Early morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

23 07 2009

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Click here to view images from July 20, 2008.

Click here to view images from July 22, 2007.

For more Kenilworth photos, click here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Kenilworth Collage 7232009

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7 responses

23 07 2009
The Right Coast

Beautiful photos. I love flowers.

23 07 2009
edvatza

1 4 7.

First off, they are all wonderful images. But…

I love the detail, color, and especially the reflection in #1. Perfect.

The composition in #4 is so simple as to be stunning!

And the color in #7 is to die for.

And each one is executed perfectly.

28 07 2009
iheartfilm

The lotuses at our local botanical gardens are just starting to look wonderful – like these. 🙂

2 08 2009
chloe

these are awesome, your flower shots are always so crisp & sharp
mine aren’t that sharp, can’t figure what i’m doing wrong lol

3 08 2009
cindydyer

Hey Chloe…without seeing what you mean by yours not being “that sharp,” I would venture to say it could be a few things:

1) What ISO do you have your D90 set on when you’re shooting your closeups? I usually range from 200-400 for flower and insect photos. I rarely go over 400 for these subjects. In fact, I rarely go over 400 unless I’m in really low lighting situations. The Grand Ole Opry photos were an exception and a good case of low lighting—I shot those on 1600 ISO and higher since I was too far away to use a flash. They’re decent shots; wouldn’t hold up well to large enlargements!

2) I use a tripod about 75% of the time—and when I don’t use one, I take a deep breath, tuck my elbows into my side and try to steel myself against something to make sure I avoid blurry photos. Using a steady friend as a post helps if there isn’t a stationary object nearby! I learned a great way to hold my camera when shooting from Joe McNally, one of my favorite photographers. Check out this youtube.com tutorial from Joe on:

Here’s the tutorial in photo form on his blog:

http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2008/03/10/da-grip/

3) All digital photos need some sharpening (in Photo Elements, Photoshop, or whatever other program allows for this task). Here’s a good blog post on Photojojo that explains why:

http://photojojo.com/content/tutorials/photoshop-sharpening/

4) If you can do so in your editing program, play around with contrast and shadows. Increasing contrast a bit also helps the photo appear sharper.

5) Shoot flowers and insects (and just about anything—including portraits) in overcast light—or indirect light. Sunlight is rarely flattering—on people or plants! Wait for overcast skies, wait for the sun to pass behind a cloud, or filter the subject with something translucent (I use the pop out reflectors in most case). If you have a friend with a white overshirt, that works, too! Macros of flowers and insects are best when you avoid full sun. That would have to be my number #1 tip, actually!

6) Of utmost importance is depth-of-field—the larger the number, the more of your subject will be in focus. The smaller the number (F3.5, 4, 4.5, etc.), the less will be sharp—but sometimes you want that so your background goes softer with that wonderful bokeh. Since I get instant feedback with digital, I try all sorts of combinations. I almost always shoot on manual with aperture priority. If you have it on fully auto (program), you’ll never be able to have control over depth of field, bokeh, etc. Below are a few links that explain it better than I just did!

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Depthoffield-explained-4631

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/All-in-bloom–a-field-guide-to-flower-photography-4673

Now that I look at this extra long comment to you, I think I’ll write something more comprehensive (with links to my favorite pro photogs) for my blog. Thanks for the impetus, Chloe!

5 08 2009
chloe

hi cindy, thanks for all help & links, i checked out the you tube video & the sharpen link
i shoot in aperture priority or manual mode also (stepped away from auto mode after a month of having my camera)
i will try these next time i do macros 🙂 xx

5 08 2009
chloe

hi cindy, thanks for all your help & the links, they were really helpfull
i’ll deff try out the standing positions & i’ll sharpen my macros next time, see if it helps 🙂
i shoot aperture priority when doing my macros or manual
i don’t ever use auto mode
🙂 xx

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