A tutorial of sorts

purple petunia

Shooting reds, purples and yellows is a challenge in the digital photography world. Instead of film, you have a sensor and it’s highly sensitive. I shot these petunias on the VIVID setting of my new Nikon and the image appears oversaturated or “blown out” on some computer screens. I foolishly thought going from film to digital would be effortless. I was wrong.

I’m an amateur photographer, so don’t have a ton of advice to dole out, but I’ve learned two important lessons. First: move in closer, especially with people and flowers. I haven’t done portraits in a long time, but generally, shoot from the shoulders up. And make sure the background is decent. You can always Photoshop the background, but that can be tricky. I find that the less tweaking, the more realistic the photo. Occasionally I’ll play with the saturation, but mostly I just crop a little here and there.

Second: don’t shoot in bright sun! I’ve seen so many photos of flowers that could have been great, but the bright sunlight completely washed them out. You’re basically taking a picture of glare. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but usually you want the sun behind the subject if shooting towards the sun. I try to shoot in light shade, or even dappled shade, whenever possible. Block the sun with your body if you need to!

I’ll use a couple of my photos to illustrate. The first one was shot in light shade:

crocuses II

This one was taken in full sunlight just a few minutes earlier:

See what I mean? Actually, these photos illustrate both points perfectly. Zooming in made the crocuses more dramatic.

You may have noticed I have two Flickr accounts. Whenever I want to show examples of my bad photos (and believe me, there are plenty!) I’ll upload them to the pearlsandprose account. I’ve established a rapport with some really good photographers on Flickr and would never ask them to look at the inferior stuff.

Something else about Flickr. If you want to comment on any of my photos over there, you have to be a member. I’m pretty sure you only have to provide a user name and email address. If you love photography, think about joining. It’s a lot of fun and very educational. I have learned so much in the year I’ve been there.

Hope I’ve been of some help….

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About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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8 Responses to A tutorial of sorts

  1. Ms. Spock says:

    Quite a difference in the two photos. To offer instruction as you are doing is very generous. Thanks!

    Ms. S

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog today. I responded in more detail over there but the short answer is I used winkflash. Good prices, quality not so great. That was years ago – I bet there are a lot more options now.

  3. Lua says:

    Thank you for the helpful advice 🙂 The photos look incredible!

  4. cantueso says:

    🙂 …but you would know that this cannot really be taught. Might as soon be taught on how to write poetry.

    I love your photos precisely because I can’t look and see on my own. Flowers are anyway very difficult to photograph because there is the transparency of the petals reflecting the mood of the day.

  5. I’m glad you like the photos.
    I think poetry is much harder to teach. You either have the gift or you don’t. Having a good visual eye for photography helps tremendously, but I think anyone can take decent photos with a lot of practice. I could be wrong….

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