Irises forum: Your best photo tips for taking good iris pics.

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 4, 2017 1:19 AM CST
Hello, I am just getting into iris. I am hoping to get some tips on taking great iris pics.

I have found out that taking pics on a windy day is difficult. Please join in showing your best shots. Thank you!
Thumb of 2017-05-04/bluegrassmom/e43f6f Mango Entree




Thumb of 2017-05-04/bluegrassmom/75842a Queen's Circle

Just by chance I found out that a black background makes the iris colors pop. This is in front of my black storage building.

Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
May 4, 2017 1:33 AM CST
A friend of mine takes all his Iris "portraits" with a black screen behind them. It really does make them pop...
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 4, 2017 1:33 AM CST
Those are great photos! Thumbs up

I only use a small simple digital camera, so I have no camera tips to mention.

A good overall tip would be the time of day you decide to take your photos. My favorite time to take photos are right after it has lightly rained, during overcast, or at sunset.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
May 4, 2017 1:36 AM CST
Yep.. overcast or foggy is good... just as the sun is coming up or going down can yield good results too.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
May 4, 2017 4:58 AM CST
I find it useful to take pictures of an iris when it first opens and again after a day or two. Some irises can change shape and colour as they mature.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
May 4, 2017 4:58 AM CST
Thank you, I have even heard that one gardener painted a large piece of cardboard black. One of my daughters purchased me a tripod, which I have yet to use. Angry
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
May 4, 2017 11:03 AM CST
IrisLilli said:I find it useful to take pictures of an iris when it first opens and again after a day or two. Some irises can change shape and colour as they mature.


I agree, you get quite different shots. I like early morning and end of the day shots because you get some really nice lighting. But then, I like full sun shots while others prefer to always shoot them in the shade. I have never thought to put a backdrop behind them. But many of my pictures do have a grass green backdrop from my lawn, or the fan leaf backdrop. Hilarious!

Take several shots because it increases the odds that you get a really good picture. Thanks to digital cameras you can take more pictures and easily delete those you don't want or didn't turn out. As for windy days - I wait until the iris has quit swaying then take a shot or two. It takes patience for sure.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 4, 2017 11:48 AM CST
I don't really have any tips, but I have learned to mostly shoot in overcast conditions (if possible) or else maybe in shade. The problem there is that colors can show quite differently between sun and shade.

Below are images of 'Autumn Thunder', the same bloom from a slightly different angle, taken literally about 5 minutes apart - shade versus sun. The first shade image, and the sun image, are untouched (except for cropping and resizing). I also show PhotoShop manipulations on the shade image, to try to get closer to the bloom's true color.

But which image has the true color? Confused

Thumb of 2017-05-04/Polymerous/287358 Thumb of 2017-05-04/Polymerous/a58463 Thumb of 2017-05-04/Polymerous/739c5a
Shade, unmanipulated; Shade image, "Auto Fix"; Previous image, with exposure adjustment;

Thumb of 2017-05-04/Polymerous/7c8a68
Sun, about 5 minutes after the first image
Celebrating reblooming irises! This is 'Grape Echo'.
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
May 4, 2017 1:33 PM CST
I found that bright sun really wipes out the colors, especially purples. Overcast and near sunset seem best. Nice display of differences in lighting conditions. Keep up the experimenting and post the results for the rest of us to learn from.
Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
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lilpod13
May 4, 2017 4:54 PM CST
Lot's of good tips and information already provided. Also, I find it useful to use a light filter on a number of my photos because it helps bring out the definition when there is a lot of white or light pastel coloration in the bloom. Sometimes, on first impression I think the photo looks 'too dark', but after downloading it onto the computer I find it worked out well. Here is an example of such a photo where using the filter made the image darker, but the details of the white standards were captured much more effectively as you can make out the folds of the flower from Blyth's 'Colours of the Wind'.


Here is another example with Sutton's 'Ruby Moon'.







And my favorite, Blyth's 'Nothing But Class'. (And there is no black back-drop, it was late afternoon and the filter setting created the effect).




Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
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lilpod13
May 4, 2017 11:18 PM CST
(In addition to the tip about early morning and/or late afternoon shots when the rays of the sun aren't shining on the blooms and causing an over exposed or 'white-out' affect)
I found that it's good to try both the morning and/or afternoon shot and see what works best for each type of bloom. For instance; my shot of Johnson's 'Paul Black' cultivar in the morning worked well because the light from the rising sun was hitting the flower 'head on' and thus it brought out the luminescence of the flower.



But for Ghio's 'Plot Line', the late afternoon shot worked better because the light was coming from behind the bloom and illuminated the standards as if they were 'on fire' (the falls being opaque were not affected and the deep red color made a compelling contrast to the standards).



So take many shots during different times of the day and find out what works best for you. (And there are some blooms such as Tasco's 'Solar Fire' that I prefer shots during the day light hours because the colors 'come to life').
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
May 4, 2017 11:24 PM CST
Also hold the camera as still as possible if not using a tripod, and try holding your breath as you take the picture.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
May 5, 2017 1:52 AM CST
If you are going to take any dusk shots (such as, in a Moon Garden), you need to set up a tripod; you can't use flash, and you simply can't hold the camera steady. You can get some interesting shots that way, though. (I haven't tried it with irises, but I've taken a few pictures of daylilies, a dahlia, and other white flowered things near dusk.)
Celebrating reblooming irises! This is 'Grape Echo'.

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