Each winter I like to make at least one trip to the Matthaei Botanical Garden which is run by the University of Michigan.
Botanical gardens are tough to shoot at because the plant life is packed so close together, making it tough to shoot subjects with nice clean backgrounds. I always talk about positioning the camera so the background is as far away as possible so you end up with that nice sold color background that doesn’t compete with the main subject.
Here is an example of some flowers with the backgrounds subjects to close to easily blur that background even when shooting in the lowest f/stops numbers.
When I’m shooting in a botanical garden and subjects are packed tight, I will find the larger subjects that I can fill the frame with and not have to worry about the background. I will show you subjects that I was able to do this with.
I’m using my Nikon D7000 and the Tamron 90mm macro today. Because the subjects are right next to the walkways, but my Tamron 18-270 would also work well in this situation..
I used these nice large layer of leaves to fill the frame, and used a higher f-stop in the f/32 to bring all the nice details into focus.
They had some pots of large flowers that I could fill the frame with fairly well, and the little bit of open areas around the flower I blacked out in Photoshop.
This first one I shot was at f/22, I wanted most of the flower in focus. I ran the lines of the stamen stems on a diagonal, making the comp a little more interesting then running them straight up and down vertical. I blacked out the background in photoshop
This second image I shot this at f/8 to give a little softer background on the flower and put all the focus on the stamen and pistil.
Lets move on to the Swiss Cheese Plant. Very cool large leaves with holes just like swiss cheese.
As with the others I’m using the higher f/stops to get most of the leaf in focus. Just like the stamens stems, I angled the lines in the leaf on a diagonal.
This time I positioned the camera towards a leaf with the overcast sky in the background causing a white out in the holes of the leaf.
Here is the shoot with the white holes.
Now lets head into the back room which is filled with cool desert plants.
My favorite plant in the desert area is the Century Plant. Lots of cool lines and designs in the plant.
I’m shooting at f/32 as the area I’m shooting is fairly deep and I want it all in focus.
Here is an abstract of the Century Plant. It has this little curly string hanging over the plant, so I included it into the comp.
So as you see, if you fill the frame with the subjects, you don’t have to worry about the cluttered background.
Thanks for stopping in, tomorrow I will show some of my frame filling favorite images that were shot in the last few years at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
Help your photographer friends learn about this post by sharing through social media, click links at bottom of this article.
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To see my processing videos click here
To save 15% on Topaz products click here