Many of us who prefer to shoot handheld are also skewed to use natural light in our images. This article shows some examples of natural light with macro photography. All of the images in this article were captured handheld at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RGB) in Burlington Ontario. I used the Handheld Hi Res mode (HHHR) with my Olympus OM-D E-M1X for all of the photographs in this posting.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When looking for subject blossoms when shooting macro photography I typically first look for interesting natural light. I liked the side lighting in the above image as it helped to bring out some of the subtle details in the white and ruby coloured petals.
Here we have some nice contrast between the feature blossom catching some light, while the background stayed shaded.
There was a sufficient amount of diffused light in this scene to give me some nice contrast. All of the images in this article were captured under very overcast conditions.
Flower macro photography is best done under diffused light as it makes colours richer and avoids harsh shadows.
Sometimes our eyes will catch just a glimpse of a highlight on the tip of a blossom. This can make for an interesting compositions.
While this type of lighting can work with more complex images, I prefer the simple approach.
Even rather mundane looking subjects can make for good macro subjects if the lighting helps to highlight details, or creates some good contrast in the composition.
I like to find very simple colour pallets. These can give photographs a quiet and calm feeling.
Finding blossoms against dark backgrounds almost always results in a decent macro image.
Backlighting, even if only partial, is ideal to highlight small filaments on the edges of a petal.
The real beauty of a macro photograph is always found in the smallest of details. Contrast and monochromatic backgrounds often add to the feeling in a macro image.
Of all of the images I captured during my two hour visit at the Royal Botanical Gardens, the one above was my favourite. I love how the natural light makes the details along the petal edges pop. The next time you wake up to a dull overcast day… celebrate! Grab your camera and macro lens, or put some extension tubes in your bag. Then… look for light!
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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