[/caption] One of the best ways to get a really good and tack sharp close-up photograph of a flower is by attaching a macro/prime lens and utilizing your cameras settings in order to ensure that you take only the best photos as possible. I have a 50mm lens and never attach it to my tripod when I’m taking macro photos of flowers or insects. You always want to be sure and use your histogram since it’s one of the most important things that you can do in order to eliminate photos that you will just end up deleting when you get home. The histogram also helps you learn ways to change settings in order to take a good photo. You will also want to attach a warming filter and remove the CIR-PL if it’s attached. I almost never use a tripod since I want to be able to move around a lot and get into some very peculiar positions in order to get the best and most unique photos. A tripod is too cumbersome and can limit the angles that you can get the best photos. However, sometimes it’s appropriate to use a tripod but 95% percent of the time I won’t use a tripod when I’m taking photos of flowers or other close-up shots. Since you also want to try and keep the ISO at 100, you will want to get comfortable with the white balance setting since it’s the best way to brighten the photo without having to increase the ISO. I also set the camera to Program/Normal mode in order to make sure the camera focuses on the spot I want to ensure is in focus. The close-up setting won’t always focus on the part of your subject that you will want to focus on and will hamper your abilities. It’s also important to attach a battery pack on the body of your camera so you can have a large grip for vertical shots. I have a Canon T1i and I purchased the battery pack and only use it when I’m taking macro photos. And last but not least is to ensure that you keep a steady hand and always make sure that you take advantage of the lighting, background noise and color format of your subject. I normally put the sun in the back of my subject in order to get full light but look for shade in the subject that I’m photographing. This increases the chances that your subject will evolve into a great photo opportunity and have an awesome personality that will catch someones eye. Normally the pedals or the body of the flower will shade some of most of the direct sunlight but still allow the light to shine on the area of focus.
I was amazed to find out how many different colors of Iris flowers were mixed to create some of the most beautiful hybrid Iris flowers that I have ever seen. I took this shot on 5/30/10 and posted a very detailed article on 6/2/10 about my trip to the Iris flower garden that’s located just north of Keizer, OR if anyone is interested. With all of the amazing colors of these flowers it allows a photographer hundreds of opportunities to capture the true personality that these flowers project. To get this shot I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Sigma 50mm Prime/Macro lens. The only filter that I was using was my UV and my Hoya 81B filter. You never want to use a CIR-PL when taking macro shots since it will create too much shadow and the shot will come out blurry. I was about 1 inch from the flower and I wasn’t using a tripod or remote switch. I don’t like using a tripod when taking most of my macro photos since it takes forever to set up and it’s not nearly as fun as getting right up close to your subject. As long as you have your settings correct and you allow enough light to avoid any blur you can master some pretty awesome shots. To ensure this I had set the camera to Program/Normal mode and made sure that the IS was on. The aperture was at F5.6, the ISO was at 200 and the white balance was at -0.7. Since the light was perfect the shutter speed came out at 1/256 second. I took the photo at about 12:05pm and I had the sun near my back so there was little to no shade to darken and blur the subject. Since I was using a prime lens I needed to concentrate and focus on one particular subject so I decided to focus in on the very bottom part of the orange tongue of the flower and the part of the dark purple that was just beneath the orange. This allowed me to focus on two separate parts of the flower without blurring the majority of the flower. I find that this is the best way to take full advantage of a Prime/Macro lens, especially when standing just cm or inches from your subject. I took well over 750 photos this day and I never seemed to run out of ways to shoot. A tripod would have really slowed me down and bored me as well. As long as you have a steady hand and can find the correct setting as well as lighting, a macro lens can really create a fun experience when photographing close subjects.