Monday, August 22, 2016

The Power of the Flash

Cleome's little details highlighted with dark background.
If you love taking pictures of your gardens, then I have a deal for you!

Go outside near dusk (that would be when the sun has set but you can still see to walk around) with your camera on flash.  You may also want to use bug spray because that's prime time for biting insects.

Annual grass that only looks totally red in the sun.
The main reason to do this, is at this time of day, the flash will spotlight the object and the background will be dark.  An example is the cleome picture (above) I did the other evening.
Yarrow heads are made up of tiny flowers.  
It's hard to capture tiny flowers in full sun.  With a flash and dark background, it highlights them.
Hosta "Prairie Dazzler" was hybridized for it's gold crepe leaves.
Leaves may not show details unless highlighted by the flash.  This hosta is a good example of highlighting the very details that make it different.

Another reason is it will show the actual color and details of the items much better than when it's only accented with the sun.  The sun can distort color or have it so bright the details are fuzzy.
Donkey Tail Spurge with a drop of rain.
By eliminating or fuzzing the background, the item is totally spotlighted.  Backgrounds can be distracting.  During late summer, some foliage is beginning to look pretty ragged and this eliminates those less than pretty backgrounds.
This big boy was very happy to have his picture taken and
even had a drop of rain on his wing.
Most of us think of night insects in terms of pests but there's a boat load of interesting things flying about at night - some pretty amazing moths and the occasional bat will make a great picture.

Maple leaves showing Chlorosis.
If you have a plant where you need to identify a problem, this is the perfect time to get a picture showing exactly how it looks.  This picture of my maple shows "chlorosis" extremely well and helped to identify that problem.  Not that it made it any more fun but it allows earlier treatment when you can figure it out right away.

The wind often dies down at dusk and this will allow for fewer fuzzy pictures brought on by movement.

Western sky in late fall.
It's a time of the early evening when clouds are often moody and silhouetting is easier.

Getting close ups of things is always a bit tricky in full sun.  With a flash and photo cropping, it can give you some super natural and abstract looking pictures.  Let your inner artist shine!

If you're a picture taking gardener like me, click on the top picture and look at them in a larger format.  Now outside to weed - the daily task all gardeners in this area have had this summer.  

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