Monday, 31 March 2014

Flowers: The Perfect Photography Subject

Flowers: The Perfect Photography Subject

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Flowers: The Perfect Photography Subject

Posted: 30 Mar 2014 08:29 PM PDT

Spring is here, and there is no end to the number of beautiful flowers out there ready to be photographed. And what’s more wonderful is that they will keep blooming all summer and well into the fall. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a warmer climate, you could be photographing flowers outdoors well into the winter months–possibly year-round. Whether it’s a single bud, a single flower, a bouquet, a plant, a bush, or a blossoming tree, flowers are wonderful subjects to photograph. They’re not temperamental, they generally stay where you put them (or where they grow), they’re a great subject to experiment with, and they come in an array of vibrant colors.

cherry blossom flowers

“Spring Blooms” captured by Tommy Cox (Click image to see more from Cox.)


As with any task, being prepared is important. Gather your camera and accessories and choose the right camera bag for the equipment and the outing. If you plan on going to one location, such as an arboretum or perhaps a rose garden, take along your tripod, lenses, filters, and any other accessories you may need to spend the day making beautiful images. If your camera calls for them, make sure you have back-up batteries and extra memory cards, as well.


The tripod really is an essential tool when photographing flowers. As you get closer to a subject, the slightest movement of the camera will greatly affect the outcome of the picture. It’s virtually impossible to hold the camera still enough to take a quality picture without the benefit of a tripod. It will be money well spent. There are small tripods compact enough to fit nicely in the right camera bag.

Focal Point

As with any photography, you need a focal point. A lush, pink rose bud just beginning to open on a graceful thorned stem. Or, maybe you’ve spotted a cheerful plant of daisies with bright yellow centers, but the focal point is the little red ladybug resting on one of the delicate white petals. Look carefully–there’s a lot to see.

flower and insect photography

“Butterfly set Canon 60D EF 100mm to 400mm at 300mm” captured by Christopher Okano (Click image to see more from Okano.)


Lighting can be tricky, at times, depending upon where you’re shooting. It’s almost always preferable to head out with your camera bag in hand in the early morning to shoot your florals, for a number of reasons. The dew is still on the flowers, so you can get some very effective macro shots of droplet covered blossoms. The sun is not yet high in the sky, so your lighting will be more ideal, casting fewer harsh shadows. If you must shoot in midday, pack a diffuser in your camera bag to soften the harsh effects of the glaring sun.

macro flower photography

“The Offer….” captured by Steve Barr (Click image to see more from Barr.)


Give careful consideration to your point of view. Shooting across the top of a field of yellow daffodils results in a breathtaking picture. Or, laying on the ground and taking a picture from beneath a cherry blossom tree in full bloom results in a picture of a lacy, pink cloud. Look outside the box. Pictures of beautiful bouquets and single stems are still the classics and should never be ignored, but try new, creative pictures. In addition to taking traditional still lifes, try taking a shot of a single bloom close up with just a portion of it in the picture.

flower photography

“Untitled” captured by John (Click image to see more from John.)

Experiment. Have fun with it. Remember, flowers are excellent subjects. All you need is a quality camera bag with the right equipment, some leisure time, and the right season.

About the Author:
Suzanne VanDeGrift has developed this article for m-rock, manufacturer of user-friendly camera bags.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Interesting Photo of the Day: Bubble Nebula Photographed via Telescope

Posted: 30 Mar 2014 06:03 PM PDT

Mike Hankey fell in love with astrophotography when he attached his camera to a telescope and peered through glass at the night sky for the first time. Six months later, a large “fireball” meteor exploded near Baltimore, Pennsylvania while Hankey was photographing the Andromeda galaxy from his backyard, and he accidentally captured a shot of the meteor fragments streaking down to Earth.

He’s been hooked on astrophotography ever since, and he spends his nights producing stunning long exposure astrophotos like this image of an emission nebula within the Cassiopeia constellation:

astrophotography outer space bubble nebula stars universe telescope astrophoto long exposure

This is the “Bubble Nebula,” technically named NGC 7635. (Via Imgur. Click for larger size.)

An emission nebula is a cloud of gas that has been ionized by close proximity to a hot star such that it emits light of various colors. There are two types of emission nebulae—H II regions and planetary nebulae—which are ionized by huge young stars or dying stars shedding their outer layers and exposing their warmer cores, respectively.

Hankey shot the image in Auberry California using green, blue, and red narrow band filters over a span of 15 hours across four nights. He used an Apogee U16M camera attached to an RCOS 14.5 telescope to capture the image and SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, and Adobe Photoshop to edit and optimize the final image.

“I [love] taking pictures with my telescope and I work on it every night that is clear,” said Hankey. “The great thing about astronomy [is that] space is infinite, you can never run out of things to learn, look at or take pictures of. The study of astronomy has transforming effects on people and I encourage everyone I meet to look up at the stars.”

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Watch Timelapse Photographers Capture Northern Lights Over Sweden (Video)

Posted: 30 Mar 2014 04:23 PM PDT

The northern lights are well known for their beauty and spectacular colors as they light up the night sky. It’s no wonder that they grab the attention of photographers, many of whom travel long distances to witness the natural phenomenon for themselves. This spectacular timelapse shows the northern lights over Sweden as they made their appearance on February 1st:

When the timelapse was made on the night of February 1st, aurora borealis had come out to play over Abisko National Park 29 out of the 32 nights that had passed so far in the year, making 2014 a great year to witness the lights.


The timelapse video was created by taking still photos at timed intervals and compiling them together in post production to create a moving image. It is not uncommon for tens of thousands of photos to be used to make a timelapse video.

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Using a Paraglider to Gain New Perspective as a Photographer (Video)

Posted: 30 Mar 2014 10:58 AM PDT

National Geographic just released an intimate black-and-white interview with one of their most prominent landscape photographers, George Steinmetz. Steinmetz is known for his aerial photography–impossible images taken while floating overhead in his absurd-looking, slow-moving, ultralight motorized paraglider:

“You see the world three-dimensionally. Even very minute differences in position. I can get a very different feeling in a picture.”

A motorized paraglider is an awkward flying contraption; Steinmetz says it’s “the world’s lightest and slowest aircraft”, and it resembles a harness attached to a giant leafblower-like fan and held up by a gliding parachute.

Steinmetz started flying the motorized paraglider around 15 years ago years ago, and it’s a miracle he hasn’t died. Not only does he fly this precarious device often, but he flies it to some of the most dangerous, remote parts of the world–post-war Libya, the remote desert of Chad, the salt domes of Iran.


“I want people to be amazed at our world, to see things they didn’t know existed, and to be excited and enthusiastic about our planet.”



The interview is full of inspirational quips and stories about capturing moments and finding little details. His demeanor is calm and comforting–he makes it all look so easy.

“I once did a story on the Sonoran Desert. I went down this one little road in Mexico, must have been down that road, like, a dozen times, and every time I went down I saw different things. I just kept finding different ways of looking at it, and it was just endlessly wonderful.”

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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