Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Leaving as the tulips fade...

Red tulips with beautiful shadows cast on a yellow house. Perfect sunset light. ©2017 Tina M.Welter
Perfect sunset light on these red tulips.
Taking photos of the flowers in this lovely old neighborhood in Baker City has been a delight to me this year. If I was feeling tired, overwhelmed or just plain blue, I could grab my camera and step outside to go hunting for something beautiful to capture and I rarely came back disappointed. All winter I longed for the flowers to start blooming again. 
Tulip buds ©2017 Tina M.Welter
So excited for the blooming to begin!
 Spring was here early last year, so we missed most of the tulip blooms. It’s a fitting completion of our year that we will be moving as the tulips fade and the irises begin. 

Some of my thoughts to share if you have a hankering to go photograph flowers this spring/summer too! 

First, honestly, not all my photos are winners. Part of the fun is being surprised by which shots turn out to be the best once I can see them full size on my computer.

What I consider when I am out taking pictures:

What direction is the sunlight light coming from? Are there nice shadows and highlights on the flower to make the photo more interesting? Often low angle light at sunrise or sunset is the best, decide when those flowers you want to capture will have that light and plan to go out hunting at that time. 
Red and Yellow tulips, good morning! ©2017 Tina M. Welter
Wonderful morning light.
 What is the best level and angles? Does the photo improve by getting down on the same level as the flowers? What if I take a step to the right or left? 
Peppermint stripe tulip, top view. © 2017 Tina M. Welter
I thought I had the best angle, until...
Peppermint Stripe Tulip, side view ©2017 Tina M. Welter
I decided to try a lower viewpoint!

Be aware of the background. What is going on behind the flower, does it distract from the focus of that beautiful bloom? Zoom-in or move the camera, see I can get a more flattering backdrop. 
Red Tulips and blue grape hyacinths in nice morning light with car and garbage can. ©2017 Tina M. Welter
Lovely tulips...with car and garbage can!

Red tulips with treebark background. ©2017 Tina M.Welter
I took a few steps over to change the background.
Red flowers can be difficult to photograph in bright sun! Often my photos would have no detail and look like big red/orange blobs. I had to research to find out why this is, it can be so aggravating! Basically, intense shiny-red can overwhelm the sensors in your camera. P.S. your camera is not broken! 
There are discussions on this topic with all the geeky details. For example, the StackExchange discussion board covered this question about red flowers here.
If you are baffled like I was about what a “histogram” is, here is a very informative post on the subject from Todd Vorencamp who understands and can explain the technical side much better than me! How to read your camera's histogram. 

The super simple solution I took from all this information? Underexpose or try to photograph red flowers in partly shaded or filtered light. For example, one person suggested using an umbrella! I tried looking for red flowers with partly shaded light and I was thrilled with the results. 
Scarlet beauties. ©2017 Tina M.Welter Low morning light plus a little shade equals gorgeous tulip photo!
Low morning light plus a little shade equals gorgeous!
 Editing. I try to get the best photo I can, but the crop photo edit feature in my computer is my favorite tool. Sometimes just cropping a photo to get a better composition turns an “o.k." photo into a “wow" photo. 
White tulip with friends. ©2017 Tina M.Welter
This is a lovely photo full of color, but...
White tulip, wow what a soloist! ©2017 Tina M.Welter
 I also think this cropped photo has more "wow" factor.
So, there you are, all the things I think about beside hoping people won’t yell at me for hanging around their front yard! I do try to intrude as little as possible. Learn to use the super zoom and practice steadying your camera to get those flowers that are so tempting but are a little too far away, it really works. Double-check your focus, and if it's nice, shoot twice!

Pink Tulip Twins ©2017 Tina M.Welter I couldn't resist these, I had to capture them.
The lady who owns this garden is kind of grumpy, so I shoot long distance!

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