Peggy Farren interviews fine art floral photographer Rosie Lalonde. Rosie gives us incredible tips and ideas for creating stunning floral images. Thanks for tuning into episode #82 of The Understand Photography Show!
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Always been a photographer
Started with an in-home studio: children, families, weddings and commercial photography
Retired and moved to Florida
Joined local camera club, saw a presentation on floral photography and became smitten
“You can teach people how to use a camera, but you can’t always teach people to have an eye. You can be technically perfect but still have no life in your image.”
– there’s nothing wrong with following other photographers
– when you’re with people that are talented, it’s surprising how much you can help each other grow and have fun
Tips for Creating a Stunning Floral Image
- Before going out, browse previous captures.
- Start with a stunning floral! Try to find a pristine flower, especially if the petals are delicate – these can sometimes be difficult to “fix” in photoshop
- Bring your passionate heart.
- Sit and get to know the flower: look at the potential, look at it from different angles, watch it in the wind, hone in on something small.
“I’m going to spend time with you until I capture your essence.”
- Know your camera and how to set it up.
- Fill your frame with the flower.
- Set up the camera in RAW, Aperture Priority – be in charge of depth of field and f-stop
- Play with lenses. Bring more than one camera. It’s difficult to be creative when you’re spending time changing lenses.
– Compression from telephoto (70-300) is phenomenal. Close focal distance (14”-18”), blur background while keeping flower in focus.
– ISO outside – 200-400, inside 800-1000
– Macro lens (105mm f/2.8) – very little of the flower is in focus
– Lens Baby – can be difficult to use, f/1.4 – f/22, flower has a ‘glow’ – not good for EVERY
image, it creates ‘a look’
- Watch your f-stop
- Avoid busy backgrounds.
– Adjust your position to avoid distractions of dappled sunlight/shade.
– Bring a background with you! Rosie creates her own portable backgrounds on an 8 1/2” x 11” board.
– Clamp (or “Plamp”) it in place behind your selected flower.
– Print the image and mount it to a board to take with you.
– Stylize the image with texture, abstract swirls, etc.
– Take a picture of a background out of focus
- No need for polarizing filters – they add contrast – aim for ‘soft’
- No direct sunlight – shade is best.
– use a diffuser
– bounce light (or shade) onto the subject
– no flash!
- For indoor shots – natural light from a window – covered with white paper to diffuse
- For fields of flowers – you need a focal point – it’s difficult to make it look better than a snapshot.
“Do not click that shutter until you hear the angels sing!”
“Affect the areas that will sing the loudest and are worth looking at.”
Lightroom – develop module, both RAW and jpeg formats have color/contrast to adjust
Do NOT adjust exposure first!!
1. Lower highlights
2. Bring shadows up
3. Bring whites up
4. NOW adjust exposure
“Work locally, THEN globally.”
– Remove background distractions or replace background
– Nik Filters – Color Efex Pro
– 3 most used: glamour glow, tonal contrast, and color only contrast
– USE LAYERS: don’t alter original background image
– Save your originals! You may find an effect you want to try later.
website: ImagesThatSpeak.org – check out her workshops and education opportunities as well as her stunning gallery!
Facebook: Rosie Lalonde