Secret Garden

So I’ll reveal where I shot recently; it was the US National Botanical Garden. I had attempted to shoot there a week before but my car’s very expensive and recently replaced alternator died so I delayed it a week. Considering its the US National Botanical Garden its not really a secret and as a bonus no concerned citizen asked me not to take pictures!

I have not shot flora in a long time. I think it was June of last year. There isn’t anything wrong with it but I prefer travel and landscape photography. I setup on a tripod and go about shooting. It’s much slower and I just get to wander around without anything in mind other than how is the light and what am I shooting. With flowers which might as well be macro there is a bit more planning.

I knew I didn’t want to shove a macro lens down at a flower and hope for the best. So I packed my 60mm macro (120mm eq) and my 40-150mm (80-300 eq) along with my flash. I attempted flash before with this style of work but with limited success. This time I went TTL but went with a modified. I have a couple of MagMod diffusers laying around. I put it on the camera and selected a soft white diffuser and after a couple tests put the grid on the front and called it a day. So when I got to the garden I was good to short of a real world test. The 60mm wasn’t working but with the large zoom I could get the distance I needed for the flash to be effective and still have a decent shutter speed.

Not being a real flash user much except when I need to I had a few issues getting flash output correct but with a bit of adjustments here and there I was very pleased with the results. It made the shoot much more enjoyable because I wasn’t struggling for light or shooting at stupid high ISO. In fact I went from 400 to 200 once I got flash dialed in.

So enjoy the secret garden. I will break the posts up as I am not that into flowers but there will be lots of botanical stuff over the coming days.


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  1. Quite lovely! My favorite is the perfect heart shaped one. I don’t use a tripod when I shoot flowers, but I may have to give it a try. I’ve got about a dozen I’ve taken over the past year that I just can’t believe came out of my camera skills, so I think once it gets warm enough here I’ll get back out and do it again. These are wonderful – thanks for sharing them with us

  2. Love the Flower power! The flowers just ease one off in a good mood. I would not have guessed the gardens. This sounds like a wonderful place to just relax and enjoy. I have been planting flowers and vegetables and I enjoy seeing the cute flowers that come with the vegetables and new flowers. Winter has been real unpredictable in SW Florida this year and some of my flowers have taken a hit. Thanks for starting my day off with the beautiful flowers. I saved and enjoyed them now and later.