Daylilies forum: Capturing the correct Color in flowers

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Name: Heidi
CT (Zone 5b)
Always find the awesome in your day
Daylilies Garden Photography Region: Northeast US Region: United States of America
May 19, 2016 6:53 AM CST
I continually see comments about not being able to get the best color in pictures, so I thought that I'd share some info that I got from my dad.

My father is a botanist and has traveled all over the jungles of Southeast Asia in his quest to find different ginger species. As a result, he and his fellow researchers have spent endless hours in the field with their cameras working to get the most accurate photos of these different plants for the scientific articles that they write. He has recently written an article in some scientific plant journal on photographing flowers.

So when I was out to visit him last year, we played a little with my digital camera. It isn't a DSLR, nor is it 100% automatic, but I am able to use different features to adjust the ISO and exposure time as well as aperature and f/stop.

What I found is that I was able to bring out the best colors changing the ISO. I have found too when I go back and look at the details of the pictures, my best pictures tend to come from my i-phone and the majority are with ISO's of 100 or less.

The other thing that really seemed to work (and gave us the best saturation of the deep blue/purple flowers that we were practicing on) was to not use the macro feature, but instead to step far back and then zoom in and use the flash.

This was the result:
Automatic settings
Thumb of 2016-05-19/mom2cjemma/caa983
ISO-100, f/8, exp 1/4 sec, no flash

Thumb of 2016-05-19/mom2cjemma/e8567d
ISO-100, f/8, exp 1/60 sec with flash

Thumb of 2016-05-19/mom2cjemma/c2a6cc
ISO-200, f/8, exp 1/60 sec with flash

So the best thing to do is get to know your camera. Don't be afraid to mess around with settings, until you get what you like. The worst that will happen is that your battery will die and you will run out of memory on your card!! Grumbling

Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
May 19, 2016 7:00 AM CST
Great suggestions. I have a very blue pulmonaria that I have been trying to photograph well. I am going to give your suggestions a try Thank You!
Name: DND
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
May 19, 2016 1:36 PM CST
Reds are a big issue for me...which is difficult when the majority of my daylilies are red! I was trying to capture a photo of a gorgeous, true-red rhododendron and my phone just wasn't having it. I'll try your suggestions in the future and see what happens!
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
May 19, 2016 7:03 PM CST
A little shade seems to help with all colors. Try a light diffuser. I made a simple one by stretching some thin, white, semi-opaque plastic over a 16" hoop.
Plastic shopping bags work pretty well.

I've noticed that the iPhone works better for some colors and my digital SLR works better for others.

Under exposing purples helps to kill the red tones that always seem to show up. Using a gray card or the palm of your hand to set the exposure gives a good starting point.
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
May 19, 2016 10:43 PM CST
My blue daylilies when photographed all look washed out mud colored. Anyone else have this problem?

Actually the iPhone 6 series has a pretty decent camera which I believe has been passed on to the newer iPhone 5s. The real trick is to practice. Take a lot of photos of the same daylily in the same light and try making one step adjustments in whatever settings are available to you. Setting the ISO to a low value (50 or 100) will require slower shutter speeds and so a more steady hand, or larger f stops (smaller numbers, f 2.6 is larger than f 4) which has the added value of reducing your "depth of field." That means that your background will be more out of focus.

There end of Photography .1

If nothing else have fun and relax when you take pictures. Look at the scene you are taking and not at your screen.

Live your dreams!

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