Last week Peter wrote a compelling argument on why you need a macro lens for flower photography……he made several points, a couple of which I completely disagree with. I guess it is a wife’s prerogative to disagree, respectfully of course, on rare occasions. For those of you who know me, you can stop laughing now. So in this episode of He Said/She Said (or our version “He Saw/She Saw”), I’ll be providing a point-by-point counterpoint to Peter’s last blog.
For the images in this post, I used Canon’s 180mm lens on my Fuji XT2 body. I attached the two with a converter, which allowed me to manually adjust the aperture. Unfortunately, I could not stop down more than 2 stops before significant vignetting occurred, which you will notice in the photos. It also made it difficult for me to get appropriate depth of field. Going forward, I will use this 180mm lens on my Canon body to get a full range of depth of field (until Fuji comes out with an equivalent – hint, hint).
Point 1: Flowers that are too tight or too open are not good subjects……disagree. One of my favorite subjects is a single rose bud. Personally I like the sculptural element that comes with the shape of open leaves, or closed buds. I focus on line and curve, and often that is with flowers at the extremes of their life cycles.
Point 2: Processing is fairly straightforward….disagree. I am currently applying a technique that Harold Davis described in his Topaz Labs video, you add a pinch of detail in some places, a pinch of softness in others, to create a contrast in texture. I used this technique on the red Dahlia and the sunflower. For these images I used Nik’s Color Effects Pro (Pro Contrast + Brilliance/Warmth + Foliage) – then “pinched” Detail Extractor for the center and Glamour Glow for the petals if necessary.
I did agree with Peter’s points on using a tripod and cloudy days make flower photography easier – so maybe the dinner conversation tonight won’t be as tense.