Now that spring has sprung I’m seeing tons of flower images being posted to various blogs and social networks. One thing you don’t see often is the how and why to use certain setting. Every Spring I used to teach a six week macro class helping people jump start their flower photography. The least understood aspect of macro / flower photography is when should I use a wide open aperture and when do I want more depth of field? It’s certainly a valid question and one that I am going to touch on in this blog post.
First off you need to evaluate your subject and what’s around it (backgrounds). And when I say this you have to determine how “you as the photographer” want to present this as a final image. There are many factor that will help you to determine this. Will I fill the frame or should I isolated it against a soft blurry background. Once you determine your presentation you need to work on your execution.
Let’s use these two images as an example! First of all, many orchids grow in clusters or groups making it tough to get a clean single orchid against a nice soft background. So I have decided to fill the frame with just one orchid. Now that I have my composition in mind, I need to determine what aperture or depth of field that I want. Here I wanted as much DOF as I could possibly pull off with a single frame. (I’m not going to jump into using multiple focal point and then using Helicon Focus to stitch in this post, I’ll save that for another time).
So, by filling the frame I’ve eliminated any distracting backgrounds therefore allowing me to shoot at a very high aperture, f/38. This will give me the maximum DOF for my subject. Keep in mind that with landscape photography, DOF is measured in feet and with Macro/Close-up it’s measured in inches and even fractions of an inch. F/38 maybe overkill in the landscape world but in the macro realm it still may not be enough!
As with all of my images I used Nik’s Software to process this image! If you are interested in saving yourself a few $$$ on any of Nik’s products feel free to use my discount code “EHEATON”.
Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for many more images and notes from the field.
Best of Light,
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