floral photography

Follow me on Pinterest!

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

I have to admit it.  Of late, I’ve been Pinterest crazy.  If you’re not already on Pinterest, you might be thinking, ‘I don’t need more social media in my life, thank you very much.”  But Pinterest is very easy and low maintenance.  It’s basically all about you, you, you!

An On-line Vision Board.

Sept_2013_20130908_0089-1webThe idea of doing a vision board is what initially got me interested in Pinterest.  You know —  a poster board covered with glued-on pictures of your favourite things cut out of magazines.  I thought Pinterest would be a less messy, on-line equivalent so, I got a Pinterest account and started looking around.

Initially they provided me with people to follow so I wasn’t completely lost, but eventually I started following people who liked what I liked.  Along the way, I discovered that Pinterest was so much more than a way to make vision boards.  If you are a visual person, it’s a feast for the eyes.  For me, it’s become a photography mecca, where I can collect photographs I love and return to them again and again.

 

(If you’re really interested in doing a vision board / dream board, here’s another great way to get started.)

 

Check out my flower board.

LongwoodDahlias_20130911_0483-1webIf you’re reading this blog, you know I love flowers, and there is flower photography galore on Pinterest.  I have now pinned more than 700 flower photographs to my boards.  As I pinned away I realized that there were subsets of flowers, so I created a Garden board, then a Floral Design board, then I started to separate them into colours.  Somehow birds found their way onto my flower board until I realized I needed to create a separate board for them.  Who knew I liked birds?  Not me.

Apparently, I’m also interested in architecture, the Isle of Skye in Scotland, horses, boxy glass eco houses, chocolate (no surprise there!) and beautiful nature photography.  Among other things, I’ve seen places and artifacts from around the world that I had no idea even existed.  Pretty cool.

Pinterest experts say you’re supposed to break your boards down into bite-sized pieces, but mine are currently anything but that.  But there’s no pressure … I’ll get to it when I get to it.  By its nature, it’s a work-in-progress.

 

I’d follow you anywhere.

P1030926-2You can start your own boards and follow people you like and collect images from pretty much anything you like.  One of my favourite boards is my Inspiration board.  When I need a little pick-me-up, I can turn to it and find inspirational quotes from Rumi or the Buddha or even Bruce Springsteen.

Pinterest is one of those magical little corners of the internet where you can bliss out on your own and at the same time be following people from all over the world, while they follow you.  It doesn’t take long to realize that even though distance and cultures may separate us, we’re all essentially the same.  We all like a little beauty in our lives.

 

 

Give it a try!

Get out there and find what you like.  You may surprise yourself.

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Floral Photography – Soft Light is Key

Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in My Blog | 2 Comments

It’s pretty obvious – you need light to create photographs, so explaining light should be easy.  But, try googling ‘photography lighting’ and you get a mixed bag of advice and technical jargon.  It becomes confusing really quickly.  So, for my first photography tip, I’m going to stay low-tech and provide some simple tips for using natural light.

Thinking about light in a new way.

I remember reading this when I first got into photography, and it has stayed with me.  When you’re taking a picture, what you’re really photographing is the light.  At the end of the day, that’s all it is.  It’s your job to figure out how to capture the light in a beautiful way as it bounces off and gets absorbed by your intended target.  If you’re ever stuck and not getting the shot you want, it’s helpful to solve your photography puzzle by going back to that basic premise.

Beware sunny days and hard light.

Sunny shots can create unwanted white highlights.

Sunny shots can create unwanted white highlights.

When it comes to photographing flowers, it’s tempting to think, “Wow.  It’s a beautiful sunny day … time to get out into my garden and take pictures!”  But that thinking can lead to frustration because bright sunlight is ‘hard’ light, and hard light, 1) creates harsh shadows and 2) it blows out the white on flowers, creating big white blobs that even photoshop can’t fix.

Low-tech techniques for creating a beautiful photograph with soft light.

Shady shots allow for capture of detail.

Shady shots allow for capture of detail.

  •  Don’t shoot in the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak.  The optimal time to shoot is either at the beginning or end of the day.   In fact, photographers often refer to the ‘Golden Hour’ – the hour after the sun rises and the hour before the sun sets – as the best time to photograph outdoors.  You don’t have to adhere strictly to the Golden Hour guidelines, but be aware that the beginning of the day and the end of the day have the most diffused (soft) lighting and will provide the best lighting for flower photography.
  • Wait for a cloudy day.  That seems pretty obvious, but things like clouds and fog act as diffusers, creating a soft pleasing light when photographing flowers.  Different types of clouds bring different types of light too.  It’s fun to experiment with what type you like.  The ‘before a storm’ yellowy glow?  Low black clouds?  High white clouds?
  • Another fairly obvious option is to find some shade, though that will limit what you can photograph and can sometimes produce dark results.  Use an umbrella to create your own shade.
  • Generally, turn off your flash and use the available light.  The flash is often too bright, and if you’re taking an up-close shot, the flash may not even be aimed at the flower you’re focusing on.  That said, you can eliminate shadows if you use your flash, so if you don’t like how a shot looks, try turning on your flash back on.  You never know!
  • Use a diffuser.  If you’re serious about getting soft light you can set up a Soft Box Tent Cube in your back yard or on your balcony and arrange the flowers inside the cube.  You can use the background colors that come with the cube or make your own.
  • If you’ve found the perfect flower, always try a few different angles and perspectives.  You won’t regret taking too many shots, but you will regret not taking enough.  Tip:  try photographing flowers from below!

Have fun!

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if you follow all or any of these guidelines.  What really matters is having fun spending time doing something you love.  And remember, if you photograph something you love, share it!

 

See Tip #2 – Depth of Field, Blurry Backgrounds, and Bokeh

 

 

Soft Focus

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in My Blog | Comments Off on Soft Focus

LW_APRIL_2013_3_1779cropweb

Here’s another photo of Spring in action.  This photograph is  stylistically different from the photos I posted last week in that this photo is less about sharp composition and more about colour.

I used my Lensbaby for this photo, which I’ll blog more about in the future.  I love how the lens creates an unfocussed painterly effect.  As I’ve said previously, I’m usually more interested in capturing the feel of a beautiful flower, rather than documenting in everything in sharp detail.  Don’t get me wrong — I love sharp detail too!  But I tend to lean towards softer focus.

Tip:  If you’re photographing flowers, remember to pay attention to the background.  It can make a really big difference in the composition and quality of your photo.

Welcome!

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

DSC_0285-copywebWelcome to my Flower Photography Website and Blog!

My plan is to share my love of flowers and photography with you.  I’ll be exploring topics like: types of flowers, floral design, floral art, where to and how to photograph flowers, books, websites, and more.

Please bear with me as I develop my webmaster skills, and figure out how to sell my flower art on-line.  In the meantime, you can always reach me at kharbin@rogers.comEnjoy!  Karen

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