I found this great article on Huffington Post about why art matters. Here’s an excerpt: “In fact, in a time of crisis, I believe that art matters more than ever. The economy is in a tailspin. We live in a 24-hour news cycle where people are inundated with doom-and-gloom economic headlines and stock market data around the clock. People – regular people, not just hedge fund managers and financial professionals – now spend hours on end glued to their computer screens, watching their 401K’s evaporate, or their pensions disappear. Imagine all the stress this massive tsunami of information causes them on a daily basis, with no respite in sight. But there is a respite, if they only knew where to look. It’s hanging on the walls of the nearest museum. It’s the sculpture in the public plaza on the corner. It’s in the dozens of galleries showing the works of both emerging and established artists. If they could just unplug for a few minutes, and explore, people could discover that art provides a necessary escape – even if only a temporary one – from the troubles of the world.”
It’s really not a secret but I think many people forget about it. It’s light. Lighting is crucial when you shoot macro flower photography. You’re too close to use a camera mount flash, so you either must use natural light (plus a reflector) or plug in some lights. Being that I shoot all my flowers outside or on location, hooking up lights is never an option. So I always pay attention to the time of day it is and look for the flower with the best lighting. Depending on the type of flower and color, rear lighting can work better vs frontal, however I find side lighting works best most of the time. It shows off the shape and curves of the petals better, creating more depth and interest.
Here’s a great slideshow with tips from National Geographic on how to take macro photography. Here’s a few tips: Tip #1: Macro photography is photography magnified. It is generally recognized as “macro” when you are increasing the size of an object in your picture from about half life-size, as represented on the image sensor, to five times life-size. Tip #2: As a general rule you should use an f-stop no wider/larger than f/16 to get all or most of the main subject in focus. If you are photographing a subject that can’t be arranged more or less on the same plane, you will have to decide which parts of it you want in focus. Tip #3: Get creative with macro photography by shooting the subject from an unexpected angle. Try different lighting, as well, using front lighting for deeper color saturation and side lighting to highlight texture. Tip #4: Autofocus doesn’t always work well when shooting extreme close-up photography. Switch to manual focus and you’ll get more consistently sharp macro pictures.
I’m very excited to watch an orchid that was given to me bloom for the second time. So far two buds have opened and I patiently await for the others. This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed an orchid bloom. I think most of us only see them fully bloomed in stores. Every morning with anticipation and excitement, like a child waking up on Christmas day, I come into my office to see what has developed while I slept, as it’s been a trend so far that the buds open at night. There’s about 8-9 more buds growing, should be a nice full stalk of flowers to enjoy.
As humans we’re all attracted to flowers. Not the same way insects are of course, but for other reasons you may find interesting. All the reasons below is why I’m attracted to flowers and ultimately macro flower photography. 1. Color. This is probably the most obvious. Since most fauna is green, flowers really grab our attention and stick out against all the green foliage. These pops of color pull the eye in, especially brighter colors like red or yellow. 2. Smell. Most flowers have a sweet or pleasant smell, and even though that smell is to attract the attention of insects, us humans find joy in “smelling the roses”. Almost all perfumes start out with the scent of a flower. As humans we too are drawn to things that smell good. 3. Shape. Flowers have such unique shapes that aren’t seem much in foliage, like leaves. They have unusual petal shapes and pistols lengths. Humans are always attracted to things that make them wonder why. 4. Flowers die. The fleeting transience of flowers seems to make them that much more precious. We know they have a short life span and then they die so we tend to appreciate them that more and want to bring them into […]
Here in the New Jersey we had a pretty harsh and long winter, as did most of the eastern U.S. So this year’s spring is being welcomed very warmly by many. I found this fun little article about 10 unusual spring flowers to look out for. I hope you enjoy it!
The largest individual flower on Earth is called Rafflesia arnoldii. It has a strong odor of decaying flesh, earning it the nickname “corpse flower”. It is endemic to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Pretty cool!
I always smile when I see daffodils blooming in spring. They are so happy with their bright yellow color. Yellow is the most visible color to us humans, so it’s no surprise that they are loved most among all spring bulbs by a lot of people. They let us know that warmer weather is upon us and to pack up our winter coats, gloves and hats. I’ll toast to that!