.

    For insects, I set up my tripod and camera settings as I approach the scene, as much as possible, then slowly and carefully move the tripod closer. There is a bit of a knack to working with a tripod in dense undergrowth.

    Sometimes I position the front legs while they are off the ground by tilting the assembly backwards then upright it into the correct shooting position.

    Where difficulties occur, I try to keep my tripod leg splay as small as possible and gain height by raising my centre column. Exactly the opposite to landscape photography etc.

    But an important note. This rig is unstable and can easily topple over if left without a steading hand.

    Sometimes, I have to tilt the tripod so only two legs are on the ground. Not best practice and you have to be careful to keep good focus when shooting with a shallow focus depth.

    For example, today I had to place two legs onto marshy ground then tilt forward with the third leg in mid air. The resulting image was far from perfect but sufficient to confirm the identification of an uncommon insect.

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