Why I Invest Time In My Photography Education

Compare this image above, to this image below.

Both are of the same kind of flower, a pink paeony rose.  Both are using the 100mm macro, and focused on a certain detail within the flower.

The top one was taken today.  The bottom one was taken in January this year.


Yes the bottom one has the flower well past its best, but compositionally they are quite similar with what I was trying to achieve.

Reasons why the top one works better – because of the soft focus and blur, only the bit that I want you to really look at is in focus – the anthers covered in pollen, tucked deep inside the flower.  Of course it is a matter of personal preference, I like the soft dreamy look myself but had not been able to make it properly before today.

Another shot taken today, and this used an entirely new technique for me – shoot through – where I put another flower right up close to the lens in the bottom half of the image, to soften and blur that even more, to make sure the important bit was the highlight – the crimson edged petal.

Another selective focus, and FINALLY I got around to fiddling with my camera, setting it up so I could have magnification while using live view – so I can zoom in 5x and 10x to the tiniest detail, and manually focus on it with accuracy!

How did I get such a radical difference in images?  Bought a flower photography course on Creative Live that I really liked the soft painterly style of – am only 1/3 of the way through but already got enough ideas to change the way I was shooting.

It also prompted me to solve the live view focus issue, and by doing so, I discovered another issue – even the slightest movements of my body made the floor and the table and therefore the flower, shake the tiniest amount.  Because magnified live view showed it happening in real time, taking a moment to breathe and be still and let everything settle meant more in focus shots!

Also when my camera perks up for the shot, it jumps just a little, so I was able to hold the shot back a second and get sharper images.

Such a vast improvement in technique by learning a new way of doing things, making an effort to adjust the way I was shooting, and VOILA soft dreamy pretty flower images 🙂

Click on any image to see the large version.

What nifty new thing have you learned lately?


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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14 Responses to Why I Invest Time In My Photography Education

  1. alida5477 says:

    What a difference a year makes. Love the shots they are so beautiful. I’m going to try them. Thank you

  2. Sue says:

    Oh, excellent! Thanks for the explanation

  3. leecleland says:

    Fantastic results Stacy. Was this Kathleen Clemons Flower photography course that was advertise just the other day on Creative Live? I looked at it but thought no. I’ve been buying a bit lately with the 5-Day-Deal Bundle and one from Design Cuts as well that I just had to have 🙂 I love that you have been able to get that edge of the petal so sharp which makes me think I may need to buy the course after all. I’ve managed to get that a few times but think it was more fluke than technique.

    • Yes it was her course – I am really enjoying it. It was half the price of the other courses I normally get, and even better with Black Friday discount, so I indulged, and its well worth it. Getting the edge of the petal sharp was all due to fixing up the ability to magnify live view and manually focus that way. Makes all the difference.

    • If you have an ipad or iphone, you can get the new creative live app and you can watch one segment of any class for free every day – so if you were patient, you could watch a whole class for free over enough days…….

  4. Jacey says:

    If you don’t mind me asking, what are you paying for Kathleen Clemons’ course? I found another fantastic course which only cost me $27 (Limited Time Offer) for a Lifetime Membership. Might be worth looking into.

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