Stephen Studd Photography

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How to Photograph Spring Flowers

Spring is a fantastic time of year to get outdoors with your camera as nature is bursting with so much energy and colour. A walk in the woods in springtime will reveal a myriad of wild flowers, our gardens and parks will have plenty of subjects to photograph too.

Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in wood Stroud Gloucestershire Digital photography holidays flower photography courses tours

With the advent of digital photography we are all photographers, but what makes one photograph really stand out from the others? The answer to that is there is no single correct way to photograph flowers, however, certain elements do have to be taken into consideration to make a great shot.

Firstly before you start, in your cameras settings, select the highest possible resolution. This will give you clearer detail in your photographs, enabling the image to be used larger without signs of bluriness or noise.

Time of day is an important consideration when taking your photographs, the early bird really does catch the worm! Harsh midday sun makes most subjects look unflattering. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times of day as the light is warmer, less harsh and the colours of the plants look richer. Mornings also tend to be more still, flowers are hard to photograph when they are moving around too much. Windy days are the toughest to photograph flowers on, unless you wish to use the blur creatively with a slower shutter speed.

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Weather. Many people are surprised to hear that overcast days can be very beneficial for garden and flower photography. This is because clouds act as a perfect light diffuser creating even lighting and saturation without the worry of harsh highlights or shadows. If its a sunny day with clouds and you want some sunshine in your shot, wait until the sun first starts to appear as the light is again less harsh.

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Consider your subject before rushing to photograph it. Walk around and see what you are drawn to, see how the light plays on the flowers. Think about your composition, how is the subject going to fill the frame? Backlit flowers will always look good if the petals are transluscent as it accentuates the colours of the petals, giving off a luminesence and showing off the patterns. Don`t be afraid to try out different angles, getting down to the same height as a flower is very effective, or look up to flowers from below them.

Meconopsis Sheldonii Lingholm - Himalayan Blue Poppy flower photography workshops courses

The background of your photograph is very important as untidy, busy, cluttered backgrounds kill a shot as the viewers eye gets distracted away from the subject. If there are shadows use them to make the flower stand out, or move in closer to the subject.

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For close ups I would always recommend the use of a tripod, they allow you to frame the flower perfectly and keep the image sharp. Also look at the flower to see it is free of blemishes or missing petals. If you are going to hand hold a camera, as a very general rule of thumb with a standard lens 1/60th of a second is the minimum shutter speed to use, with longer lenses such as a 200mm look around 1/250th of a second to avoid camera shake. For checking correct exposure always check your histogram not the LCD preview.

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Finally break the rules, experiment, have fun, especially as we now have digital photography. Try out those new angles and backgrounds, you might be surprised with the results you obtain.

Allium; Purple Sensation

When photographing wildflowers be careful not to tread on other flowers. Leave them just as you found them for insects and others to enjoy.

Allium ursinum Wild Garlic Ramsons in woodland Sroud Gloucestershire dawn

Image; Wild Garlic (Ramsons) © Stephen Studd Photography for BBC Gardeners World

I would love to see your photographs, please feel free to send me a link.

I  am running wild flower photography workshops in Stroud and the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire in May 2014: further details can be found on my website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Twitter; https://www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos


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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, A Journey, part 2, The Power of Nature

267-2-2-2

Part 2 of my travel photography blog has just been published on the Manfrotto Imagine More website. This week is all about the power of nature.
Angkor Wat Cambodia Ta Prohm Temple

You can follow the journey each Friday in March: http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com/2014/03/14/angkor-wat-cambodia-journey/

Thanks for popping by.


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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, A Journey, travel photography blog

My travel photography blog has just been published on the Manfrotto Imagine More website. It is a 4 part series, following my journey to the temples of Angkor Wat. I first visited them in 1999 when some of the temples were still heavily land mined. This weeks blog looks at these early years pre- digital photography and when I was photographing for an exhibition, giving some of the proceeds of sales of prints and cards to land mine clearance.

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014 2015

You can follow the journey here on the Manfrotto website each Friday in March:

http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com/2014/03/07/angkor-wat-cambodia-journey/

Part 2 next week is the “Power of Nature”, thanks for visiting.


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IGPOTY awards 2014 “behind the photos”

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced.

‘Sarracenia Flava’: Finalist, Macro Art

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant IGPOTY monochrome photography by Stephen Studd

For the shot I wanted to give the plant an air of mystery and a fine art feel. I decided to minimise the depth of field and only focus on the nearest part of the plant to the lens. By doing this it would knock all the rest of the plant out of focus. The lighting was chosen to only have the highlight at the nearest point to the lens leaving the rest of the photo to fade into shadow, which gives the air of mystery.

Finally I converted the image to black and white and then split toned the colour in Lightroom.

The photograph was shot with a 180mm Canon macro lens, at f8 with 0.5sec shutter speed at 100 ISO.

‘Watering my allotment’: Commended, Plants & Water, photographed on my allotment Old Bisley Road, Stroud.

“Watering My Allotment” commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition photograph by Stephen Studd IGPOTY

The photograph  was first taken to illustrate a review I did for the Manfrotto Pixi tripod

I had pre-visualised the shot using the mini tripod as I thought it would be able to get to places I couldn`t, in amongst my bean, pumpkin and sweetcorn bed on the allotment. The summer of 2013 in the UK had been a particularly long and dry one and watering became a routine part of visits to the allotment in order to keep my plants alive.

I was after a shot that would convey the feeling of warmth, heat and watering. I chose an evening when the sun was low in the sky, placed the tripod amongst the veg and shot the photo into the sun for a more contemporary feel to the image.

With a cable release I tried a couple of test shots to get the exposure spot on (this can be tricky when shooting straight into the sun.) Then I watered the veg with my watering can, the result I was really pleased with, not only had the Pixi tripod held my very weighty Canon 1Ds Mark II but the streaks of bright backlit water added a beautiful pattern to the resulting image. The only problem I encountered was keeping the water off the camera, which was ironic after such a long hot dry summer.

Woman at the Market, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma): Highly Commended, Bountiful Earth

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

This image is one of my crossover images, in that I am a travel & garden photographer. I was away on a travel shoot in Burma, whilst also looking for great locations for the photography holidays I run there. Markets are always a great place to visit in any country, especially for travel photography. I had in my mind some of the different categories for IGPOTY and Bountiful Earth was an obvious one at this market in Mandalay. The woman with the bamboo hat, the colours of the scene and the big bags of shallots drew my attention. The market in Mandalay was full of fresh produce and a photographers dream, a place I visited over several days.

Canon EOS 1DS Mark II 70mm f6.3 1/160th sec, 100 ISO

I am a professional garden & travel photographer, my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays


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Happy Chinese New Year 恭禧發財

Happy Chinese New Year: The year of the horse

A celebration of Chinese New Year in photos.

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

I run photography holidays and workshops, www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos 

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com


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Memories: pop up photography exhibition

Sorry, the pop up photography exhibition is now closed. A big thanks to the thousands who visited.


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Bluebells and Wild Garlic woods flower photography workshop May 2014

I will be hosting two photography workshops in May this year to two of my favourite woodlands for wildflower photography.

The bluebells in the Forest of Dean are one of natures wonders, a sea of blue under the fresh green canopy of beech leaves.

Bluebells photography workshop 2014 Digital photography holidays holiday tour tours hosted by Stephen Studd

Bluebell woods, Gloucestershire

Bluebells photography workshop 2014 Digital photography holidays holiday tour tours hosted by Stephen Studd

The wild garlic flowers in the woodlands around Stroud in Gloucestershire carpet the woodland floor like snow and often deer can be seen in the dawn light. For this photography workshop there will be a maximum of 6 guests.

Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in wood Stroud Gloucestershire Digital photography holidays courses tours workshops

Wild garlic woods Stroud

These workshops are for all levels of photographer with small group sizes.

For more information on dates and booking please visit my website www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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