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Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part two

This is a continuation from “Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part one.” In part two, I want to show some of the other images made with the kit I shared with you.

Tool thoughts

Just because you carry a tool does not mean you need to use it. In the previous wildflower photography post I talked about controlling light using the Westcott 20-inch 5-in-1 reflector held by a Wimberley Plamp. For the most part I use the interior diffuser to tame the light most of the time blocking the direct sun and turning it into a relatively large light source in relation to the subject. The larger the light source the smother the shadow edge transitions on your subject. The images below constitute an example that proves not all rules/ideas are written in stone.

Wimberley Plamp holding scrim for softer lighting. Not necessarily the best for this subject

Lumix 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens

The beauty of working with a fisheye lens is that you can create images with an extremely different perspective. I mount the Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens on the Lumix GX85. At about $500 with two lenses, the GX85 is a great second camera deal while it lasts. With the 8mm the it is an extremely compact yet powerful combo that doesn’t take up too much space or weight. When hiking I leave this attached to a small Joby GorillaPod for quick deployment. I also don’t have to worry about changing lenses on my main camera and risking accumulating dust on my sensor.

The lens is approximately one to one and a half feet from the Agave plant and tilted up causing the rounded horizon
Lavender flowers in front of the red rocks of Sedona, AZ

I am normally not a fan of dappled or straight sunlight as I find it a distraction with too much contrast on many occasions. At the top is a dappled light scene that I wanted to correct. Luckily, I photographed it both with and without the diffusion panel. After getting back to the studio I found that the dappled light image had more impact and sparkle than the tamed version. This is an ongoing reminder to work a scene making variations on the lighting and composition and not to follow rules blindly, even if you hear of them from me.

The lavender flower scene was one in which using the scrim between the sun would not allow the scene to render properly as the background would been much brighter than the subject. In this case the scrim was used as a reflector and kicked a little light to help control contrast.

Always test for yourself and keep your vision in mind when making photographs.

Coming soon

The last part of this wildflower photography series will show some results from the use of a macro lens and my extra magnification that I call macro – macro using extension tubes added to the macro lens.

Yours I Creative Photography, Bob

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