Saturday, 29 December 2018

Mt Tomah Botanic Garden Workshops

In the lead up to new local workshops next year (Saturday April 6, 2019, September 15, 2019), here are a few flower shots taken in the Mt Tomah botanic gardens.

The gardens will be the centre of the workshops which concentrate on how to master pictures of flowers, landscapes , colour, patterns, details and ultimately, extreme close-ups. 


Workshoppers will learn how to isolate subjects from the background, record accurate colour, manage depth of field, deal with camera shake, shutter speed, plus, how to use tripods [properly], use fill-flash and, if you own one, use off-camera flash and reflectors, to add modelling light to the subject.

Generally, to get a close-up shot like this you'd need to use a Macro lens.
If you don't have one of those (quite expensive) accessories, you could use an extension tube.
These are easy to use and are a (significantly) cheaper option to a real macro lens.
A set of extension tubes, like this one for Nikon, will cost anywhere between $15 and $100 depending on brand and model. They have no glass or moving parts so are easy to use on most lenses. Main disadvantage is that they produce even less depth of field than a Macro lens, so focussing and aperture settings have to be carefully considered.

Water lilies are one of the hardest flowers to shoot simply because the best blooms generally sit well away from the edges of the pond in which they are growing so, short of wading into the water, you can't get to them.
Not so with this beautiful example - shot with a 100mm focal length Macro lens.

A Macro lens is the ideal tool to pick out tiny objects, like these exquisite buds just coming into bloom.  On my workshops you'll learn how to control the depth of field - the amount of 'stuff' that you get in focus by choosing the right aperture and focussing technique.

No need for a Macro lens in this example.
This protea is about the size of a small dinner plate!
Learn how to isolate your subject using the right camera angle, lens focal length and of course, aperture setting...

Beautiful foxglove snapped at f5.6 with a telephoto lens to push the background out of focus - thus isolating the subject from the background...


Colour is a perfect subject for all photo projects.
In this shot it's all about green on green, a combination that's often overlooked by photographers who often chase the brightest, punchiest hues.



Most photographers stand in front of their subjects and snap away from an average height and distance.
To make your images stand out from everyone else's, it's important to learn how to shoot from a different point of view (POV) like this example, low down and horizontal to the ground.
A sight to behold!
Even if you are not into gardening, this is a fantastic blue puya plant, with its hundreds of tiny blue flowers attracting a whole range of flying insects and native birds, is a magnificent photo challenge.
Sometimes you get lucky.
Finding a less obvious point of interest, such as this ladybug, works nicely as both a point of focus and spot colour...



Wintery landscape? Mt Tomah at its best, shot with my infra-red converted Canon 400D.
It gives a completely different look to your landscapes.
All cameras can be converted to shoot IR - there are several types of infra-red conversion (depending on the company that does the work) and it's a great way to re-vitalise an old digital camera...