ESSENTIAL Camera set tings
FOCUS MODE: For fl ower photography, manual focus is often the best option. When shooting fl ower close- ups, autofocus can struggle to lock- on to nearby objects – frustratingly hunting back and forth to fi nd focus. Manual focus will normally prove a more accurate and reliable method, allowing you to place your focus with pinpoint precision. On some digital SLRS, you will need to set manual focus on both the camera body and lens. WHITE BALANCE: Auto WB is normally reliable. However, when you shoot fl owers, the frame will often be dominated by just one colour – maybe white, blue or yellow, depending on the fl ower. This can fool the camera into thinking it is a colour cast, and the camera will incorrectly compensate, creating ugly results. Therefore, your camera’s Daylight or Cloudy WB setting will be a more reliable option. If you are shooting Raw, then WB is less important – you can alter colour temperature with impunity during post- processing. However, if you are shooting JPEGS, it is more important to get WB correct in- camera. ISO RATING: You can take your time when photographing fl owers – they are not going anywhere fast! Therefore, you can set up a tripod and do everything within your control to maximise image quality. Presuming you are using a tripod and shutter speed is of no great relevance, select your camera’s lowest ISO speed – typically in the region of ISO 64- 100. This will keep noise to a minimum and help create the highest image quality possible. If you are shooting handheld, you may have to consider increasing the ISO rating. SHOOTING MODE: Even when using a tripod, physically pressing the shutter release button can create a small amount of camera movement that may soften image quality at slower shutter speeds. Therefore, select your camera’s Self- Timer or Shutter Delay mode to trigger the shutter without physically touching the camera – eliminating any chance of camera motion. A two- second delay is all that is required – long enough for you to move your fi nger away from the camera, and for movement to stop. LIVEVIEW: Presuming you are using a tripod, activate your camera's Liveview facility. This allows you to use the camera’s rear LCD screen as a viewfi nder. You can zoom into the image- space and magnify your subject in order to place your point of focus with unrivalled precision. This is particularly useful when shooting fl ower close- ups. Many cameras now feature an articulated screen. This facilty makes it more comfortable to compose low- level shots.