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SHOOT EARLY IN THE MORNING TO CAPTURE THE DEWDROPS:
Cosmos in a dew drop reflection: Darrell likes to shoot early in the morning when it is still cool and the water forms on the plants. He says that as long as your camera has macro capabilities, you can shoot images like this.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

INSIDE TRACK
Popular Photography has a 4-page article in the September issue on how to photograph more shots like this one. Check out PopPhoto.com for more info.


EASY TO MAKE YOUR OWN DEW DROPS:
Oriental lilies. By spending time looking around the garden, Darrell noticed that after a rain some flowers shed water, others form water droplets. If he finds a spot that he wants to shoot and there are no natural dewdrops, Darrell will make his own by taking a hypodermic needle with glycerin and carefully placing his dewdrop where he wants it to be. This shot was taken with a Canon 180 macro lens with 2 extension tubes.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

SPRINKLERS MIX WELL WITH SUNSHINE:
In order to get the beautiful light on this lily, Darrell photographed this when the sun was shinning and the sprinklers were on. The best shutter speed is 1/60th of sec. to capture the streaking affect of the water.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

SNOW IS A GREAT BACKDROP FOR COLORFUL FLOWERS:
Yellow crocus coming through the snow. Some flowers bloom early in the spring. Darrell plants them in his garden and then hopes for an early spring snowfall!

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

USE PLANTERS FOR MOBILITY LATER:
Just as any good gardener will do, Darrell will plan ahead. He bought flowers specifically for their color, and put them into a planter instead of the ground so that he could move them around in order to get the best background.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

LOOK ALL AROUND YOUR SUBJECTS!:
Sometimes the backsides of many flowers are more beautiful than the front. Other times looking down may be the right angle.

Decide where the light or the background is best and move. Cut the flower and go inside to use window light live in an apartment? You can do this too.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

POLARIZING FILTERS ARE INEXPENSIVE AND HELPFUL:
Sunflower: Plant and space your garden out so that there may be an open area for a sky backdrop. Darrell used a polarizing filter on this shot to make the blue sky really stand out.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

USE A TRI-POD WHEN SETTING UP SHOTS:
Darrell cut the flowers and laid them out in an interesting design. Tri-pods are great to use during these kind of shots because they keep your camera in the same spot. This allows you to go back and forth between your subject and camera as you move things around within your composition and check back in your viewfinder. In other words, study what is in your frame before shooting and make sure that you are not standing so that your shadow will be in the way of your image!

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

BE READY TO PHOTOGRAPH THE UNEXPECTED:
Chinese Lanterns. After talking so much about pre-visualization, know that sometimes serendipity comes into play. Darrell had gone into the garden to test out a new camera in the in the middle of winter and was looking around when he noticed the Chinese lanterns had skelontonized and made for interesting pattern

This was a lucky find because they are only that color for a short time. Sometimes great things happen when you are not planning for them!

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

OVERCAST DAYS ARE BETTER THAN SUNNY DAYS:
This garden was only 2 or 3 months old at the time the picture was taken. It does not take years to get this! Most point and shoots have wide-angle capabilities and can be used for images like this. The best thing to remember here - do not take this kind of picture on a bright sunny day. Over cast days give you more details in the colors and flowers. The gray skies act as large soft boxes which give you saturated, rich colors. A lot of people make the mistake of shooting on bright sunny days, which tends to 'wash out' your images or makes for too many highlights and shadows.

PHOTO: Darrell Gulin

INSIDE TRACK
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out Tips for shooting nature's blossoms , provided by our friends over at PhotographyTips.com




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Hugo L Ramirez

09-10-2006

Very informative and well presented.

Fred Julien

14-03-2007

I've been looking for a web page like this! Very helpful

Dennis Donahue

24-03-2007

Darrell's comments make excellent photography available to all. Planning is the key. Plant you own flowers. Use a planter to get the angles. Add the dew drop that gives the photograph a special character. Plan months in advance to get the crocus breaking through the snow. Excellence is not accidental. Thank you for sharing your images and your experience.

Lona

01-06-2007

Fabulous webpage and so helpful. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration!

lisa

25-03-2010

thank you so much for sharing your experience with everyone and giving away a few secrets, i'm doing a project on you in school and found this quite helpful
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