[/caption] You can get very creative with your shots when photographing flowers with a prime/macro lens. This is a photo of a Dahlia flower and I was only about 6 cm from the flower. I was using my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens. The great thing about prime lenses is that you don’t need a tripod or even IS when getting ultra close to your subject. The trick is to make sure that you remove your CIR-PL and attach a warming filter and a UV filter. It’s also an advantage if you find the right angle as well as finding the best saturation and angle of the sun before taking your shots. I usually just move around and look through the lens to see if it looks like it may be a keeper or not. Since I don’t have to hassle with a tripod, I can just as easily delete the shot and move on to my next one. Utilizing the histogram is necessary and I always adjust the white balance whenever needed. I try to keep the ISO at 100 and keep the camera mode at Program/Normal. One thing to always remember is that you want to be sure that you find the focal point and ensure that you either have the entire subject in focus or just the part that you’re interested in. This is one of the best parts of a macro/prime lens. Having the creative instinct to just play around with your subject and get some really cool shots can be very rewarding and usually unexpected.
[/caption] Beautiful Dahlia flower that looks more like a golf ball sprouting pedals! This type of Dahlia is pretty cool to photograph but you have to look for a specific focal point in order to bring out its personality. I took this shot with my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens and had the camera only a few inches from the flower. The entire background is out of focus due to the low field of view but I did want to have as much color in the blurry background so I made sure to locate a flower that had several other flowers directly in the background. I made sure to remove my CIR-PL but made sure that I had my warming and UV filter attached in order to bring out the natural tones and awesome colors of the flower. The shutter speed was fast at 1/320 second and I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 0. The aperture ended up at F-7 and I had the camera mode at Normal/Program. I wasn’t using a tripod and I almost never us a tripod when taking macro photos so you want to make sure and keep a steady hand as well as utilize light and avoid too many shadows. You also want to always utilize your histogram and review every shot that you take so you don’t miss an opportunity to adjust your camera settings.
[/caption] This is another photo of a Dahlia that was taken at the Canby Dahlia Festival in Canby, Oregon. I was looking for a unique shot of one of the flowers with the blue sky in the background so I decided to crouch down on my knees and angle the camera at about a 90 degree angle. I wanted to get as much of the sky in the background without cutting off too much of the dahlia so I made sure to move close enough to the flower without losing any of the field of view. I was using my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens so I wasn’t able to zoom. However, I was able to get as far away or as close as I needed to in order to get the perfect shot. I’m about a foot from the flower and the lens didn’t need much time to focus since the subject stands out like a battle ship. My Sigma lens doesn’t have IS and since I wasn’t using a tripod I made sure to remove the CIR-PL and keep a steady hand in order to avoid any blur or camera shake. I kept the ISO at 100 and played with the white balance until I was satisfied. Since I always check the histogram after every photo I take it’s easy to decide on which is the best shot to keep.
[/caption] This photo was taken at the Canby Dahlia farm, which is located in Canby, Oregon. You will find over 40 acres of Swan Island Dahlias and over 350 varieties to choose from. They also grow hybrid flowers, which make them some of the most unique and exclusive flowers in the world. I was literally salivating over the amount of flowers I was able to photograph. I spent over an hour in the same spot when I realized that I had to keep moving or I would be there until next week if I expected to get to them all. I had no idea that they took on so many shapes, sizes and colors. They are very photogenic and have some of the most amazing personalities, which allowed me to take advantage of their unique genetic makeup. I attached my Sigma 50mm macro/prime lens and took several opportunities to get very close and also somewhat farther away in order to get the best shots. I didn’t use my tripod since I was in some pretty precarious positions and I didn’t want to spend all day setting it up and moving it aroundr To ensure that I wouldn’t have any camera shake or blur I made sure to remove my CIR-PL and attach my warming filter. Since each of the rows were either facing north or south, I took advantage of the suns position in order to avoid any glare of shadow. I kept the ISO at 100 but constantly changed the white balance until I got the perfect shot. I just made sure to always check the histogram as well as review every shot that I took. The website states that you can visit through the month of September so I will be going back real soon.