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11-27-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
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Favorite Accessory for Yard Flower Photgraphy

Howdy-

I'd like to start getting a little more serious about photographing the flowers in our yard. Is there something you've found particularly useful in addition to the basic camera and lens, tripod, flash and a couple reflectors. Maybe water mister.

I probably have enough to get started, but would appreciate any gear tip you might want to share.

Thanks.

11-27-2019, 06:39 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Extension tubes are fun and sometimes a polarizer.
11-27-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
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Have you got a macro lens?

If not, you would find one very nice for flower close-ups. Often there will be other related things - such as bugs on the leaves/petals/center of the flower - that make interesting compositions.

I would suggest the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR or its predecessors. The longer focal length helps to avoid scaring whatever critters may be on the posies.
11-27-2019, 08:47 PM   #4
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Thank you both. Yes, I have the DFA 100 macro WR. I might look into extension tubes, maybe for Christmas. . .

11-28-2019, 01:58 AM   #5
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I have found that while there are some wonderful specimens available in lots of yards and gardens the settings are often not conducive to making a pleasing photograph. It's not unusual to find flowers in front of an unsightly fence or gaudily coloured ornaments of some kind that make it difficult to simulate a natural setting. Also, I almost always hate the artsy salon look of flash illuminated nature subjects in front of a distant pitch black background. A simple DIY solution is to obtain magazine page sized pieces of thick card stock to hold glued on images of various coloured foliage as backgrounds. Several with different shades of colour can be made. I'm assuming tripod and cable release use after careful composition and focus. If images are too shiny then fresh leaves or other actual plant material can be attached in various ways. Whichever is used, it becomes a simple device to hold behind the subject at slightly out of focus range to provide a setting. I also use it for indoor house plants as a way to control background colour and texture. These cards are easy to stow at the back of any camera bag that is at least that big.
12-04-2019, 02:47 AM   #6
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I picked up a set of extension tubes from ebay for less than AU$20 and haven't looked back. They are manual tubes so I have to set everything by hand but they are worth their weight in gold.

I'd also nip down to your local DIY shop and pick up some bits to make a "Plamp". A Plamp is a plant clamp, one end attaches to the tripod and the other end to the stalk of the plant to hold it a bit more still. Cheap and easy to make it helps keep the object in focus.

DIY “plamp” for under 5! | Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography - Blog
12-06-2019, 07:33 PM   #7
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From1980's use of backgrounds is a really good one. Another way to do this is using fabric -- I have a couple of large different camo colored fabrics that I hang over the fences around my garden to hide the fences and cluttered backgrounds.

A diffuser is also really helpful for shooting on sunny days.
12-06-2019, 08:46 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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5 Gallon bucket.
Light, gets you closer to the ground and saves the knees.

12-07-2019, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by thazooo Quote
5 Gallon bucket.
Light, gets you closer to the ground and saves the knees.
Definitely -- good one. You can also use seating pads to put your knees on and when I'm getting really low to the ground I use an exercise mat to lay on.
12-09-2019, 02:27 AM   #10
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I find my little pop-up diffuser very handy (UK Collapsible Softbox Flash Diffuser Camera Accessories Portable +Carrying Bag | eBay) of that sort of type, but I am not sure that's the one I own.
12-09-2019, 04:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stewtheking Quote
I find my little pop-up diffuser very handy (UK Collapsible Softbox Flash Diffuser Camera Accessories Portable +Carrying Bag | eBay) of that sort of type, but I am not sure that's the one I own.
In a similar vein I've had a lot of good results using the tube from a packet of pringles to direct my flash in the right direction, a sort of quick and simple snoot with the bonus of a snack
12-10-2019, 02:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
From1980's use of backgrounds is a really good one. Another way to do this is using fabric -- I have a couple of large different camo colored fabrics that I hang over the fences around my garden to hide the fences and cluttered backgrounds.
I have used fabric in some situations also. Some additional good points: They can be folded up very compact and also draped over or pinned onto branches and foliage so they do not need to be held. I find they will blow around at times though and I still like a hard card much of the time because I can cover 1 side in foil or white as a reflector.
Having said that, I was using the idea decades ago and now the compact folding reflectors are easy to get and use. Maybe this old idea is past its prime - like me lots of days.
12-16-2019, 07:56 PM   #13
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I have also tried the reverse adapter. Its pretty cheap (less than $10) and gives fairly good results. You can buy one based on the lens you want to use with it.
12-16-2019, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I've got two Wimberley Plamfs. I consider them an indispensable macro tool.
01-05-2020, 09:43 PM - 1 Like   #15
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A belated thank you and Happy New New to all of you. I appreciate all of your great and creative ideas and suggestions, and learning from your experience.
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