Sony a6000; Lensbaby Sol 45 with extension tubes; manual focus.
“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” Therese of Lisieux
After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.
For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.
The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!
The photo below was taken a few years ago.
f/2.8; 1/100 sec; ISO-1250; 60mm – Sony a6000 and Canon 60mm macro lens.
Recently, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and purchased a Sony mirrorless camera. You could label me as “brand loyal” when it comes to Canon cameras. I know how they work, am very comfortable with settings, menus, etc. My motivation – we do a lot of traveling and am tired of lugging heavy camera equipment.
To my surprise, the Sony menu is not very user friendly, and the learning curve for me was very time consuming. But, I must say it takes an incredibly sharp photograph for the price point.
The one component I didn’t research very well was the expense and availability of Sony lenses. Do your homework on lens availability before you buy! The next best option for me was to find a lens mount adapter to allow me to use some of my Canon lenses with a Sony camera. Although the adapter doesn’t work with all of my Canon lenses, it works with the ones I use most often. It arrived today and given it was 7 degrees outside, I decided to do a quick shoot in my kitchen using the Sony camera with a Canon 60mm macro lens.
“On one drop of water are found all the secrets of the universe”, Kahil Gibran
This was a very fun photo shoot. There was this leafy plant in my family room. I decided to spray the leaves. I set up my tripod and attached my macro lens to my camera. Then the shoot began. Lighting was not a concern. There was plenty of natural light streaming in from the windows where the plant was placed.
In shooting macro the best tips that were passed along to me were:
– shoot in aperture priority mode using manual focus
– shoot in live view and magnify the area you are focusing in on
– place a diopter (magnifier) over the live view screen to further focus in the subject
Macro Lens; manual focus;1/4 sec; ISO100