I was stunned that he had discovered me among all the other photographers photographing wildflowers in Australia, and stunned that he considered I was worthy enough. Although I have sold wildflower photos and written a few magazine articles about photographing wildflowers, including one for Australian Photography magazine in January 2008, I didn't consider myself a professional. I think however that Rob was looking for someone who could speak in layman terms to would-be wildflower photographers.
What an amazing opportunity and thrill it was for me to be featured in a national photography magazine.
Rob sent me the questions via email, and I emailed my answers back to him, along with a selection of wildflower images. The article was published in the June 2016 edition of Australian Photography magazine. Here is a copy of the opening page.
One of my images was on the opening page. I took this image last year in the Dryandra Woodland Conservation Reserve in Western Australia's wheatbelt. Once again taken in late afternoon light.
Aperture Priority is ideal for photographing wildflowers, and a great place to start when starting out. Set the aperture and the camera will look after the rest. Remember the larger the aperture, ie f2.6, the shallower the depth of field with your subject in focus over a lovely soft blurred background and bokeh (Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light") ie those spots of light in the background you can see in the image below.
With more experience I encourage you to learn how to use full manual controls, setting your ISO, light balance, shutter speed and aperture..... but don't feel overwhelmed, learn about aperture priority first.
|Dryandra, Canon 60D, 100mm macro, f4, ISO 125, 1/400sec|
However it is possible to shoot wildflowers with a compact camera, especially if it has manual settings such as Aperture Priority. Look for the little "flower" symbol on your camera dial. Don't go out and buy an expensive macro lens when you start out. Experiment first with what you have and learn to use your manual camera settings. If you don't have a macro lens, you can use an extension tube or a 'close up' filter which are both less expensive options which work well when you are starting out.
|Crooked Brook Reserve, Dardanup. Canon EOS 60D, 100mm, ISO 125, f5, 1/500sec|
I also encourage you to use the viewfinder on your camera, not the LCD screen, as physically holding the camera against your face, and tucking your elbows into your sides will steady the camera, and in my opinion you will also have better control over your picture taking.
|Manea Park, Canon 60D, f5, 1/80 secs, ISO 200|
I love taking wildflower images, and long for the spring when the wildflowers will be blooming in profusion. It is winter now, but you can still find a few wildflowers in the Australian bush at any time of year. Not able to get out into the bush? Even in our urban environments you can still find wildflowers in nature reserves, bush buffer zones or botanical gardens. Kings Park Botanic Gardens in Perth, Western Australia, is a fabulous place to photograph wildflowers, especially during spring.
Being out in the bush is so rejuvenating and you never know what you might discover.
If I don't have my DSLR with me, my handy little "go everywhere with me" Canon G11 using aperture priority gives an acceptable result when it is my only option, although sometimes I find it difficult to get it to focus where I want it to! I took the photos below with my G11 this morning in our little bushland reserve near our home.
An important part of my bush walking kit is a good pair of hiking boots, spare batteries, extra memory cards and a good comfortable waterproof backpack with padded areas to protect gear. It is also handy to carry a good map or locally produced guide (wildflower locations can vary seasonally) and a reference book for identifying flowers. If you are in Western Australia a particular guide I have found very useful over the years are Eddy Wajon's set of 4 books - Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia. These are available at many visitor centres and bookshops or online. The books are split into 4 regions of Western Australia.
I hope you have enjoyed this little look at wildflower photography. I will blog again later with more tips. In the meantime you might like to look at my previous posts about wildflower photography - How to take great wildflower photos
or go to my Index tab at the top of my blog and scroll down to the Garden and Wildflowers list to find the links.
For more information on wildflowers in Western Australia please click here - Explore Western Australia's wildflowers
|Taken with my Canon G11 compact camera|
Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you enjoy taking wildflower photos? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the comments. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
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