Advanced tree and flowers photography tips

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Manual exposure:

in this mode, you can specify both aperture and shutter speed to precisely control exposure. The camera guides you by display a meter that lets you know whether your picture will be properly exposed.

Metering mode options:

The metering mode tells the camera which part of the frame to consider when calculating exposure. The best cameras offer whole -frame metering often called pattern matrix or evaluative metering. This is best for tree or flower scenes.

Histogram displays:

Offers graphical representation of the brightness values in tan image. This can also help in picking the best brightness.

Advanced white-balance controls:

Digital cameras use a process called white balancing to ensure accurate colors in any light source.

Other useful features:

  • Adjustable monitors (articulating) larger LCD screens that can be folded out and rotated.
  • Wireless image transfer.
  • GPS tagging. Copyright tagging.

The exposure trio: aperture shutter speed and ISO

As you change any of the three exposure settings – aperture, shutter speed and ISO one or both of the others must also shift in order to maintain the same image brightness. In addition, changing these settings impacts your image in ways beyond exposure. As a quick reminder:

  • Aperture affects depth of filed, with a higher f-stop number producing a greater zone of sharp focus
  • Shutter speed affects wheterh motion of the subject or camera results in ablurry phot. A faster shutter “freezes” action and also helps safeguard against overagll blur that can result from camera shake when you are handholding the camera.
  • ISO affects the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO makes the camera more responsive to light but also increase the chance of image noise.

Here are some diagrams to illustrate this balancing act:



Exposure triangle shutter speed aperture and ISO

Exposure triangle shutter speed aperture and ISO


It seems that for taking good quality shots of trees and flower beds to create immersive experience in each shot as well as uniformity among all the shots in an album you need to do the following:

  1. Wait for good daylight so that you can keep the ISO number low.
  2. Pick a non windy day to avoid blurring.
  3.  It is preferable to use a tripod or fast shutter speed because the leaves are moving a little even on a non-windy day. Keep the shutter speed medium between 125 to 350.
  4. You want deep depth of field to have several branches of the tree in focus so f-stop of 22 should be enough.
  5. About picture format, you cannot import RAW format into ScenicFramer but .jpg, .png, bmp, TIF are fine.

Display Monitors Color

If your monitor isn’t accurately calibrated, the colors it displays aren’t a true reflection of your image colors. Windows has a software-based calibration utility under in Windows 7 Display -> Calibrate -> calibrate display color in Windows 8 it is Display Advanced Options-> Color Management tab -> Color Management button -> Advanced tab -> Calibrate Display button. First wait to let your monitor warm up for 30 minutes. In addition, make sure it is running at it’s native resolution which is the largest resolution it contains. In this utility to can calibrate gamma,  color balance and color cast (too much of one or two colors) with sliders . Brightness and contrast are changed through your hardware monitor controls. You can also start ClearType calibration to fine tune text rendering.

However, for more accurate calibration you may want to invest in a colorimeter, what you attach to or hang on your monitory to accurately measure and calibrate your display. For example the X-Rite colorMunki Display cost around $190.

The display calibration process produces a monitor profile file that tells your computer how to adjust the display to compensate for any minor color casts. Your responsibility is to perform the calibration every month because monitors colors drift over time.


Prior to setting focus on your subject you need to follow above guidelines to set depth of field, shutter speed and ISO. Let assume your camera is not fixed-focus. Your camera may have autofocus, manual focus, infinity and macro choices. For tree photography either autofocus or manual focus can work fine. Look for AF/MF control either on camera or lens body or in camera menus. If your camera offers image stabilization it would be very helpful to turn it on in case you are handholding the camera. Next, frame the picture so that your subject, for tree or flower bed it is best to get close enough so that the entire field of view is filled with the tree without any fence bars or other objects between the lens and the tree. The camera may have either single-spot focus or multi-spot focus modes to choose from, both would work fine so there is no need to choose. For autofocus to work you need to press the shutter button half way and hold it there until a little light in or newer the viewfinder turns green, or the camera makes a beeping noise. Some cameras also display one of more little squares or brackets in the viewfinder to tell you what part of the frame the camera used when setting focus. Next, press (not jab) the shutter button the rest of the way down to take the picture. If you prefer manual focus you would twist the focusing ring on the lens, different cameras provide different ways to achieve this. Many camera offer feedback to let you know when the subject is in focus. They may have on viewfinder aid tool called rangefinder. Here are some tips for holding the camera still during taking the shot: Press your elbows against your sides. Squeeze, don’t jab the shutter button. It is best to use a tripod or a monopod as well as self-timer for totally hands free shots.

Color and white balance.

Color is made up of 3 channels red, blue and green. Different light sources can have color temperature different amounts of red, green and blue that may cast their own color bias on the scene. To correct for this bias the camera has to know which light source you are using now. For trees the choice is either daylight or cloudy. White balance can be set to be automatic but for tree photography, all photos should be set with the same white balance settings so it is better to keep it manual. If you are not sure about the light illumination, let’s say there is a mix of clouds and sun, you may want tot try white-balance bracketing. This means take a picture of the same thing several times with different white-balance settings. Judge the quality of the white-balance result on your camera viewer/monitor, compare visually the color of leaves and flowers to the photo. If you see a problem you may have a feature called white-balance shift where the camera has a tool that allows you to make small adjustments on either the blue/amber axis or green/magenta axis measured in a unit called “mired”. Remember to calibrate your computer display monitor as per above mentioned guidelines prior to examining white-balance possible issues.

Advanced tree and flowers photography tips

Capture each picture using the same camera-to-subject distance. If you are shooting a tree or bush keep circling the tree and whatever distance from the tree you were from the branches for the first picture maintain it for the rest of the photos.

Overlap between the photos is not so important.

Maintain the right axis of rotation. Either all photos in landscape mode or all in portrait mode.  As capture the different shots in the sequence, be sure to use that same alignment as you take each shot. Keep the camera level, for best results, use a tripod. You may want to buy a little stick-on bubble level and put it on top of your cameral

Use a consistent focusing approach. If you lock the focus on the foreground in one shot, don’t focus on the background in the next shot.

If possible, stick with manual focusing and exposure.

If autoexposure is necessary, find out whether your camera offers and autoexposure lock function.

You need to use a consistent f-stop throughout your shots – otherwise depth of filed will vary across the stitched image. The easier way to control f-stop is use aperture-priory autoexposure.

Avoid including moving objects in the shot

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