26/04/2011 Bluebell Shoot at Lanhydrock Julia and I arranged to get some time with Ross Hodinott, a local photographer who does a lot of workshops. We wanted to work on the use of our macro lenses. So we met up at Lanhydrock where the bluebells are in full bloom. We spent about 6 hours roaming around and taking some grand photos. Here are some of the thing I learned:
When shooting macro, look for the best example
of the flower or subject. We wandered along looking at lots of bluebells before
we came across the ones to shoot.
- Background is as important as subject. The reason is that the background will blurr into a color pattern. A great bluebell by a brown tree could give you a lovely blue with a shit brown background.
- Make sure your field is uncluttered. Your subject should be something you can isolate. Clutter is anathema in macro shooting.
- Keep your camera parallel to the subject. Shooting down will lose definition and color.
- Be prepared to use a reflector. It will throw light on the subject to give you a subtle but necessary boost.
- Check your shots by examining the enlarged image to see whether focus is good.
- Try bracketed shots to determine whether you have the right aperture.
- Even the slightest breeze will distort your image to be prepared to wait for the moment.
- Using a cable remote is a good idea.
- Always shot with a tripod for macro.
- With macro it is a good idea to use the widest aperture possible.
- Your ISO should be set at 200.
We had a grand day. The weather was warm and although there were breezes, they died toward evening. Late in the day we came to a field of wild garlic and bluebells that was
enchanting so we switched to wide angle lenses and got some wonderful shots. For these shots, I used an aperture of f/11. I continued to use the tripod, but I kept it close to the ground so I could get a dog’s eye view of the field.
In all I took 44 photos. We spent lots of time wandering around looking for appropriate subjects. Ross said that was not unusual for him. In the evening we tried for sulphur butterflies resting on cookoo flowers, but they hadn’t settled in for the night yet. Ross
suggests going out in late evening to a field of cookoo flowers and checking
where the butterflies are resting. Then return early in the morning and shoot
them before they wake up and leave. I will try this in the field of cookoo
flowers down at Congdons.