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“Rose Petals and Dew Drops”-Botanical Photography

The sun rises touching the world around it with its golden hew. Sparkling like diamonds, water droplets, glisten beneath powerful rays of light. Delicate. Fragile. The gentle sprinkling of dew slowly melts in the colorful petals. Wind swirls through the air awakening the morning with its gentle breath.

In a moment of time, the scene has changed.

Was anyone there to catch it’s subtle progression? Did anyone think to notice, to take in the beauty, to observe the wonder of it? Tiny droplets clinging to curved petals. A single rose spotted with moisture. A simple thing to be sure, and yet, so powerful.

Whether stretched across an open field or tucked away in clay pots, each flower is special. Special because each was designed by God. Uniquely shaded, intricately patterned, and brilliantly created, God provided us with a glimpse of heaven when He gave us flowers. In one day (on the third day of Creation), God set in motion a cycle of beauty. Beauty as one flower buds and blooms, as its color fades and its fragile form crumbles, as its death makes room for yet another dot of color to sprout in its place. How much more magnificent must Heaven be with the same Designer?

Flowers can teach us many lessons.

Fragile in appearance, they cling to a secret strength. With determination and resilience they fight against the outward pressures of wind and rain. For a moment in time, they lie still, tiny tears glistening off their colorful surfaces. But with the passing of the storm, they lift their heads opening to a new tomorrow. Setting aside the memory of their struggle, they shine once again, bright as the day they first bloomed.

Isaiah 40:8 (KJV) “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.”

The life of a flower is short-lived.

A photographer must be ready to capture its radiance. As light rises across its form, a cameraman can record many variations of the same flower.

Adjusting the focal point provides a viewer with insight as to the flower’s placement and importance. Lenses reveal the complexity of pattern and shape. Lighting opens one’s eyes to contrast, beauty, and texture. It sets the mood giving the viewer a sense of intimacy.

It’s my favorite sight to see through the lens of my Nikon. But, it’s not as easy to capture as you might think.

Tips to “Wet Flower” Photography:

  1. Backgrounds. Think plain. The less “noise” in the background, the better I like it.
  2. Go natural. No one can sprinkle a flower with water droplets as elegantly as God. But, if you cannot rise early enough to capture the dew or are not blessed to live in a s State or Country with frequent rains, “faking it” is an option. I myself have used this method on quite a few occasions. It’s simple. Choose a flower, and spritz it with a water bottle or pour water into your hand and flick it in the direction of your subject.
  3. Reflection. Take a close look a the water droplets dotting each petal. Is there a special or unique image being reflected in the water? If not, that’s fine. It’s not a requirement, but it does add a little something extra to the image.
  4. Focal Point: I love close-up shots. The closer the better. I focus on frayed edges, spatters of pollen, spots of discoloration, and of course drops of water. But, there is something to be said about featuring the flower in its entirety. Whether you love macro shots or the “far away” look, choose your focal point and snap away. Beware of blurring. I find that the closer I “zoom in”, the more likely I am to blur my shot. [I currently do not have a DSLR camera with a macro lens- in case you were wondering]. Other reasons why your image doesn’t appear in focus may include: shaky hand, bad lighting, too much wind, or simply “a difficult subject”. I have found that thicker petals are easier to capture than thin ones.
  5. Lighting: This is the most important element in photography. I prefer outdoor (all natural) lighting, at the two o’clock hour. The best time of day for taking floral prints, fluctuates depending on your geographical location, the weather, and what you as the photographer have in mind. Think of what you want to convey to your viewer: a dramatic contrast, a subtle beauty, a vibrant twist… etc. Then, choose an appropriate location that will help highlight “your look”. Thirdly, place your subject in the desired location. (Start early in the day so you can capture the widest range of light). Step four: Take pictures- on the hour, every hour. This way you are testing the lighting. You are discovering which time of day will prove you with the setting you need. (Tuck this information away for future photo shoots). Five: Return to your chosen location at your chosen time of day and start taking pictures. *Bonus Step: We all make mistakes. Look over your photos checking them for “flaws” such as shadows or bright spots. If these are not part of your desired look, then start again, this time at a different time of day.

 

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