Tony Sweet

Close-Up Photography: Shooting Patches of Flowers

Tony Sweet
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Duration:   7  mins

Close-up photography takes creative concentration because it includes careful preparation to capture the intricate details of your subject. In this video, professional photographer Tony Sweet gives you tips on how to photograph isolated patches of garden flowers. You will learn how to identify an ideal macro image, how to align the flowers for optimum depth of field and sharpness, how to avoid background interruption, and how to adjust camera settings for close-up photography.

In close-up photography, the camera requires precise positioning because it has to align with your subject. Therefore, tripod positioning is critical. Tony carefully spreads the tripod legs over the flower bed and uses a 105 macro lens to capture a patch of purple flowers. He shows you how to use the depth of field preview button in order to evaluate the focus before you make your exposure. To obtain sharpness, you want to follow the landscape rule. Focus one-third in from the front of your composition, which will result in sharpness up to two-thirds behind it. Tony recommends shooting at a high f-stop, in this case f45. To accomplish this, the shutter speed is set at 8 seconds.

With close-up photography, you always want to check the camera’s histogram to measure the lighting and the color balance. There are times when will you want to shoot various exposures using different white balance settings to achieve the most accurate colors. For maximum sharpness, the goal is to align your camera lens on the same visual plane as the flower patch. At times, you may want make slight adjustments to the flowers, carefully moving them to avoid background interference. The goal is to end up with a razor-sharp spread of color and texture in a full frame composition. Join pro shooter Tony Sweet for tips and techniques on close-up photography.

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