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Photography tips thread

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by dr_dmd, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. dr_dmd

    dr_dmd The dr's out... in the greenhouse!

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    Hello everyone! Like everyone else here, I am obsessed with my 'chids, and enjoy the wonderful photos people post. I am especially interested in how some of you manage to shoot such amazing photos, with black or other solid color backgrounds, post the names of the orchids with elegant fonts on the photos, and so on. I would appreciate your quick tips and "how to" notes to help those of us who would like to create similar photos. What would you suggest everyone? I wonder if this could become an on-going thread, with many posts of ideas on how to create the best photographs possible? Thanks in advance to all of you who are willing to share your ideas. I look forward to learning with you all!
    Cheers,
    Don
     
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  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Hi, Don.

    Personally, I prefer a black velvet background for most of my shots, as it is anything but distracting of the plant image, and it "eats" shadows.

    I built a stand out of PVC pipe and simply suspend the cloth from the top with binder clips.
    rack.png
     
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  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi, Don. I'm happy to see you posting again.

    I agree with Ray that the black velvet makes an excellent background and I have used it. It does have limitations. It collects lint and pet hair which needs to be eliminated in post processing because, no matter how hard you try, can't be totally removed. Also, the velvet works great with artificial light indoors but not too practical outside with natural light.

    I also use a piece of foam core board which is white on one side and black (Charcoal gray) on the other. Depending on how dark the flower is I will use the white side sometimes. This board will definitely show shadows and scratches may have to be removed in post processing.

    My personal favorite is to use a natural background that is distant enough to be blurred. Sometimes if the flower is in light and the background is shaded it makes a very dark dappled background.

    So much of it becomes personal preference, how much time you are going to invest, what kind of lighting you are going to use, and what are you going to use the photos for.

    Most of the time I take my photos outside with the mount hanging on a tree, natural light, ISO set high (400 or more but lower if I can) so I have more control over speed and aperture. I usually take 1 or 2 photos with "Automatic" mode but then switch to Manual mode to get the photos I want. I typically hand-hold the camera which is another reason for the high ISO.

    Typically, I only do indoor studio-type shooting when the flower is tiny or there is a winter storm going. Again, all personal preferences.

    What kind of camera do you have?
     
  4. dr_dmd

    dr_dmd The dr's out... in the greenhouse!

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    Thanks Ray and Kelly! Great tips.

    I have a Nikon digital - 5100 and a few lenses, including a 60mm macro lens. I also have a ring flash - the kind that mounts to the front of the lens for macro shots. Ron Parsons came to take some shots in my greenhouse once, and showed me how he uses that kind of flash. I have to try again.

    I get some good shots, including the kind with the blurry background, as you suggested, Kelly. I will need to try the black velvet to see how that works. I have some good equipment, but the technique is the thing I need to work on now.

    Has anyone tried using one of the LensBaby lenses? I have a set of gadgets to use with mine, and should experiment more with them. Now that I am retired I should have some more spare time, right? I have been as busy as ever, honestly.

    Thanks again for these tips. I will try some things, and post some results. If others have ideas as well, I think we have the beginnings of a good discussion here!

    Cheers to all,
    Don
     
  5. dr_dmd

    dr_dmd The dr's out... in the greenhouse!

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    I like the description of how the velvet "eats" the shadows. That's a great way of describing it. Thanks for the drawing as well, Ray. I appreciate the tips!

    Don
     
  6. AnonYMouse

    AnonYMouse aka Ree, the not-so-stealthy lurker

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    I was using foam core also but I've upgraded to a cheap light tent off of ebay. I haven't used it for any plant pics yet but worked great on some objects. The light tent came with a pair of LED lights, filters and backgrounds. Folds into a compact bundle (like some car windshield shades that springs open). Just mind your head when arranging the shot.
     
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  7. dr_dmd

    dr_dmd The dr's out... in the greenhouse!

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    Thanks for the tips!
     
  8. modebie

    modebie New Member

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    I use a black velvet cloth as background also. I put it a couple of feet behind my subject to make the background much darker.
     
  9. infinity8

    infinity8 New Member

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    I really like to take photographs of nature that surround me. The key is lens that you use. If you would like to take a more meticulous photo use macro lens. If not there are many others on the market so you have got a big choice. It depends on your preference.

    Second important thing is light. The best is at midday, so you do not have to use an artificial one. Also create a background that will not distract, so plain one is the best I think.

    And the last tip from me is to take more photos rather than less. When you have more photos you also have a bigger choice so take them from many different perspectives and then choose the best one.