Dramatically improve your flower photography by adding light from a wireless flash. If you photograph flowers, you can make them stand out by adding light from a wireless flash.
While it is not difficult to photograph flowers, like all outdoor nature photography, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and that means we don’t always get the light we want. You can solve this problem by using a wireless off-camera flash. It can in many cases dramatically improve your photography.
When I know I am photographing wildflowers I will take my Canon 580EXII and the NPT-04 radio triggers and the Fotodiox mini lightbox to soften the light on flowers. Also, several light stands for multi-flash setups.
My strategy for lighting flowers is I want it to look REAL and not flashed because contrast looks really ugly. I usually use a 100mm macro lens for smaller flowers but today I am using a 28-70mm lens because these flowers are so big. I have set my aperture to f/5.6. and my ISO is 100.
The last thing is when you have a grouping of flowers instead this little mini lightbox won’t cover it. The solution is a larger lightbox like this 18×18 inch one. I am holding the lightbox over the flowers and the additional light brightened up these foreground flowers nicely. On this final photo I darkened the background by changing the shutter speed from 1 second to 1/4 second and that makes the foreground flowers stand out nicely.
Here’s a photo from Pt. Imperial where I made the journey from outside the park to the rim before sunrise. It was a perfect morning with pretty clear skies.
I took the photograph before sunrise at 6:40 am which was 13 minutes before sunrise. When shooting pre-sunrise, if you start early when the alpenglow type light is evident, you have less contrast compared to the minutes before the sunrise.
As I was hiking the desert this last winter, I spotted an area where rain had collected and created this pattern. What I thought was very interesting was how the mud was totally wet and then following the cracks, totally dry. It made for a nice composition was my feeling and I shot it with an iPhone.
But you can see by this pre-processed image below, the photo would not work without some good processing since it was totally flat looking.
I think Death Valley is SO amazing!
I have photographed in every state in the lower 48 and while our country has the most amazing diversity of landscapes, for me Death Valley is the most unique!
Just my humble opinion!
I have been there more times than I can count and there is always something new. On my last trip, I was driving a road when I spotted the pitch black, almost coal colored geology in the far distance. So I hiked down there and photographed some variety of scenes, all under an overcast sky.
When the sun was setting (before the color show) I started back when I stumbled on this scene of turquoise colored sediment. I have no idea what it was (I am not a geologist) but I knew it would make for a great foreground.
The flowers are out and while I have only hit this location in western AZ, near the CA border, I am hoping to head to the Superstition Mountain and search for their wildflowers soon.
Canon 70D 28-70 f/16 set to 28mm
I zoomed in on this landscape a little. rather than go real wide and the reason is that the foreground flowers are not that close together. But standing further back and zooming slightly, I was able to stack teh flowers and make them look more condensed.
For processing, I am now a big fan of Sean Bagshaw’s Luminosity Mask system where I can select individual sections of an image based on tonal values, or colors, and process each of those individually and it works great.
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On a trip through Montana, I went into the Beaverhead NF to explore the ghost town of Coolidge.
While the ghost town was not that photogenic, Elkhorn Creek was lined with some great color.
This fallen log was jammed with debri creating a cascade in the creek. Throw in the rocks and you have a nice balance of blurred water, the still creek leading you to through the picture, and the lines of the colorful willow.
For processing, I used luminosity masks to add detail to the flowing water by darkening it slightly. Then selecting the colorful willows and bumping contrast and saturation, selectively.
Finally, I selected the green forest in the background and darkened them to allow the colorful willow stand out more.
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Related Posts: HDR and Exposure Blending in Glacier NP, Compositing 6 of Me Into One Image