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Thread: Need recommendation for good book on (gasp) flower photography

  1. #11
    dpn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Re: Need recommendation for good book on (gasp) flower photography

    Here are my Calochortus:

    All digital, unfortunately, for the reasons above.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2006
    SF Bay Area

    Re: Need recommendation for good book on (gasp) flower photography

    Quote Originally Posted by dpn View Post
    ...All digital, unfortunately, for the reasons above.
    Same here if strategy is to get most of subject in detailed focus and not a bokeh type shot. Always digital in this era primarily because of overwhelming advantage of focus stack blending. Of course one can also adjust exposure optimally by taking test shots first. And one can use optimal middle lens aperture optics without stopping down. Focus stacking in macros of course has been a paradigm change however same applies to close-up subjects. And as with a view camera, now with a fixed lens system, one is no longer stuck with putting a lens perpendicular to most of a subject for better depth of field because from an oblique position one merely takes more frames at different focus points.

    5900x4000 pixels 1 frame 8 image focus stack blend A6000 Sigma 60mm DN

    enlarged slice at half pixels:

    And NO there is not much information beyond basics say in books or on websites to learn how to process these kinds of blended images well. Thus one needs to pays personal experience dues figuring out what is possible and how to do it.

    David Senesac

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Greenwood Lake NY USA

    Re: Need recommendation for good book on (gasp) flower photography

    Coming from the opposite direction (and also OT because digital) the close-up ability of my Canon PowerShot A700 camera is astounding. The small size of the camera allows natural light to be used because there is little shadowing by the camera body, many shots can be made hand-held. The lens autofocuses and autoexposes in the blink of an eye and can get within 1cm (0.5in) of the subject. Probably there are other similar close-focusing point-and-shoot cameras, and though they do not compete in the same class as the work shown above for casual work they are a pleasure to use.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Re: Need recommendation for good book on (gasp) flower photography

    Quote Originally Posted by dpn View Post
    John Shaw's old book on portrait photography sydney is good. With LF, lighting and stability (of the subject matter) are going to be the hard parts. Finding a good tripod that can get low enough to the ground, but also offer the stability to support a LF camera, is going to be a challenge (Ries are stable, but not low enough. Gitzo Explorers may be OK. Beanbags work, but I wouldn't trust them to hold position.) Get ready to be on your belly a lot! Movements will help with DOF, but you'll still be fighting for depth. Use a white umbrella or scrim to help with light and wind. A "plamp" is also good. Still, get ready to do math on reciprocity and bellows before you take the shot. And hope the wind doesn't blow or the light doesn't change!

    Still life flowers are eminently doable in LF, but field LF macro work seems tough for a lot of reasons. I got good results with a Mamiya RZ67, but field macro was still challenging even with a good MF system.

    For me, personally, digital is the right tool for field macro work.

    (I'm on year five of a long project to photograph every species of Calochortus in California. Flowers and fungi are my photographic passions.)
    Here are 10 tips that will help you make the most of your flower photography this spring.
    Photograph flowers on an overcast day. ...
    Backlight will make your flowers glow. ...
    Watch out for wind. ...
    Get closer. ...
    Use a reflector. ...
    Avoid a cluttered background. ...
    Use a shallow depth of field. ...
    Make it sharp.

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