High Contrast Plant Macro Images

This article features a selection of high contrast plant macro images. All were photographed handheld using the Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 290 mm

The first consideration when creating these types of images is to select a subject that is decently separated from other flowers and foliage.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 285 mm

Composing the photograph so the subject blossom is up against a very dark, shaded background is required.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 300 mm

While it is usually not possible to find a black background, this effect can often be achieved in post by adjusting shadow, black and contrast sliders.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 475 mm

Very simple compositions often work very well and can create an elegant feeling.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 395 mm

I find It is best to use a small, single auto-focus point. This is especially true if you are trying to focus on a very small detail in your composition.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 295 mm

Subjects with some character can create arresting visuals.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 505 mm

Sometimes wilted or dying flower buds can create a photograph with interesting textures.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 710 mm

Look for very fine details which can be accentuated against a dark background.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 575 mm

It is important to shift your shooting angle, trying different compositions using the same, or similar subject matter.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 255 mm

Often very simple compositions can have considerable impact. High contrast plant macro images are well suited to a minimalist composition approach.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm macro f/2.8, efov 120 mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO-200, Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash used, subject distance 775 mm

When shooting with the Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, I used TTL mode, and adjusted the heads to minimize hot spots.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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