As I may have mentioned in my previous post, it's been a LONG winter here in Milwaukee. We've dubbed it the winter that never ends. However, today is gorgeous outside - sunny, not too windy and almost 60 degrees! So I'm sitting here writing this post in my living room with the patio door open enjoying the sounds and smells of the new spring (even though it's back to the normal 30's-40's starting Tuesday - oh well).
Yesterday was another nice day, and I spent part of it at Waukesha Floral & Greenhouse where, thanks to Art's Camera Plus, they opened their doors to Art's Camera Club and let photographers go in and take photos of anything they want. Like any garden store they had a greenhouse, large indoor plant section and gift shop. This is a great place to practice macro photography and other flower photography, and since it's indoors, you don't get harsh shadows that you would get photographing flowers outside on a sunny day (although some of the spots in the greenhouse did have harsh sunlight).
I also did this last year, and learned so much about aperture setting, manual focus and focal length. The best way to take macro shots of flowers, where only part of the flower is in focus and everything else is blurry, is to set your DSLR to Aperture Priority for Canon (not sure the equivalent for Nikon), take the aperture setting down to its lowest setting (mine goes down to 4.5-5.0) and then use the ISO setting (the one that measures in 100's) to make the photo brighter or darker, depending on how you want it to look. I usually keep that setting to 100-200 unless the room is really dark, and then I move it up). Then keep your camera on a tripod, get in close and use manual focus to get part of the flower sharp. If you have a camera that has a lens with image stabilization, like mine, you can get in closer without a tripod, but keep your body as still as you can. This is because the aperture is open so wide, any little movement is going to throw your whole photo out of focus. This happened to me a few times yesterday, but, thanks to digital photography, I just deleted them and tried again.
Below are some of the photos I took. Not all of them are macros, some are groups and a couple of vignettes, but I do like to change things up during photo shoots. Unfortunately, there weren't as many flowers in bloom as there was last year, due to our February faux spring, but there was still a lot to look at and it was another fun experience. Hopefully, the next flower photos you see from me will be from an outside garden!
Happy Spring everyone!