Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photographing Tulips - Light Matters

Light matters when photographing tulips.  These are my tulips.  And I always get asked what they are because they have several layers.  They are a type of parrot tulip.  I wish I could remember exactly but that'll give you a head start when you hit the garden center this fall. I started with 6.  Most other tulips get smaller with age but not these. Oh and Tulips need a lot of water in the fall or you'll get smaller blooms or just leaves.

My camera is a D7000 and I used my 50mm f1.8 lens.  My settings remained the same except that a few times I tried 1.8 but went back to 2.8.  These first few were taken at f 2.8, 1/200 second, ISO 200 in Fine Jpeg mode. In the photo above I darkened the blue saturation using the jpeg raw slider and that's it.  The rest I did nothing to.  Straight out of the camera.

These first few photos were taken at 6:55 p.m.  so the direction of light was from the side.  The mountains blocked the sun soon after this.  I thought I'd let you compare the photos. 

You can click on the photos to see them larger, just remember to come back and finish reading this quick lesson. As you can see the light shining through the petals and leaves is gorgeous. 

Now this photo was take at 7:11pm.  Can you see the difference? The sun just barely went behind the mountain. Still some direction of light.  Not the same contrast.  It's still pretty but it's lacking something.  Never assume that the sweet light that is great for some portraits is great for all types of photography.  Enjoy experimenting with light.  You'll be surprised what you find. 

No comments: