Photography forum: Bring us your best tips on Photographing Plants

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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Sep 18, 2014 8:19 PM CST

I know there are many experts out there so feel free to offer your tips here.

I just saw several in the original request to add this forum.

Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 9:03 AM CST
Marilyn, Thank you for posting this. It will be great if some of the folks who upload those gorgeous photos (especially the close-ups!) show us how they've made them. Some of us aren't in a position to attend classes and seminars -- I'm truly grateful when people are able to share their knowledge in ways like this. I tip my hat to you. MR
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 9:21 AM CST
My camera has a foliage setting, I usually choose that mode so colors come out better, not bland or too washed out.

For close-ups, aside from using that macro setting, sometimes it works to step back then zoom to focus. Most of the time some go way too close, blurring the image more. If you step back a bit then zoom you can catch the image better. I also try to push the shutter button carefully halfway and see if what the camera actually sees in the viewfinder stays clear, if it goes blurred, then it is blurred. No amount of Picasa will clear it out.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 9:48 AM CST
I use a Canon Power Shot S5 IS most of the time because of the foliage mode, plus I do not have the DSLR Smiling But for these following photos I am just using my phone camera.

My Canon camera:
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/4d7c7b

It helps to familiarize with this mode dial, this is how you can use the Screen Mode Menu:
Right now the mode dial is aligned to the SCN, that is where you find the Foliage mode. There are other modes, like Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium etc. which you can toggle and choose.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/6d73d4

You will see on the LCD display that leaf icon, which will tell you the Foliage mode has been properly chosen on the toggle button:
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/6f19e5

Pretty much I am just a typical point and shoot person..but I make sure my SCN is showing the Foliage icon on the LCD display before I fire away. My only problem now is I broke the rotating LCD display..I think it affected my focus..but it still functions..and I just keep using this camera more for its Foliage SCN Mode.

I think I should show a sample of a photo shot in Foliage mode and one in just Auto mode:

Taking a photo of my Phal stuartiana 'Sogo'
with Foliage mode:
Colors appear warmer and the speckled aspect of the plant shows more vivid.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/a4c182

with Auto mode: Colors look bland and dull..it still shows the plant image, but looks a bit lackluster.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/7c4eb8

[Last edited by tarev - Sep 19, 2014 9:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Sep 19, 2014 10:22 AM CST

Tarev, I am going to look for my SCN mode, if I have one. It helps to have the visuals. Hurray! Hurray! I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 10:43 AM CST
Oh btw, if you are in a vehicle, and trying to shoot a photo while you are moving, put the setting of the dial in that running man icon, it will capture the photo better.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 10:47 AM CST
Dear Tarev,

I think I must have pretty much the same camera. I don't think I have DSLR either (I just googled that and got this Wikipedia page for the folks who may have it and not know what it is or how to use it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_came...). Now I have to see if I can find this foliage mode. Is that sort of the equivalent of the tulip on the ring dial on the other cameras? Or does this one also have a tulip?

Sorry to be so stupid -- you do seem to be a bit ahead of me, though. Truly, it's only since I got a tripod, which is since I discovered semps and ATP that I've been anything other than a very occasional camera user... Thank You! MR
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 10:53 AM CST
If you are using a smartphone, it may have similar features like my phone.
My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos. When you are on camera mode, you can tap the screen to reveal the menus:

Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/f21de6

Scroll and tap further to reveal more menus:

Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/a330bc

Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 10:54 AM CST
CDsSister said:
Tarev, I am going to look for my SCN mode, if I have one. It helps to have the visuals. Hurray! Hurray! I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.

I agree !!

Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 10:56 AM CST
umm -- no smart phones. We're out in the boonies without any cell phone service. Our broadband is strictly satellite... But I'm going to see what my new mini laptop can do. It is new enough that it might be similar. I've taken some photos and videos with it, but just at a conference I had to attend in June. I should try to see what it can do now with plants and closeups. MR
[Last edited by MotherRaphaela - Sep 19, 2014 3:06 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 10:59 AM CST
MotherRaphaela said:Dear Tarev,

I think I must have pretty much the same camera. I don't think I have DSLR either (I just googled that and got this Wikipedia page for the folks who may have it and not know what it is or how to use it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_came...). Now I have to see if I can find this foliage mode. Is that sort of the equivalent of the tulip on the ring dial on the other cameras? Or does this one also have a tulip?

Sorry to be so stupid -- you do seem to be a bit ahead of me, though. Truly, it's only since I got a tripod, which is since I discovered semps and ATP that I've been anything other than a very occasional camera user... Thank You! MR


The tulip icon is for the macro setting. In Macro mode, you are able to focus on smaller subjects closer to the camera lens, usually about an inch or so away from the subject.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 11:09 AM CST
In my camera, the Macro mode button is near the lens area, the tulip button, below the MF button.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/7d0e20

MF or manual focus is for the advance user who can manipulate manually various camera settings which can be toggled at the mode dial. If using manual focus, mode dial must be aligned to M to reveal the various menus on your LCD screen that you can manually adjust.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 11:17 AM CST
tarev said:In my camera, the Macro mode button is near the lens area, the tulip button, below the MF button.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/7d0e20

MF or manual focus is for the advance user who can manipulate manually various camera settings which can be toggled at the mode dial. If using manual focus, mode dial must be aligned to M to reveal the various menus on your LCD screen that you can manually adjust.

I found it! Duh. Well, it just goes to show how much I didn't pay attention to this camera... So far, it's exactly the same as yours... Thumbs up MR
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 11:56 AM CST
Back of my camera: it may have similar to some:
click and enlarge to see better:

Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/d26a65

Sorry upper right text got chopped off..the on/off button is in that area, then if you flick to the left it goes on review image mode; if you flick to the right goes on shooting mode.

DISP button- text got covered; it just says, to switch viewing between the LCD and telescopic viewfinder

MENU button- if you press that while you are on Review Image mode it will reveal the menus to adjust various camera settings like for slide show, red eye correction, lcd brightness, audio, time zone, shutter sound, etc.
If you press Menu while you are on Shooting mode, it will reveal menus like for digital zoom, self timer minutes, and other various camera modes.

Just play around, and see..it took me awhile to get familiar with them..sometimes the most important tip really is to get to know first your camera. Smiling
[Last edited by tarev - Sep 19, 2014 12:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 12:35 PM CST
Tarev, someone pointed out to me that all we see on the page are large thumbnails of the photos -- if you click on the photo, you see it all "full screen." Thank you so much for all you are doing to help the rest of us! MR
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 19, 2014 12:47 PM CST
Glad to help MR! As I have said, I am also just a point and shoot photographer..thankful for the digital aspect, easy to erase the mishaps Big Grin
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 1:52 PM CST
We have a very old version of Photoshop (7.0-- circa 2002) again, a gift, and we've never updated it because for our purposes, it does just about everything we need (and/or that I've wanted to learn, again by trial and error rather than by the book). So I can take out mistakes with the best of them, and what the camera can't fix, Photoshop often can...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Sep 19, 2014 2:15 PM CST
I use Picasa and Pzap.com for some of my photo editing needs, getting nice collage templates, saturation, brightness adjustements etc.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
Image
MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 3:07 PM CST
tarev said:In my camera, the Macro mode button is near the lens area, the tulip button, below the MF button.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/tarev/7d0e20

MF or manual focus is for the advance user who can manipulate manually various camera settings which can be toggled at the mode dial. If using manual focus, mode dial must be aligned to M to reveal the various menus on your LCD screen that you can manually adjust.


OK that's the piece I missed. I'm going to try again before it gets much too cold out there! MR
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Sep 19, 2014 3:44 PM CST
Here it goes:
for the last 8 years or so I am using my trusty Nikon D50, a very nice SLR with some good features. And some years ago I invested in a Telephoto lens also.
Now there are certain hot pink, almost fluorescent colored Orchid blooms. I tried and tried using every setting on that camera to get that correct shade. Ambient light, a white paper in front of the flash, whatever. I would snap 50 pictures to get perhaps 1 good shot.
I bought myself an IPad Air somewhere this Winter. The Potinara Red Heart 'Neptune' was blooming again around that time so I had to try the built-in camera.
I took 1 picture!!!! And there it was, absolutely spot on color. I couldn't believe my eyes!! This one was super difficult to capture with my Nikon.
Thumb of 2014-09-19/Ursula/be29a7
I still use my Nikon, but only for tiniest blooms using the Macro setting and perhaps some shots of birds with my Telephoto lens. That IPad Air is taking pretty decent shots.

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