My First Blog Article (May 30, 2012)

by William Lulow

Note: Here is a copy of my very first blog article! I am still trying to provide useful information for photographers intent on bettering their photographic efforts.

Welcome to William Lulow’s blog. Here, you will find information on things photographic…from how certain images were made, to tips for making your own photographic efforts better, to industry trends.

Peonies(c)

This image was made using a Canon 60mm macro lens. Exposure was f/11 at 1/8 of a second. There are a few things to remember about making successful close-ups of natural subjects like flowers:

  • Pick a bright, non-windy day.
  • Use as small an f/stop as you can to carry depth of field and ensure sharpness
  • Put the camera on a tripod so you can shoot at slow shutter speeds.
  • If you must use the camera on “auto”, set it for Aperture Priority mode. (Consult your camera manual). This let’s you choose what f/stop you want to use and sets the shutter speed automatically). Often, what I like to do is to use the camera’s capability as a light meter (remember those?) by looking at the scale in the viewfinder. You can then judge the exposure on your camera’s LCD, and adjust the exposure manually until you get the proper amount of color saturation.
  • I like to carry a 16×20″ black card with me to separate the flower from the often-confusing background, if necessary. Or, use a larger aperture to shoot with selective focus and blur the background entirely!
  • Sometimes, I have been known to carry a translucent, white umbrella to soften any harsh highlights the direct sunlight might cause.
  • If you want a shallower depth-of-field, open the lens up and speed up the shutter to around 1/250th of a second or so.

If you think that all this might be a bit excessive for just shooting some flowers, see what kind of a difference all this makes from just a “grab” shot. This is the kind of information we will be concentrating on in these blog articles. I certainly tend to concentrate more on shooting portraits, but people find this type of information useful.  Happy reading & shooting!