Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography

Lesson 15 of 21

Macro Photography and Flowers

 

Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography

Lesson 15 of 21

Macro Photography and Flowers

 

Lesson Info

Macro Photography and Flowers

We have a whole bunch of flower pictures up there on your screen and they're all from cooking half gardens in holland and I would have to say that it is the most beautiful place on the planet for two weeks it's open actually through from march middle of march through april and into the first part of may but the second and third week of april is the time that you want to be there all the tulips are prime and the flowers are there if you go a little later they cut off the tops of the tulips and there's no tulips anyway, I've been there a number of times. Here are some of those images and there'll be a part of what we talk about here uh, nice little s curve and this is the ninety millimeter till shift in the past. The only way we could get this kind of depth of field was with a tilt shift leads the front elements of the lens we'll tilt and the depth of field tilts with it and that gives you a lot more depth of field than you. Then what you do is you stop the lens down and that gives you m...

ore depth of field so this is a ninety millimeter lens which gives you a little bit of telephoto effect but everything is sharp from this very front flower all the way to the back now we could do this today without taking that ninety millimeter tilt shift lens there we can stack it if the if the wind is not blowing, if you know big, if the wind is not blowing, you could take it, focus it here, focus that their focus that there, and maybe focus one at the end of it and all of this would be sharp, and it could be done with one hundred millimeter macro, and you wouldn't have to take this extra lens along with you, and it might save you some money. Believe me, if the winds blowing, then the ninety millimeter till chitlins becomes the go to lens because you can open it up and use a faster shutter speed and stopped the movements. So there's a place for the tilt shifts still, but at the same time, we could do a lot of the things we used to do by stacking instead of doing it. Tilt, panoramas, flowers and panorama is go together beautifully. What I've done here is I've looked for a background that was blue of we've got a whole bunch of flowers back there, and then I had another group of tulips across the front of it that gave me a foreground, and then my focus was along that I'm shooting with a one hundred to four hundred millimeter lens from one position. You could actually do the aerial thing that we talked about earlier today, and you could take a picture, move and take a picture move and take a picture. It would look a little different than this, and if it was a long, long line like this, it might be quite interesting to try that. I might have to go back and try that again, watching my backgrounds on the one below here with the yellow tulips. Now, the yellow tulips are all sharp from the front, all the way to the top of them, but I've got this background back here, and I'm doing this on purpose, and I'm shooting the lens fairly wide open, so that it doesn't bring the background into focus. So you want to control where your depth of field really is? What happens if you can't step backwards? I'm on a walkway, a cement sidewalk, and there's this beautiful area here, with all these different of groups of flowers. In order to get all of this in your, I would have to go to a very wide angle lens, and when you use a wide angle lens, the the way it looks is that this is very large, and this falls away very, very quickly, so the distortion becomes very great by using a normal ins and taking three horizon's of verticals got my horizontal and vertical is mixed up today if we do three of these verticals with a normal lens, it will give us the angle of view of a normal ends and the look of a normal linz but it will give us the angle of view of a wide angle lens so sometimes when you have something and you don't want to lose that of fall off that a wide angle gives you you switch to a normal ends issued several pictures so that's what you do when you can't step back and if I step back there was a water falls right behind me it went down and not up fish islands I carry a fish islands with me almost everywhere it's small it's light so I don't worry about the fact that I don't use it very often but it can give you a whole different perspective that could give you a very interesting the biggest part problem with this thing is not getting your feet in the picture because it has one hundred eight degree angle of view. Now I have a brand new lens it's an eleven to twenty four millimeters and what it is it's really it's called rectilinear lines do not bow in or out so it's very wide angled one hundred twenty degrees but it would give me almost this but it would look very different because there's no distortion so it's very interesting is also quite expensive, but it's beautiful brand new lens it's eleven to twenty four millimeters and every you know we keep getting new tools and that means we've got to go back and do it again learn excuse again cooking half gardens and holland and you can play games you know you you've got a least tools and you have classes here that'll probably help you with this kind of thing, and I just messed around with this with some of the filters you there's a number of programs that have filters and I did an edge of around it tio changing a little bit and it becomes a graphic photo photographic art versus a documentary photographs so I like to do this occasionally sometimes it works out really well on sometimes it doesn't in this particular case, I think it's an interesting change to the picture you need to be ready for other things toe happen, we go into cooking up gardens and we're going to shoot flowers, flowers, flowers and and I still take with me the one hundred four hundred millimeter lens, which in a sense I can use for flowers, especially with the new version that go down to three point two feet, but in this case I was photographing in the flowers and I looked and there was these two swans were coming and I thought, if they come into these trees and everything, I'd be pretty neat, so I switched lenses and then waited for them to come into position and in there, right at that right position that I photographed them, took the lens off and went back to photographing what I was doing in the flowers. But you need to be aware of your surroundings and what might be coming around. We've talked about selective focus. We've talked about having sharpness from edge to edge, everything sharp. Here, there, this grouping of poppies and lupin. Uh, I see these kinds of pictures quite often, but what happens is this area is out of focus. This area here is out of focus it's a beautiful photograph, but it's just missing something. So you've got to find a way to get it sharp from front to back. And what there's two ways of doing that one is to stop the lens down f sixteen f twenty two, I would suggest not going past that sixteen, and that may help you, but we can use any of these extended depth of field bricks, whether it be a tilt shift, twenty four millimeter lens there's, now a seventeen millimeter tilt shift lens that would be perfect for this, or if the wind is not blowing, if then you could shoot a siri's of quick shots and you would have it. Early morning is your best chance. This is overcast. So maybe the wind was was not blowing. When I photographed this, I remember the photograph. I don't remember the conditions, but a stacked idea is very quick and easy and it's the least expensive of all methods that we have out there. We already have the lens. All we have to do is the brain adding into it, getting a different angle. I love to get down low and teo put a son in my pictures, a sun burst and then you get the sunburst by stopping way down. If sixteen sometimes here I will go. I will go to f twenty two simply because it gives me the very best of starburst sunbursts within the picture. Now I have a right angle finder that I carry in my bag that allows me to look down into it and get down underneath it so that I don't have to dig a hole. Um the other thing is you can take this little rigged that I have this camera and you that I have there. You could take the camera, you can look at your your ipad or your iphone and you can move it around. There are other cameras and other situations where you have a wireless connection to your smartphone or to a pad and you can place the camera where you want without getting down there and some of us can't get down as low as we used to and see what you want in the minute you see it you'd to tap the button on your phone or on your ipad and it takes the picture and I've been doing some of these much easier by seeing that picture and then you see the with the camera and you see the finished photograph right away and you could see whether it's going to be what you want uh but you could do it the old way get down low you know knee pads get down below perspectives and this is getting a little different I mentioned to you the rose before where if the picture is just like what people see on a day to day basis there's no reason for them to look at your pictures in my case there's no reason for anybody to buy my pictures so we have to do something a little differently and getting a low angle and getting a completely different way of looking at these poppies I did a whole book on california poppies and somebody asked me how do you do a whole book on one particular flower? You know? I mean that doesn't get pretty boring well, you have to come up with more creative ideas and different versions of it and critters that go with it and all kinds of things like that. But we try for different perspectives. We could get in very close that's another way. This is some more of the pictures from the poppy book, and this was after a little bit of a rain of these were poppies in my front yard when I was living in california and, uh, with the macro lenses, I'm sure that if I was to redo this book now, with the stack shot and so forth, I would be doing super macro two x three x four x images of the interior, parts of the flower, or maybe an insect or something that was living inside of these flowers. So there's, always different ways of doing it. But moving in close, we'll give you colors and forms versus just a flower here's, some more of that getting down low. But the other thing is you take a telephoto lens, whether it be a seventy two, two hundred of seventy two, three hundred or a one hundred to four hundred lens. And you open it wide open and you just lay down next to the flowers and because it's wide open your shutter speeds are going to be a thousandth of a second of two thousandth of a second you know, curious. So up to two hundred so you can hand hold pretty pretty well and you just start looking for pictures that air out in front of you you've got all these flowers around you and the lights different from whichever direction you look you can hand hold it it's kind of ah, a very interesting way and a wonderful way to spend some time is looking for what's around you and these telephoto lenses wide open is a really good way to do that. This would probably be the opposite of that this is taking a in this case we're looking at a gerber daisy and this was taken in a hotel room in las vegas where I knew I was going to have these new cameras the find the s five e s r and that I wanted to see what it would do with macron. And I brought with me the stack shot in my suitcase when I went there to test this camera for cannon and I went to home depot and bought a couple of gerber daisies brought him into the room and after we shot the marvel that you saw in the red rocks and everything I spent the rest of the night taking pictures inside of my room, and this is I can't remember how many forty three images and fifty mega pixels per picture you were asking about the files and everything, but I did it all on the laptop, which was it was an older laptop than this, and it worked out quite well. Now look at this section that we have the white box around here in the bottom, and this is what the one hundred macro lens autumn, not with the one extra five x, but this is the one hundred macron at about one x there's the detail, I have this at forty by sixty inches on my wall in my office, and you could walk up to it thiss gets me that in the past, we've had these pictures that we put on the wall and it drove me nuts that people would go up to and get this close to these pictures and expect to see the details. Well, now I can sit back and say, you go ahead and you're going to see the detail and it's it's caught up with. With this, we had a little commentary at lunch in the sense that we're now to the point where the limiting factor is the photographer. It is not the equipment there's so many things that we can do if you can think it if you look at this nature photography, that's being done when the video areas for the bbc in these other places, it is just absolutely amazing of what's being done out there. So this is a good example of how the resolution keeps getting better and better, and we can modify the equipment that we use. This is a ninety millimeter tilt shift, and I put a two x tell extender on it made it off a one hundred eighty millimeter tilt shift, which means that it was more of a telephoto so that it would compress a telephoto lens compresses the scene and the flowers a little bit further apart. When you put a telephoto what they looked like, they're closer, so that helped here a lot, but when you use the telephoto to get all the depth of field is almost impossible. Now, you could just about guess what I'm going to say is that I could take my one hundred, four hundred now, I could do at four hundred millimeters, and I could stack it if the wind wasn't blowing and we would have the same kind of a photograph so there's a place for all of these different tools, and this is the one extra five x and again the poppy book. You know, I had to find critters inside there because we were looking for every different possibility of photographs, and you can actually see the compound I when you look down close into it, two little flashes, one extra five x, like I mentioned it's, a point and shoot camera basically, if you confined subjects in compositions, here's a long lens, we're back here into the the the sunflowers, this is in kansas, and I'm up on top of a big band shooting down in there with the five hundred with a one point four convertir on that seven hundred millimeters and it f sixteen you don't get a lot of depth of field, so I took ten images, moving the focus in further and further and further for a stack, and the end result beats physics because physics says you can't do this, but now we can it's all about digital it's all about computers, so everything from the very front flowers to the ones way off in the distance are now sharp. This is recently, the thing I want to point out here is that focus stacking doesn't have to be everything sharp from the first flower to the very background. I wanted to get all five of these tulips sharp, but I couldn't do it with a single shot there was just no way that I could get it and the wind was not blowing, so I'm working from a tripod, so I quickly did a series of shots and then stopped, and I shot them fairly wide open so that the background would not come into focus. If I would've shot these all of f sixteen or f twenty two, the background would have been somewhat and focus that each one of those shots and they wouldn't have looked very good, and it would have been very busy in the background. That's one of the biggest false that people do with flour photography is they get too busy, they can isolate that. I want you to look just at this, and I do that by making this sharp and that not sharp and by by being able to do that is very important. But there's always this I'm always wanting to get everything sharp from the front to the back because it's so hard to do so here you're taking your four hundred millimeter lens, you're on a tripod and the winds not blowing and we have fourteen shots in a row and everything from the very front tulips to the very back tulips and rows and rows of color, they're sharp to me, it's just puts a big smile on my face because it's something we could not do a few years ago it was not possible there was no way you could go up close for the white angle lens and you could get everything and focus with a wide angle lens. But that didn't give you this perspective here's a little different angle once again I get fourteen shots here that it took to make everything from the very front the very back sharp. Now most people looking at this would say yeah that's where I see it that way because your eye stacks your does focus stacking constantly on the matter where you look at that moment in time that's sharp so you think that everything is sharp in front of you but that's not the way the camera sees things here's another example of selective focus really selective focus for the depth of field I opened the lens wide open. This is this was probably of trying to think of what lends this might have been must have been the one hundred, four hundred and it is wide open and I did that because every shot I took the background would be way out of focus very similar to what I had just mentioned to you but this is ah really large amount of that whereas I stopped after that last flower and when I put it together it was just the very front group of flowers that I had stacked, then the background. I left it as it was. I could have kept on going and then decided not to use those images. I mean, I have that option as well, but when you shoot wide open like that, it takes a lot of pictures because there is any depth is very little depth of field for each one of those when you're working with a telephoto lens. But it's selective extended up the field. I was walking on a trail on the island, the big island in hawaii, and this trail had a number of flowers along this wild flowers that were working around there, a lot of different gingers and things of that nature. And I set my camera up. And it was after I had a talk with ben wilmore and you mentioned that he just said his camera for, uh, camp for exposure, bracketing and that's. How we did his hd. Ours. You would pushing the button, you take three quick shots, but it would be one and a half or two stops and on the money in two stops over two stops under in that type of thing, so you just walk up and you hold it very still in york. Three shots. So I did that on this trail and here's a few of the shots along the way and they look a whole lot better than I think they looked. They looked like nineteen fifties nineteen forties postcards is what they look like. There's a hell laconia. Um the colors become very exaggerated and again, they look very much like the old printing that we got on the old postcards. Another different kind of hell. Laconia colors exaggerated. No question here's a torch, ginger it was just fun to walk along and news three shots, three shots, three shots every time I took a picture, I took three shots and bennett said that he had gone into buildings and so forth and that's how he worked because a tripod wasn't an option at that point you just held it very still and you fired three shots. The pros learned from each other a lot ben's come and taken classes with me and then with my classes so that he could shoot the horses on the beach and stuff like that. If you look at some of his books and so forth it's fun they're looking a a professional photographer that you respect and you go through one of their books and you find pictures that he took along with when he was with you, that it's always kind of neat now this particular shot I wanted it to match the other pictures but it was a single raw file so I ran it through hdr as a single image and now it matched the other one's very nicely so if you want to see this effect or use that effect and if you photograph your flowers with with the raw file and even if he did it jay peg you could probably get away with it, but especially if you have a raw file you can run them as hd ours crank up the color a little bit uh, pick up the contrast a little bit and you can do some interesting things. This is again this is on the island of maui and this is called rainbow eucalyptus and I was trying to do a panorama of this beautiful trunk of this rainbow eucalyptus and at the very bottom was a ginger plant. When I got to the bottom, I couldn't keep it in focus and keep the other and focus so I did a single shot stack. I took a second shot focused on the ginger did my whole panorama and then drop that in as a stack a tw the bottom so you can use these techniques partially a cz well, aziz completely so the end result was pretty neat. This is one of those pictures that I mentioned to you the vertical, the vertical panorama as this fits on my wall, there's only this much space on the wall, but it's four foot long, and it fits their beautifully in it. It really adds to the decor in the house. People don't do enough with paul. Panorama is, I don't think, well, let's go to a garden and let's see how many different things we could do. So this is a combination. This was my birthday, not this year, but the year before, my wife and I went to wishart gardens just north of seattle and through a little bit of music to it here. So this was done for no other reason that I was having fun, and it made for one wonderful birthday, all tech, so to get there, you've got to take the ferry, so I had some go pros, and I couldn't go pros with a clamp on it, and I put it here and had put it there, so I use gopro's I used, uh, my rigger cameras for video use the girl pros for video. Now here you are at the garden. Wait. Remember, this was all done just for fun. I mean, it was nothing more than an exercise in doing what I wanted to do, doing what I wanted, tio. You'll see that some of the videos and some of the movements here in power point do not come across very smooth on that's is something we have to live with here is a time lapse where I'm actually using it I was using a tool that actually moved during the time lapse and a rain which took away a lot of the tourists which was kind of cool combined stills we've combined video we've combined time lapse anything that I could think of at the time that's actually a time lapse the fountain does not move that fast may is a wonderful time to goto bouchard gardens along with a lot of other gardens as well e a little mona part along with me on I would take the gopro and put it down on the end just sort of let it dangle down and I sometimes walking through the flowers as we're doing here and it was as if I was violating by going into the flowers and things by we just look my camera go around through the flowers a little gopro's aaron great fund for this kind of stuff this's a panorama single flower you want to put together a program and have music and so forth there's a number of companies online for not a lot of money that you khun downloaded by music it's always a good idea to get released music everything that you're hearing here today is is released because I give presentations and it's part of my business to you somebody else's music would not be any more than I don't want them to use my photographs as well if you go there this time of year in the summer we'll have a whole different group of flowers azaleas will not be blooming the voting ends then you will not be blooming the tulips of course they're not but there's a whole another set of flowers the summer flowers there in there and they pull out everything else that was finished and they put in something new. Some of these zooms are ken burns effect ken burns junkie I think is what is going on here we oh, wait zou give you this big a carpet of flowers where is the road ends their little clumps of flowers just because it's raining doesn't mean you shouldn't be out there photographing a little bit of plastic over your cameras or walking around with a gopro that could be you know that things completely sealed you khun do anything you want with it? I also took along an infrared camera infrared is a very interesting uh method of photographing vegetation and of course this has got a lot of vegetation you convert a dslr, you send it to a company that's actually in portland important for seattle I can't remember now what company is called life pixel the address is on the sheet and they converted cost about two hundred dollars or approximately to convert an old let's say that you moved on to a new camera. Now you have your fifty megapixel in your twenty megapixels, no longer worthwhile to you. So you send it in there they they pull out the filter that cuts off the infrared cut off filter and they replace it with a filter which on ly allows the infrared to come through. And digital is very, very high in in the infrared light. And it becomes a fantastic infrared camera when we I did this years ago with film it was awful. Cameras would leak light. The the pictures would be very grainy. And that type of thing and the infrared we get today is just beautiful. And you can use any lens and everything else with it. So goto a gardens and have a good time and take every trick that you think you know. And if you have all the equipment with you which I did because I drove there so that's to me is the best of all worlds. To me, it was the most fun that I can remember.

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:


  • Create a variety of dramatic panoramas.

  • Capture rapid movements, such as the flapping of a bird’s wings.

  • Take close-up shots that depict the beauty and vibrant colors of flowers.

  • Capture images of snowflakes using specialized equipment and intricate techniques.

  • Photograph and take videos of lightning storms.

  • Use various types of additional lighting, including electronic flashes.


ABOUT GEORGE’S CLASS:


  • Create a variety of dramatic panoramas.

  • Capture rapid movements, such as the flapping of a bird’s wings.

  • Take close-up shots that depict the beauty and vibrant colors of flowers.

  • Capture images of snowflakes using specialized equipment and intricate techniques.

  • Photograph and take videos of lightning storms.

  • Use various types of additional lighting, including electronic flashes.


WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:


  • Experienced photographers who want to learn about cutting-edge equipment and innovative techniques for outdoor photography.

  • Photographers looking to be inspired by one of the greats and wanting to hear about his personal experiences.

  • Those who are new to outdoor photography and want an inside look at what it’s like to be a professional in the field.

Lessons

  1. Class Overview

    Get an overview of what you’ll learn in this course on creative outdoor photography, including how to do panoramas, extending your depth of field, and time-lapse photography.

  2. Types of Panorama for Outdoor Photography

    There are many different panorama techniques, from composite to hand-held to multi-camera. You’ll learn about all of them and the basic techniques for creating them right here.

  3. Gigapan and Action Pano for Outdoor Photography

    Learn to take a Gigapan panorama and get extremely big and detailed shots.

  4. Additional Lighting: Light Painting, Flash and Ambient

    George discusses options for additional outdoor photography lighting, including electronic flashes, the Better Beamer Flash Extender, and using high-powered flashlights to paint with light during long exposures.

  5. Extended Depth of Field

    Sometimes it’s important to have objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background all in sharp focus. Learn about various software programs and techniques to achieve extended depth of field photography.

  6. Macro Photography Techniques

    Learn about macro photography techniques, lenses, and extension tubes.

  7. Tele-extenders and Outdoor Photography

    Learn about using tele-extenders and other tools to get high-magnification shots of things such as a butterfly’s wings.

  8. HDR as a Tool

    High dynamic range (HDR) allows you to take multiple exposures at once and achieve natural looking contrast control within your final image. George offers a variety of HDR photography tips.

  9. Time-lapse Outdoor Photography

    Learn how to shoot time lapse photography with movement and panning.

  10. DSLR HD Video

    Learn about DSLR video shooting techniques and the essential equipment you’ll need.

  11. Cinemagraphs for Outdoor Photography

    George talks about the cinemagraph for outdoor photography, which is a still image with an element that moves.

  12. Photographing Birds

    Digital photography allows you to take incredible shots of birds and their movements. Get some bird photography tips and learn about shutter speeds and the equipment you’ll need to take your best images.

  13. Photographing Mammals

    George discusses wildlife photography techniques and his experiences shooting mammals, including speedy cheetahs, angry elephants, and hungry hippos.

  14. Photographing Birds and Mammals Q & A

    George offers some wildlife photography critiques and answers questions about his wildlife photography, including using a flash when taking pictures of birds and mammals.

  15. Macro Photography and Flowers

    George shares his flower photography techniques and confirms how he took glorious shots at Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.

  16. Photographing Butterflies

    Get some photo tips for photographing butterflies, including the importance of having a telephoto lens and a flash.

  17. Photographing Snowflakes

    Get the scoop on what you’ll need for snowflake macro photography, including special lighting, a copy stand, an adjustable base, and really cold equipment.

  18. Photographing Landscapes

    George offers some landscape photography tips for beginners and talks about some of his favorite places and landscape images.

  19. Photographing Lightning

    Learn how to photograph lightning and how to take video of lightning storms.

  20. HDR Landscapes and Time Lapse

    Learn about HDR landscape photography—compiling a series of pictures to capture various levels of light.

  21. Final Outdoor Photography Q&A

    Students get a chance to ask some final questions of George about outdoor photography ideas, including things such as panoramas, extenders, and white balance.

Reviews

Berus
 

I watched the entire class, and found it to be a very negative experience - in contrast to all of my other experiences with Creative Live, which had been very good. The problem with this class was the instructor. Mr. Lepp, rather than giving us practical, useful information, and techniques for approaching the subject of Outdoor Photography, instead used his time to show off his seemingly endless array of incredibly expensive and cutting edge gadgetry. For the first half hour or so, Mr. Lepp seemed pleasant and interesting, but it quickly became apparent that this class was NOT about anything relating to the art of outdoor photography. Instead, it was basically a seminar highlighting exotic equipment for the 1%. I have well over $25,000 of photographic equipment, but the arena in which Mr. Lepp plays begins somewhere around the $100,000 mark, and then requires a staggering ongoing budget for chartering helicopters, hiring guides, and constant upgrades to remain on the bleeding edge of gadgetry and accessories. From his gyroscopic mounts to his 40" printer, Mr. Lepp has it ALL and continues to spend, spend, spend. I admire his deep pockets, but I would have appreciated some real insight and technique and useful knowledge on actually getting great shots. (And I must say... Mr. Lepp's work... did not impress me to the degree that other teachers on CreativeLive have.) I believe those giving positive reviews here were more or less wowed by the sheer magnitude of his extensive, well-funded travels and his off-handed way of revealing the endless contraptions and combinations of gear he uses. The passion here is clearly about the gadgetry, and NOT about finding an original and creative voice in the arena of outdoor photography.

R. Hetrick
 

Amazing class! I particularly loved the macro and how to correctly take panoramic photos sections. George was not only a great teacher but he was super funny too. Would be happy to take any of his future classes.

user-f9ff5e
 

George really prepared a lot of information for his class. It is true, he does have a lot of expensive equipment and we may not be able to do some of the things he does with a smaller budget, but it is good incentive for us to plan for the future. He seemed to share new information constantly and stay focused and I was able to take a lot of notes. He talked about many kinds of equipment as well as software and websites he uses. I am pretty impressed that he is so up to date with recent technology. He especially loves macro/micro and stacking hundreds of images for minute focus on really large enlargements (for example, over 600 photos for one butterfly wing). That can get boring if you are not interested in doing that. I can take those tips and apply them to landscape photography though. I think it is more helpful for someone already doing outdoor photography and looking for new inspiration or new techniques as opposed to someone new to photography in general.