STEP BY STEP

Say it with flow­ers

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Watch the weather

Cloud­less blue skies aren’t ideal for flower pho­tog­ra­phy; di­rect light can be too harsh, re­sult­ing in too much con­trast, with blown high­lights and lit­tle de­tail in the shad­ows. An over­cast day will pro­duce much more even and soft light, which is far more flat­ter­ing.

2 Con­trol the aper­ture

Shoot in aper­ture pri­or­ity mode for con­trol over depth of field. Wide aper­tures pro­duce a shal­low depth of field to blur the back­ground and make sub­jects stand out. Shoot with too nar­row an aper­ture and the sub­ject will blend awk­wardly into its sur­round­ings.

3 Se­cure your Nikon

A tri­pod not only avoids po­ten­tial cam­era shake is­sues, it forces you to think clearly about your com­po­si­tion. Get down low so you’re level with your sub­ject; you’ll need a sturdy tri­pod with legs that can splay out so you can shoot close to the ground.

4 Keep your com­po­sure

Shoot­ing at low an­gles can make look­ing through the viewfinder awk­ward – if not im­pos­si­ble. En­able Live View to com­pose and fo­cus your shot. Zoom in to 5x or 10x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion and twist the man­ual fo­cus ring on your lens un­til your sub­ject comes into sharp fo­cus.

5 Re­flect the light

A re­flec­tor has mul­ti­ple uses; use its dif­fuser panel to shade your sub­ject to soften light when the sun is out, po­si­tion it at an an­gle to bounce light back into the shad­ows to re­veal more de­tails, or sim­ply use it as a wind break on breezy days to keep your sub­ject still.

6 Brighten things up

When shoot­ing white flow­ers your cam­era may over­com­pen­sate for the bright tones, re­sult­ing in dull, grey flow­ers. In­crease ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion to brighten them up, but be care­ful not to blow the high­lights and pre­cious de­tails in the del­i­cate petals.

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