FLOWER ABSTRACTS – Photography Tip #6

For some reason, I’m stuck shooting flowers.  I can’t seem to pass one without swinging out my Canon and snapping a shot.  I really wasn’t that interested though, until I began to “Fill the Frame.”  I know I’ve talked about this before, but many of you have asked for more information.  So…recently, I’ve discovered that if you fill the frame – but leave a corner blurred, it presents a unique abstract suitable for framing. 

© 2010

Please allow me to demonstrate the difference.

This is the way I see most people present their floral photographs.  And, this is the way I originally shot flowers.  There’s nothing wrong with this shot.  It has good depth of field to distinguish the flower from the background.  It has good color and contrast.  But to me, it seems unnecessarily cluttered with the stem and additional blossoms.

© 2010

However, this is the way I choose to present most of my florals today.  The depth of field is even more distinct.  The color and contrast are even more vivid.  I think this presents a great abstract which could be printed and framed.

 

© 2010

Let me present another example:

Here, even with a shallow depth of field, there are still distractions in the background.  the eye tends to wander to the distractions.

© 2010

But here, all the distractions are gone.

© 2010

Of course, you may disagree with my perspective.  And, you may not want to do this every time.  That’s OK.  There are always different ways of presenting your photographs.  That’s the beauty of photography.  For instance, this is still one of my favorite “Fill the Frame” shots!  But, I didn’t leave a portion blurred like the examples above.  So, it’s all about personal preference.

I’ve received so many comments on this dandelion seed pod.  It’s explosive!

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

All photography is original and falls under the protection and copyright of this blog

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~ by photographyfree4all on July 14, 2010.

30 Responses to “FLOWER ABSTRACTS – Photography Tip #6”

  1. Wow – in the first photo, I can’t tell if I’m looking at a flower or some exotic undersea creature. Beautiful!

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  2. Beautiful shots! Looks like you and I are both into flowers today…lol.

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  3. I love the dandelion seed pod one!! What lens did you use for that one? Was it a macro?

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  4. I like them all, but I like looking at things from all perspectives. 🙂

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  5. These were all shot with my Canon 50D using a 28-2=135 mm zoom lens. Thanks for your comments.

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  6. How very interesting. I think, for the first example I prefer the first picture, actually, but the second one is breathtaking in the second example. I’m finding my camera won’t let me focus closely enough (or I just haven’t figured it out yet), and cropping it down to size makes it lose distinction. Your dandelion is fabulous, btw. Thanks again for sharing these tips with us,
    Heather

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  7. Hi there! I’m glad I found my way over here! I’m a brand new DSLR user, so I’ll be sure to come back for more tips. You’ve got some truly amazing shots here in the little bit that I’ve looked around; I’ll have to look some more when I have more time.

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  8. your are so right… as a florist i can see the point….hahah now waiting for your next lot….cheers

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  9. i like taking the view from the top of roses
    the way the petals are arrange are way too awesome!
    i find it hard to do with other kind of flowers

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  10. Great post! I definitely agree on filling the frame when it comes to macro shots. You get a lot more detail.

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  11. Right on, brother! Your flower shots are beautiful, and really pop when cropped close.
    (Also – Heather my find she can crop in closer if she shoots in raw).

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  12. That’s a really great tip! Something I will definitely keep in mind. All of your “fill the frame” photos are certainly more dramatic. Nice work!

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  13. Interesting perspective. I’ll have to experiment with that. LOVE the dandelion photo.

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  14. You’re obviously having fun exploring photography. You’re getting some great shots already, and you’ve only had your dslr for, what, a month? Even though I’ve taken photos for a long time, I find there’s still so much to learn and so many ways I could improve. Keep experimenting, keep learning. Enjoy the journey!

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  15. I agree with you that the more you fill the frame the more interesting the shot becomes. Especially with something so detailed as petals. I have a question though. For the yellow and red flowers (lilies?) were the two versions of those shots actually the same shot with the second a cropped version of the first? or were they were separate shots in which you zoomed in further with your lens?

    I’m curious b/c I can’t quite get as close as you point out in the zoomed in version, unless the subject is sizeable. However, it’s a clever post processing trick to crop out the “extras” from the shot. If you don’t have to crop too much and maintain aspect ratio, it’s still frameable and can have similar effect.

    P.S. Macro lens is on my shopping list. I’m currently using a Nikkor 55-200mm lens which can get me pretty close.

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  16. Thanks for your comment Cheryl. I have to say, a macro lens is definitely on my shopping list. In my earlier tip about filling the frame, I shared that you could indeed achieve this effect by post procesing cropping. Some of my examples were created by zooming, some were created by cropping. You do have to be careful when you crop if you’re going to enlarge drastically. Even when you crop, you need to get as close as your lens will allow while still maintaining a clear focus.

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  17. Your blog about photography is very interesting.
    I agree with you about cropping. I have recently bought a Canon 550D. With its impressive resolution (18MP) I find myself cropping more often, not only with flowers but in many other cases. The crops are perfectly usable and sharp; the need for zooming the crops is greatly reduced now.

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  18. I’m a newbie at photography – so please accept my musing as that of a novice.

    I’ve shot “macro” with a close up setting on my Canon as well as shooting a fuller frame. I’ll often take that fuller frame and crop it down. Looking at what you’ve posted here, I’ve had this revelation about shooting flora – the question being, what is it exactly about the subject that draws your eye?

    I think – my humble opinion – is that what you’ve shown is that it’s a particular pattern that catches our eye. We’re not interested in the overall arrangement – but that it’s some pattern of lines or colors that interest us. And maybe that’s what we should be “focusing” on.

    I’ve found thru my limited experience that when I take a full frame shot, I end up cropping it down smaller and smaller until it satisfies me. Bringing it in tight is more of a revelation – a more distant shot is just too general.

    Colors, grids, drops of water – you have to bring the eye to a very particular point of interest.

    At least that’s my initial theory…

    – Jeff

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  19. Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I agree with you. With flowers, it’s usually the center of the bloom that draws my attention. For instance in my second example, the center of the bloom seems to be on fire. And, with the full frame version you can actually see the pollen on the pedals. I’m pretty new to photography, as well. But, I follow what my eye is drawn to – then try to frame it in a desirable way, all the time paying close attention to the background. Good luck – keep shooting.

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  20. that dandelion picture is sick! Love it

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  21. HI-
    I totally agree with your tip, I love your flower shots, great job of filling the frame.

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  22. Holy mackerel! That dandelion photo is awesome!

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  23. I loved this blogpost. I haven’t done much flower photography since I got an SLR, when I had the Canon S5 P&S I did a lot 🙂
    after this post, I want to go out and do some more. Nice post, but better photos 🙂

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  24. Great tip on shooting flowers. Love the dandelion example. Sharing tips and ideas is beneficial for all of us photographers. Thanks for info.

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  25. Very nice shots! I’m also stuck on flowers lately and have been shooting flowers with my macro lens. I certainly get a completely different view and feeling when shooting with the macro over the 50-135mm telephoto.

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  26. I agree very much with your thought of filling the frame with the flower yet leaving a blurred corner of the background. It seems like filling the frame helps me focus more on the flower than the background, which is very important. And then it also allows for a better macro shot, and gives more texture to the flower.
    You have some beautiful shots here, and the dandelion is definitely attention grabbing. I like the brightness of the tips, it just seems light and cheery to me, a good sign of summer.

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  27. The dandelion and the red flower are gorgeous! And thank you for this little useful lesson about filling the frame, that made me think more about my flower photos (which I love to take) – I will try to use your ideas in my flower-posts 🙂

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  28. I love that dandelion shot! excellent composition and so interesting!
    Nice one!

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  29. great pictures!

    http://www.pangahas.wordpress.com

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  30. ha! i can see why i need to get into the digital camera world now… my N97 phone camera doesnt do this! nice shots!

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