Attention amateur photographers! We are offering a great excuse to get out and about in nature this October with our #PicturePefectPetals flower photography competition.
As with any art project, how one views, photographs and edits an image of the same flower will invariably produce remarkably different results and perspectives. We would like to inspire a love and appreciation for flowers and encourage budding amateur photographers to enter our comp. The lucky winner will receive a $250 Flowers for Everyone gift certificate for flower delivery in Sydney (valid for use until 31 December 2014).
1. Take a photo of a flower. Any flower.
2. Go to the Flowers for Everyone Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FFEAU) and click on the tab ‘Enter our Photography Comp’
1. You can upload as many entries as you like. You can be creative as you like.
2. All entries are to be submitted by 31st October 2014.
3. Winner with the most votes will be notified and announced on Facebook 1st November 2014.
To see what the professionals are doing, take a look at these fine flower photographs and tips from the photographers featured on ePHOTOzine.com For the full article click here.
Stewart’s zoom blur flower heads have always stood out in the ePz gallery. He desired to create something much more than just a ‘plain flower shot’. “The method I adopted was purely accidental,” Stewart explains. “I just experimented in Photoshop for a few weeks until I achieved something that was eye catching.
“I had tried using the zoom effect ‘on camera’ but didn’t achieve the same results, my way you can really accentuate the central part of the flower, drawing the viewer in. The blur can and does take away any imperfections with focus and blemishes so all round it’s a win win combination.”
You can learn more about Stewart’s method in a tutorial he wrote for ePz a couple of years ago: Creating zoom blur flower heads
According to ePz, a camera with a great macro facility has been at the forefront of Mike’s production of bold images, helping him to appreciate the colours and detail in flowers.
“When I bought my first digital camera, the first lens I bought was my trusty old Tamron 90mm. I started to sell my work around 5 years ago and made the decision to incorporate black velvet into each image. That way I knew the colour and detail would stand out and make an immediate impression on the viewer,” explains Mike.” I market my work as ‘photographic art for the home’ and I felt that the bold colours would stand out well and make strong statements on any wall.”
“I owe part of my skill set to my fellow ePz members. However, I have also learnt many techniques by experimenting myself. Many set ups can be fairly complex especially when it comes to lighting. The successful set ups often happen after long shoots experimenting with different lighting from different angles until I find the result that I am looking for. Sometimes I know what I want to achieve and others, I just end up liking one of the resulting shots.
The introduction of glycerine (another tip from a fellow ePz member a few years back) to some of my work adds yet another dimension and opens up a whole new avenue of flower photography.”
You don’t need a professional studio to create amazing works of art. “Add to good light a sheet of paper for a background and maybe some greaseproof paper for diffusing the light and it’s an easy set up,” explains photographer Alison on ePz.
I also plant my garden very much with flowers for photographing in mind – that way I can just pop out of the back door and grab whatever takes my fancy.”
Nowadays, ePz explains, “Alison has no particular preference towards macro, full flower shots or a huge vase of them – anything goes. Quite simply, Alison likes flowers because they are pretty, they stay put (usually), don’t talk back or fidget and don’t object when being subjected to the occasional cruel treatment i.e. clamps or wire up the stems when they won’t pose naturally (which is actually quite rare).”
“I usually start out just shooting them against plain backgrounds – black velvet and white colormat,” explains Alison. “Once those are done I might rummage amongst my rather large collection of small vases and bottles and see what happens!”
ePz shares Alison’s advice if you want to have a go at photographing flowers using the most basic equipment: •A Good sized window •Some kind of background •A tripod •Clamp for holding flowers •Greaseproof paper for a diffuser
“Clint first begin playing around with Photoshop back in 2006 after he started using a digital camera,” explains ePz. “As well as using flowers as the focus of his images, Clint also turns them into colourful, out of focus backgrounds”.
The photographers advice? “Pop down to the supermarket and buy the wife a colourful bunch of flowers, wait for her to arrange them nicely in a vase and put them on the window ledge. When she’s not looking, you can move them to a convenient place and use them as a back drop. Shoot at f/2.8 at a distance far enough away from the flowers and you get a nice out of focus background.”
ePz explain that Mandy combined her interest in macro photography with her love for flowers to come up with the perfect photography subject for her to work with.
“As flowers are so diverse in colour, shape and texture they give me a wide range of choice,” explains Mandy. “There’s always something new appearing every day to get excited about.”
“I really like the shallow depth of field associated with macro lens. I usually turn this to my advantage by using large apertures in many of my images to create backgrounds that fall away to a beautiful blur, but for the Poppy shot I used f/22 and went in very close to capture its lovely detail throughout.”
John incorporates textural work in his flower photography to create a unique look all his own.
“The texture work started about the same time as my flower photography when I was shooting some Carnival Glass that used to belong to my grandmother,” explains John. “I didn’t like the background I had used and decided to change it rather than re-shoot. I added a texture layer to the image intending to erase the background and allow the texture to show. Before I erased the background though I played with the layer blending modes and really liked the effect of the texture over the glass. I then tried it on flowers and loved the effect.
Finding the right texture and effect is a matter of trial and error. I’ll play with an image adding various layers of texture and changing the blending mode and opacity until I achieve an image I like. If a texture doesn’t work then I’ll try others.
I still use the technique today although most of my recent work are high key flower portraits with no texture.”
For Full ePHOTOzine article and Photo Credits: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/top-flower-photographers-on-ephotozine-19819
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