BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006

Question about shooting flowers

I went to the Dallas arboretum this morning - azaleas, tulips, and others were just beautiful. But nearly everyone of my close-up shots reveal flowers filled with bugs! A few webs, too, and specks of dirt, etc. How to you shoot flowers in a public place? I'm not sure I can step in there and clean off the flower first! Or do you just deal with the "stuff" on the flower. Some I can remove in post-processing, but some exceeds my skills!

To love this question, log in above
3/27/2011 3:42:58 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery Editor's Pick   sfall10 0002
sfall10 0002
f/5, ISIO100, 1/400s, 100mm, tripod
© Carlton Ward
Canon EOS 5D Mark ...
Hi Pat,
I just shoot them as is and sometimes the bugs make the image have more life. Early morning has better light and usually less bugs as the tend to become more active as the day progresses. Here is a tulip I shot early AM with very nice lighting and the morning dew.

I was at the Dallas Arboretum in Oct 2008 :) I lived in Dallas/Richardson for almost 20 years and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2000. The harsh mid-day sun in the south makes for hard light so a diffuser can help. I know some people use a string (with a small alligator clip) tied to their tripod to help steady a flower if there is a breeze blowing. I would recommend looking at several flowers and try to find one with less bugs. I also seek out a flower that is isolated and/or in nice condition.
Hope this helps,

To love this comment, log in above
3/27/2011 10:11:00 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  You're seeing why shooting things in nature requires patience and right-at-right-time more than anything. Try a can of compressed air, if the photos are within reach. Use the plastic tube that comes with it to get the webs to wrap around it to get those out the way. And use the air to try to get the bugs to fly or crawl off the flower.

To love this comment, log in above
3/28/2011 10:42:39 AM

Robert Jensen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/13/2002
  I bring the following with me:

fine mist sprayer
black velveteen
out of focus backgrounds

To love this comment, log in above
3/29/2011 9:53:49 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006
  Thanks for the feedback! I took the diffuser, reflector, tripod, and other things. And I was lucky and got a cloudy day, so the harsh sun wasn't an issue. Next time I'll add in the mist sprayer and canned air! And maybe even some type of little brush. Robert - I love the idea of taking backgrounds. Thanks!

To love this comment, log in above
3/29/2011 8:37:57 PM

Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
Contact Usman
Usman's Gallery
  Oh... so thats why I never win in flowers here at BP, LOL!!!


To love this comment, log in above
3/29/2011 9:58:32 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Meant to say right-place-at-right-time

To love this comment, log in above
3/30/2011 1:13:55 PM

Mary Dimitriw
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/17/2005
Contact Mary
Mary's Gallery
  I shoot at a number of local nurseries and I'm not shy to even re-arrange their floral displays although I don't think I would at a show. LOL
As above, a little puff of air can help to remove specks and bugs. I do a lot of searching as well to find the nicest, cleanest ones.


To love this comment, log in above
4/29/2011 8:14:14 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.