Creative Garden Photography

The white Osteospermum (Cape Daisies) in my garden are looking quite spectacular at the moment.

With a macro lens I focussed on the flower centre. If I wanted more detail I could have used a tripod and f8. The below image is straight out of camera. No editing needed except to convert from RAW.

60mm macro on a crop sensor body so it acts more like a 90mm lens, f4.5

I didn’t want to bother with a tripod and there was a breeze which is irritating if sharp images is what you’re after. But fuzzy details are ‘allowed’ in creative photography.

Macro lens, f4.5, manual focus on the petals in the foreground

Manual mode gives me total control of the type of shot I want. I have to be decisive about aperture, shutter speed and exposure settings for each frame taken. Using manual focus allows me to choose very specifically what part of the flower is in focus, especially at such wide apertures.

Macro lens, f3.5, manual focus

While a macro lens is great at capturing close details, I also wanted images showing the mass of flowers on the bush. A change of lens 24 – 70mm allowed me to stand further back in the scene. I wanted to capture the mass of flowers without being too distracted by the leaves hence the choice of f3.5 which blurs the background. Once again I decide which parts of the image are in focus.

24 – 70mm lens, f3.5

And creative photography allows me to play with white balance, hues and shadow tones to give a warmer more ‘romantic’ feel to the images.

Straight out of camera.
The camera calibration panel in Light Room is worth having a play with.

I’ve started to play with free lensing. It’s not obvious in the below image but I had used a standard 50mm lens – detached from camera body and reversed to create a macro. This is a technique I want to explore a lot more with an old camera body and my nifty fifty lens but it requires a great deal of dexterity and there is a risk of either dropping the lens or getting dust in the camera. Apparently I can get some interesting perspective shifts so I’ll be exploring more.

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