As I scrolled through my photo-dump site of choice, I noticed that the better photographers spent time taking photos of a flower that looked particularly wicked. I am not a gardener, so I was unfamiliar with the type of flower there were photographing. While at a local grocery store last week, as I always do, I stopped by the flower section to find flowers to photograph. I noticed that particular flower – the phalaenopis orchid.
This morning, I bought a potted orchid plant and spent a little over an hour shooting the orchids in high and low key. First, I was careful to shoot from multiple perspectives. I wanted to highlight the column, lip, and callus. Also, I worked quite a bit on back-lighting. Also, I spend some time using the macro extension tube I purchased last week. Here are some of the low-key shots and all of them were three-shot HDR shots.
I had two big take-aways from this shoot. I’m still not happy with the depth-of-field with the macro extension tube. This, apparently, is one of the criticisms of the tube, and I knew this going into the purchase. The tube I purchased doesn’t have the electronic connections to sync the lens with the body. Thus, the body reads the aperture at “00.” I’m trying to decide if I want to spend the $90 to get the tube with the electronic interface or apply that to a true 100-mm macro lens. Also, when I shot high-key shots with the extension tube and a flash, I did not get the whites that I wanted. I have a lens light; that will be what I use next time. I do want to say, however, that I have enjoyed the tube. When I crop the image in, I can create some pretty cool images.
Second, I am enjoying using manual focus more than auto-focus while shooting macro shots. I was forced to use manual focus when I installed the macro extension tube and now love controlling the point of focus. I doubt I will go back to AF while shooting macros.
Here is my set up for this shoot:
- ISO 100
- Manual mode
- Portrait scene setting
- Tungsten light white balance
- External shutter release
- Desk lamp with two sheets of print paper taped over the shade.
Here is what he set up looked like:
Hey, don’t leave without hitting the “follow” button!