Recently, I watched part of a video series with food photographer Penny de los Santos. It was fascinating to watch a pro at work, and the thing I remember most was her advice to stay with the subject. Change your point of view, change your settings and just keep trying something new.
So even though I’m an amateur, I’ll share the process that I used on a beautiful clematis I saw one morning last month. It’s a little battered after the rain, but still lovely….
I took this in the morning when there was nice light and the plant was mostly in light shade. As I’ve said before, bright sunlight washes out colors and you’re basically taking a picture of glare. Don’t feel bad if you’ve been doing this–I did it for years!
I always take vertical and horizontal shots. As Penny pointed out, most magazines and books have a vertical layout, so keep that in mind if you want to be published. I think portraits are always better shot vertically. Unless there’s a stunning background, but then what’s the real subject?
Vertical orientation of the same shot.
This one is too battered to put on my main Flickr page, plus the highlights are blown out a little. I should have changed the aperture or shutter speed or both. I’m using this to show how you can get in closer and get a more dramatic shot. And mistakes that can and do happen.
Less battered and the main subject is more shaded.
Another vertical shot. This time I noticed the beautiful green in the background and moved around until I had it in the right place.
Finally, a closeup on a pristine bloom with the background I wanted:
See you on Friday!