Hello May! Flower photography: Tamron and Sigma glass on Sony
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
This May was a great month with lot of photography trips and hikes, not only to the surrounding Vértes mountains (my favorite place to find deers), but spent a weekend with my wife out in the Mecsek mountains, hoping to find Bánáti bazsarózsa (Paeonia banatica), like last year. Although, this year we missed them blooming, since they were early about 7-10 days, so only specimens growing their crops were found. Anyway, the monkey orchids and the lady orchids were just in their best beauty!
This spring time I put some extra effort to rediscover my Sony E-mount and also my vintage SLR lenses for plant & flower photography. Think, this is a useful habit to relearn and refresh one's knowledge about the things one 'know already'. After my comparative tests I found (again) the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 lens at the short end and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art with macro ring works outstandingly well for this purpose.
One might thing it is easy to photograph plants, as they do not run away, like wild animals, however, plants are not necessarily grow at the best locations, which are hit by nice light. So, bringing nice light with us is key.
Generally, for macro photography I used to apply bouncing reflectors/sheets and/or small flash. Bouncing and softening direct light is possible only, when there is light to use... However, in full shade there is no light to reflect, also, no nice colors, so no question need to use an own source of light, like flash. Unfortunately, small flash light has some drawbacks, like its color temperature is fixed (can be modified by gels), has no (usable) modelling light functionality (so, need to do lot of 'trials and errors' when applying variable angles and flash power), also, flash provides hard light (could be soften by modifiers). Overall, using flash for this purpose could be a painfully long procedure.
Recently, small video LED lights (with variable color temperature and/or RGB) are quite affordable, also, a vastly easier and more effective light source, as what you see is what you get! I tried out then my small video LED light to make the colors live in the shady forest. I added (smartphone) werk photos for better understanding how to use the translucent and reflecting surface of the collapsible 4 in 1 reflector.
Here I collected some of my favorite plant / flower photos taken this May, as you see, they are all pink, red, purple and magenta!