Spring is in the air and depending upon where you are the bloom has begun or will be coming your way soon with the April showers. (or snow in some cases!!) I’m going to share my kit for getting out and capturing the botanical blooms. And show you a couple of results.
Camera and lens choices
My camera of choice is the Lumix G9, a micro four-thirds camera. The quality, feature set and very important to me, lightweight, make it a great tool for hiking photography. Just for kicks I also carry a Lumix GX85 with an f/3.5 8mm fisheye lens. It’s small enough to put in a very small Think Tank Mirrorless Mover bag which also holds extra batteries, cards and the 45mm f/2.8 Macro lens.
The main lens I use is a Leica 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3. You might think that a strange choice but I’ve found it to be handy with a macro-like look in isolating flowers. As an add on I also throw in a couple of Vello Extension tubes. Using extension tubes allow for getting the focusing distance closer to the subject than the four feet three inches on the Leica 100-400mm.
I am a BIG fan of the Peak Design camera straps as the quick release system allows for quick switching of different straps to other cameras and easily remove the strap when mounting the camera on a tripod.
MeFOTO makes great, stiff and relatively lightweight tripods with solid ball heads that have an Arca-Swiss plate connection. The Backpacker is the smallest of their lineup it’s a little short for me. I find the next size up to be a better fit as it has some more height. To help control light I use a 20-inch Westcott 5-in-1 reflector. As an extra set of hands, I bring a Wimberley Plamp or two. The Plamp has a clamp on one end to grab the tripod and at the end of the articulating arm is a clip to hold the scrim or possibly steady a flower in the breeze.
Using the gear on wildflowers
The season is blossoming with subjects scattered across the hiking trails in Sedona. These trails are in what is called the Village of Oak Creek right where the red rocks start if you are coming north on Highway 179 from I-17.
More on this wildflower/hiking photography using the other lens combinations coming soon. Let me know if you have any questions.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob