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Flower Shots that Flourish in the Rain - photo credit Bob from Waldport, Ore. E-620 Owner
Flower Shots that Flourish in the Rain

Not many people want to trudge outside on a cloud filled, rainy day. Having to carry an umbrella or worrying about getting your camera wet is usually what deters photographers from getting out and shooting. However, there is a beautiful subject that can only be encountered on rainy days: water drops. The sparkling water drops on the delicate petals of a flower can create a picture-perfect shot every photographer wants to take. After learning how to obtain these kinds of photos with your Olympus OM-D, PEN, E-System or advanced Stylus camera, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the next storm.

Use the aperture to control the depth of field

The aperture used changes the depth of field of the picture. Water drops are very small so it is impossible to capture the background reflected inside the drop when the area that is in focus is not wide enough (that is, when the depth of field is not deep enough).

Aperture at 3.5
Shot at F3.5
Aperture at 5.6
Shot at F5.6
Aperture at 4.5
Shot at F4.5
Aperture at 8.0
Shot at F8.0

Set the shooting mode to A (Aperture Priority Auto) and set a high numbered aperture value (small iris opening). Doing so will make areas in the picture that were slightly out of focus appear sharp and clear.

On the other hand, if the background is also sharply in focus, the water drop itself will be lost so you may need to decide the optimal value while checking the resulting pictures. Also, keep in mind that using high aperture values also means slower shutter speeds, making blur more likely.

Make the subject look BIG
Focusing close makes the background out of focus.
Focusing on the drop in front makes the background nicely out of focus.

Water drops are very small and transparent. If you don't make them appear bigger in the picture, they will get lost. Get as close to the subject as the lens you are using will allow. A macro lens is ideal as you can make small subjects appear even larger.

Getting close to the subject will also soften the focus on the background, making the water drops look even more brilliant. To amplify this effect, try composing your shot so that the subject is more isolated from the background. This will further blur the background and make the water drops stand out.

Try experimenting with different angles and distances and see what you can create!

Try using Art Filters
Try the Soft Focus Art Filter.

Water drops are really beautiful as they are but if your camera supports them, try using art filters to enhance your shot.

Using [SOFT FOCUS], you can get a softer contrast and make the flowers appear more delicate.

Try the Pin Hole Art Filter.

With [PIN HOLE] you can darken the edges of the picture making the subject in the center more eye-catching.

You can use these filters to draw more attention to the water drops, even though they are so small.

Focus on the flower within the water drop
Photographing reflections can produce amazing images.

If you only want to shoot the water drop itself you can simply focus on the drop's surface. However, if you want to emphasize the image within the water drop, focus instead on the image within. In most cases the AF (auto focus) will focus on the drop's surface so it may be a good idea to use MF (manual focus) instead. When it is difficult to verify the focus in the viewfinder, it may be convenient to use the enlarged display in live view.

More Tips On Changing Depth of Field:
  • Choose a low numbered aperture (large iris opening) for results with a shallow focus or shallow depth of field. Primarily only the subject that your camera lens is focused on will be in focus.
  • Choose a high numbered aperture (small iris opening) for results with deep focus or deep depth of field. Primarily the entire image area will be in focus.
  • Using shorter lenses or smaller focal length (ex. wide angle) lenses creates more depth of field.
  • Using longer lenses or longer focal length (ex. telephoto) lenses creates a shallow depth of field.
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