Summer finally arrived in Germany, and I used yesterday’s sunny weather to take some photos of plants and insects in our garden. Mainly because I wanted to see if the many hints and tips on photographing these things I found on the PhotoNaturalist blog (e.g., this post on how to make a subject stand out more).
And indeed, while I still am far from being a good photographer, I can see a difference compared to maybe half a year ago. I know my camera better, that’s from reading the friggin’ manual, but I also know much better what the settings actually DO, what I can achieve with them. I’ve always had a good eye for composing shots, now the other aspects like playing with the exposure etc. are improving.
I’ll put some of the pics in as a gallery to speed up loading of this page, clikc the thumbnails for the larger size.
I think using depth of field to emphasize the subject is the most effective way to compose images of flowers, insects, etc.
While it is mentioned in the PhotoNaturalist page you linked to, it doesn’t discuss using a long lens to blur the background.
I usually use an 80-200 zoom for these type of shots.
He does mention that in other posts, I remember. It’s a good trick.
About depth of field – that’s a two-edged sword! You need enough to get the full flower/insect, and little enough to blur the background. That’s why I normally try to work via long lens and far-away backgrounds also, if I can.