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How To Photograph Dandelions with your Tamron Kit

Here, we take a detailed look at photographing dandelion clocks with your Tamron kit.

| Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC USD in Lenses and Optical Items

How To Photograph Dandelions with your Tamron Kit: Clocks

Although the dandelion is a weed, it will appear each year in our gardens and fields, creating a carpet of beautiful yellow flowers along with the subject of this tutorial - dandelion clocks.

These delicate seed heads can look great whole or as they're being blown away, so here we cover some top hints and tips for capturing dandelion clocks with your Tamron kit.

Find a good specimen or two, out of the wind and you have a subject that is worth spending a little time on. You can shoot close-ups, backlit, from above, from below, with different backgrounds...the list goes on! Of course, being a weed you can just cut the head off to shoot indoors. By doing so you can, as many photographers have, spend ages simulating individual seeds being blown off the head.

Wide angle, telephoto and macro lenses will all work well for this subject, depending on the type of photo you're going for. A lens which covers a variety of bases is the Tamron 24-70mm lens, which is capable of macro images, too. 

With telephotos and macro lenses, really take care with focusing, even more so because you might be using wide apertures. This is especially important with macro lenses as you get in really close. The globe-like dandelion seed head measures roughly 3-4cm from front-to-back and even at small apertures there is precious little depth-of-field; at wide apertures it will be down to a few millimetres.

With wide-angles, get down low and shoot up to get the flowers against an interesting sky. Use Live View, if you have it, to compose images.

With telephotos, explore viewpoints until you get one flower sharp against a lovely backdrop of blurred yellow flowerheads. Keep the aperture value wide for great selective focus.

If you want to have a go at shooting close-up silhouettes remember to use LivewView so you don't damage your eyes and fix your camera on a tripod to ensure your image is sharp. You need to be working with a macro lens so you can fill the frame, although a  A telephoto lens at its minimum focus, perhaps with an extension tube or close-up lens attached, can work too. Engage Live View, and aim the camera at the sun.

You'll probably find it easier to set the focus and exposure manually. You'll also need to adjust focus by moving the subject back and forth. If you want to change the framing, put the subject down, adjust the focusing barrel and then try again. It's not something that you are guaranteed to get right first time so do take the time to refine and reshoot, repositioning the dandelion, altering your focus or shooting at a different point during the day. Remember that light is warmer around sunrise or sunset due to the level of the sun in the sky but it's not set in stone that you should shoot at this time. 

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