Often in early morning or late evening, I will grab my bike bag with camera safely tucked inside, strap it to my bike, mount and head out to a favorite meadow, woodland/wetland trail.
Nature photography, in particular wildflower photography, has been my hobby for about twenty years. I am not a professional photographer, however, I believe that I have some things worthwhile sharing. If you happen to visit canon80dblog.com/best-lenses, you might come across more such interesting photographs and lens ideas.
Foremost is that photography is analogous to painting with light. So whether a day is sunny and casting well-defined shadows, diffused sunlight and casting soft shadows, or cloudy, it’s the photographer who plans and controls how that light is used. So, depending on sunlight, there may be days that I will head out more late morning or early afternoon.
Twenty years ago, I started out with a fairly expensive 35mm SLR camera, lenses, and tripod. To my disappointment, it didn’t work out very well. After an extended learning curve, I did capture some decent images. However, it’s challenging to pack a large and heavy camera with lenses into a small bike bag, strap it along with a tripod onto a bike, carry and pedal it all to my designation and along its trails.
Besides the expense of film and its development, changing lenses became time consuming. Moreover, by the time a lens change is made your subject may have moved, disappeared or lighting may of changed depending on weather and cloud cover. And, any tripod or monopod is time-consuming to setup.
Today, I photograph with a fixed lens digital SLR, which has optical zoom, manual ISO, macro, white balance, aperture and shutter speed capability, that I purchased for about $600 (similar cameras range between $500 to $700). It’s light and small enough so that it can be easily packed in a bike bag. With a memory card, I can take as many shots as I wish. In the field, I can preview just taken images and delete those that don’t meet my expectations, and I have all the needed functionality that I had with my old SLR. It’s the perfect camera to use for wildflower photography.
Now, a really neat tip. A few years back, my brother showed me how to use a string for a tripod. Since then I have found that it is a photographer’s alternative for a tripod that’s been around for some time. What’s important is that it works, and does solve the problem of lugging around a tripod or monopod. A string monopod can be simply wrapped up and put in your pocket or bike bag, or kept attached to the camera, its hanging-end wrapped and clutched in your fist until needed.
Here’s a great video on how to make an Easy Image Stabilizer For Any Camera/a string monopod.
And, instead of carrying the larger white balance card to manually adjust white balance, I use a white handkerchief. It works just fine for the wildflower images I shoot.
It always amazes me that I still see folks weighed down with a tripod and more expensive, larger and heavier digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses and white balance cards, but, unless they are professional photographers, I know that they are not getting any better wildflower images than I am.