I love this succulent shot because it has a more moody feel than the rest of my botanical work. Keep up the great work, Jaymes. I love tree shade or open shade with a nearby white wall or white card bouncing light in. That is, the higher your ISO, the brighter your photo will be (all things being equal). And if you’re shooting flying insects, you’re going to need a shutter speed that’s even faster: In the 1/1000s to 1/2000s range. So now I’m going back out and shoot more of this caterpillar using manual focus with my ISO at 100 (it’s very sunny here). Your camera does the remaining work, ensuring that the photo is beautifully exposed. Pictured: [1] Nina Mingioni [2] Nina Mingioni. I photograph in diffuse light. Settings: ISO 400. I quickly set up my gear. Oh, well. This lens is especially great if the background is busy or not attractive since it will soften and blur just enough to make almost anything pretty. Thank you so much!!! So the trick is to only increase ISO when you have to. I also get re-engerized to get out and shoot when I read articles like yours. If you’re photographing crawling insects, shoot with a similar shutter speed: 1/250s on up. When you are at a short distance from your subject, you can obtain a background blur that is pleasing to the eye. Whether I’m in the wild or in my garden, it’s important for me to know and love what I’m shooting. You’ll need to find what style is best suited to the plant and the look you want. Good luck with your photography! These conditions make plants come to life with high contrast and colors that pop. Check the weather conditions before going on location, and select an ideal location where the subject is protected from existing wind. Gear: Hasselblad camera, 80 lens. It was a shot I would expect to shoot at a home or a fancy hotel, but here was this beautiful detail where normally you’d see bare dirt or grass or trash. Usually, a white sky is boring, and bright images distract the viewer from the rest of the picture; however, if the sky is blue, then it blends nicely with blooming flowers such as fruit trees in the spring. Not the shutter speed. I am not a painter, but I do think that botanical photography can have a painterly quality. Thank you for all of your great tips! Eventually, all the fast shutter speeds will start to look the same.). https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/botanical-photography-tips Because you’ve done a better job of freezing the moment. Just wanted to tell you how helpful your stuff is. Was it the way the light plays off any of these features? I snapped a few shots and moved on, but when I went to edit, I kept going back to this shot. Instead, you need to use Shutter Priority mode to increase the shutter speed. I have found interesting plants in many different places. BTW are you cheating with that photo of you, or are you really just a genius kid? Local botanical gardens, arboreta, and horticultural farms are usually a great place to start. That sounds amazing, Jack–I wish I had colorful caterpillars in my garden. However, you don’t absolutely need a dedicated macro lens. If you want to take pictures of plants, you have to do some planning in advance. You’ll be taking some incredible macro shots. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | © 2020 All rights reserved. An experimental photographer is constantly changing settings, trying to capture various types of shots. Aperture Priority mode allows you to set your lens aperture. I’ll also send you my eBook, free of charge: Mastering Macro Photography: 10 Quick Tips for Stunning Macro Photos. The way the petals were stacked up against each other? Because if your subject is zipping around, and you’re shooting at a slow shutter speed…. Settings: Exposure 1/2500 sec; f3.2; ISO 100. But it doesn’t have to be. It allows you to choose the overall look of your photo. Know that you have a huge fan here in Michigan. You can still take great macro flower photos with other lenses. Thanks. https://www.jaymesdempsey.com/best-settings-macro-photography It’s a pretty common species there, but this one had a lovely rounded stem, inspiring me to opt for a more original framing. The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 is a great budget option. The rain was pouring, so I had to stay in my tent and rethink my plan for the day. On their gardener’s advice, I arrived before sunrise, figured out the overall shot I wanted, and then noticed these succulents on the ground next to where my car was parked. Gear: Canon 550D camera, 70-200mm 4 lens. It’ll rack back and forth. This image has actually inspired me to shoot plants in darker and more dramatic environments, and it’s opened my eyes to think beyond the way I have traditionally shot for magazines. Would love to receive your newsletter re macro photography. I’m a fan of Aperture Priority–I didn’t really talk about this in the article, but I think it’s especially good for situations when the light is changing fast, or you’re moving between light and shadow. My favorite time of year for photographing flowers is spring, when nature explodes with its beauty. However, all opinions are my own, and I only promote products that I fully support. …to choose the perfect macro settings, every single time. For instance, in years past, photos would become noisy at an ISO of 320 or 400 on many DSLRs. ISO comes in nice round numbers: 50, 100, 200, 320, 400, etc. This will allow you to emphasize the structure of the petals or to capture the flower’s silhouette. Does that make sense? Your explanations are easy to follow, very comprehensive. So, in a choice between a blurry photo and a noisy photo, go with the noisy one. I was getting a bit frustrated when trying to take a close up that my lens would not focus and rack back and forth like you mentioned. But a blurry photo is a ruined photo. If possible, avoid windy situations. After several hours, the rain stopped, and the conditions were perfect for plant-focused photography. That way, you will be able to recognize the families and the species of your subjects. Your article is very good and helpful. © 2013-2020 Shutterstock Inc. All rights reserved. Image by Nina Mingioni. If you want to keep improving your macro photography, then I have something you’re going to love: My FREE macro photography cheat sheet, designed specifically to help you capture stunning photos, consistently. This sometimes means backlighting so the background is blown out, and other times, it means shooting against a shadow or looking down so the dark brown of the soil frames the shot. It’ll hunt. And whenever I go, I always bring my macro lens. Regardless of the equipment, I always try to use a shallow depth of field or a long focal length. So you want to select this carefully. Or consider the photographer and botanical hobbyist Karl Blossfeldt, who at the turn of the 20th century, started building special homemade cameras capable of capturing the minute details of tiny and fragile flowering plants. This is because the aperture is the most important thing for you to think about. I’ve gone ahead and added you to my list (you should receive an email with your free macro cheat sheet anytime now). what you love. Just practice a bit every time you’re out shooting. https://www.thephotoargus.com/55-beautiful-macro-flower-pictures Two common ways of achieving this involve using either a telephoto lens or a macro lens. Now you can push your DSLR past this and won’t notice much noise. This technique helps to isolate the subject from the background and makes it come alive. Whereas it’s completely okay if your shutter speed (see below) fluctuates a bit. Of course, you don’t want to pick blindly. Because, when it comes to macro photography, I use manual focus all the time. That’s because macro subjects tend to stay still. For vistas or wider shots, I use a 50mm. In this case, I photographed cherry blossoms. What was it about this particular plant that stopped me in my tracks? If you try out manual focus and you’re struggling to get used to it, don’t worry.