Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Photograph Flowers on Cloudy Days
There are some tricks I could have used if I'd really needed to shoot on a sunny day (like putting a diffusion screen between the flower and the direct sun to soften the light), but I really just wanted a "straight" shot made with no extra gear. That decision was part laziness but also, I was using the picture to illustrate a book for beginning photographers--and they weren't likely to own diffusion screens (or the light stands to hold one), so it seemed more honest to shoot the photo in the simplest way possible. Anyway, even though it was raining when I spotted the blossom, I knew that it was a "now or never" shot and so I hauled out the tripod, set up the camera and shot. Good thing I did--the next morning the blossom was completely misshapen by the pounding rain that came during the night and I would never have gotten the shot. The thing I like most about the picture, ironically, is the soft light of the very heavy overcast skies.
So next time you get a cloudy day, head out to the garden and do some close-up work--you'll be pleasantly surprised at how uniformly nice all of your exposures are and just how much color saturation you get in the flowers.