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The Flowers that Bloom In the Spring.....


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The Flowers that Bloom In the Spring.....

17 May 2020 9:29AM   Views : 523 Unique : 350

....tra la.....Spring has well and truly sprung; we haven't had the heating on for weeks, and our hearts and minds have turned to warm summer days, trips out into the country, picnics, holidays in quaint little cottages.....Unfortunately reality has struck and the Coronavirus has put paid to our enjoyment of many things. There are ways around things of course, and on Thursday we had an ADAPS virtual meeting via Zoom. Last night we had our usual social get together via Messenger Video Chat; nearly four hours with hardly a glitch in sight.

Photographically speaking, we turn our minds to catching up on scanning projects and other bloggable thoughts, and today I'm thinking about another of my favourite pastimes, flower photography. The flowers themselves can be found in the great gardens, RHS sites, even garden centres, but there are some essentials to make the best images. Lighting is critical, and as a general rule bright overcast gives the soft, transparent light that allows the flowers' colour to glow. A tripod is critical to enable us to find the point of focus and make the sharpest images. The colour setting of the camera, and don't forget I shoot in JPEG, I find is best if set to Cloudy or even Shade. Shade will, as its name suggests, improve the colour particularly of shaded fungi, avoiding that horrible purple cast that can so easily creep in.

As regards lenses, we might think that a 100mm macro lens would be best, and sometimes it does have its place, but the absolute king of flower lenses for me is the SMC Pentax-FA J 70-300mm for full frame or the HD Pentax-D FA 55-300mm for APS-C. Or their equivalents in whatever system we use. The versatility in composition of the long zoom lens is just so perfect, allowing us to reach into the back of wide herbaceous borders and still isolate single blooms. The longer lenses often have superb bokeh as well, rendering the out of focus backgrounds with buttery smoothness.

Finally the weather. Light rain is fine in that it makes the plants glisten and gives such vibrant colours. Bright overcast reduces contrast and avoids harsh, dense shadows. A calm day is really very helpful, as any wind will cause plants to wave all over the place and make focusing very difficult.

On to some examples then!

Tulips with Smooth Trans Focus lens

In Monet's Garden

Michaelmas Daisies

Bents Garden Centre (use of tripod by arrangement)

Camelia japonica

State of Decay

Six Yellow Flowers

Orange Splendour

Centre of the Cosmos

Rosa Elina



Strelitzia reginae


Sweet Peas

Wild Flowers


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JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
18 May 2020 11:17AM
Lovely set of images and super idea to get your local garden centre to allow you to shoot thier plants.
The last one is actually a very pretty montbretia.

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