CREATIVE FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS – Using Macro Photography To See Things Differently

Flower macro photography is the subject in this Visual Art Photography Tutorial. Ray Scott usually likes to portray flowers in a soft almost romantic fashion but in this video he strives to show another side, a more intimate view that usually cannot be seen with the naked eye. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder here with images that sometimes evoke illustrations of something completely different than flowers themselves.
Ray uses a Canon macro lens with Kenko extension tubes to get anywhere from life-size to 3x life-size and the results are thought provoking and unique.

When in studio or in the field Ray uses Canon gear. This is a choice he made years ago knowing that he was buying into a system that he could grow into. His go to camera is the Canon EOS 6D with the second camera being a Canon 5D. Lenses used are all L series f/4 except for the 50mm macro with extender. 16-35mm f/4L, 24-105mm f/4L, and 70-200mm f/4L round out the kit which is carried about with either a Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 messenger bag for city shooting or a Lowepro Sling Bag for landscape field work. While Ray does more camera handholding than before due to the image stabilization capabilities of his various lenses, he still is a believer in using his Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod. It’s light and it is sturdy.

Ray is a firm believer in exposing himself to as much photography and its history as possible. By looking at other people’s photos, he has gained a big appreciation of what this medium has to offer. Ray doesn’t think that “copying” someone else’s style is a good thing but rather feels that exposing oneself to others work can work as a teaching and inspirational tool. With this in mind, Ray has amassed a list of favorite photographers that he uses for inspiration. Some of these artistic photographers are Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, Frans Lanting, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Freeman Patterson, William Neill and Richard Avedon.

One of the playlists on this channel is called “neighbourhood photographer” which covers tutorials shot in urban and suburban areas. It’s always a challenge to see different things of interest when you’ve been to an area many times yet this is the best way to create good images. You need to return to familiar locations many times. To do so, Ray often drives by car to an area but when he really wants to cover ground yet see things more clearly, he uses his bicycle…bike…and explores the given place.

Whether shooting landscape, macro, portrait or abstract images, Ray always tries to be aware of his surroundings to capture the best pictures possible. Part of this workflow means he is very aware of composition and uses various tips, such as the rule of thirds, as a good starting point in composing. He also likes to break rules from time to time to add new effects to his photos. Being aware of angles, shadows, shapes, lines, textures, patterns and colours goes a long way to making good pictures. He is also a big believer in “getting out there” and shooting as much as possible as it is the only way to improve and flex one’s imagination. His message is it doesn’t matter if you do your photography in the city, suburbs country, mountains or by the sea, just make sure you do it and follow your artistic passion.

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  1. F. Norman on September 23, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    What type of lighting do you use for the orchids and a black background?

  2. Salvamando1 on September 23, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Nice video, I love the close-ups.

  3. cool doc on September 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    4:35 and 5:50 are absolutely beautiful
    Great vid👍

  4. Minister Wayne Glover on September 23, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    SO I am very interested in shooting Macro flowers, butterflies, Bees, etc.. I have a Sigma 70-300/Macro lens for my Nikon d610. The issue I am having is focus. I have a tripod and still don’t seem to be as sharp as I would like. Any suggestions?

  5. Judith Kaspar on September 23, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I love your videos. I do have a quick question… concerning lighting for macro. Could you possibly add that into your videos as I believe its a very important element to be aware of. I am FAR from being a pro, but are those Christmas Cactus lit from both sides? Thanks and keep up the great videos! I’m hooked. 🙂

  6. Joan Ouellette on September 23, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Yes, you have certainly got my created juices flowing. I have just re-invested in a macro lens…had a Nikon outfit but now have changed to Micro 4/3 and bought a new macro lens. Your videos in macro are superb, but I now have a new mantra…"it’s not WHAT you see, but how YOU see it." Formerly I would skate around an idea, then dispose of it, thinking this had been done before, but your mantra is now changing all that. Thanks Ray.

  7. Andreas Falco on September 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    I am sorry to say I was disappointed. Not by your photos which were really nice, but the complete lack of useful equipment and shooting information. You talked about macro objectives and extension tubes, but neglected to tell which ones of these you used in the photos, how you set them up, whether you used a tripod, how far the front of the lens is to the flowers, how to overcome the shallow depth of field problem, what is the difference between full frame.and APS-C cameras in this respect, etc. I would not complain if you did leave out all technical information (e.g. by referring to any other video or book too look those up) and only show interesting shots, however this video is referred as a "tutorial" and it did not really taught me anything.

  8. yujin landscape photography. on September 23, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    👌👍👏Good morning! Thank! Ray.

  9. Mark Ferrell on September 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks great info

  10. Darrien Ollivierre on September 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    You said you used an old macro 50 mm for this. Can you indicate which it is?

  11. sgrdpdrsn on September 23, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I almost started crying – this is really another beautiful world! Several years ago, I made a macro dias-photo outside my mothers house – from 1 cm distance to a small Robertanium. When she looked at the picture – 1 m big on the screen – she wondered where I had been to take this photo…? In your carden – 10 meters from this house! Its impossible to believe!

  12. Mental Health On The Go Today on September 23, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Great video. Yes, we walk around oblivious of the beauty about us. Thank you.

  13. Melvin Markowitz on September 23, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I enjoyed the video. How did you light the flowers?

  14. E.L. Bl/Du on September 23, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Ray, Your histogram was right on the one’s you liked too. (leave it to a student to point out something they just learned about, lol) Isn’t the negative space in that side shot NOT what we want in the composition?? I like the fact your videos are short and to the point. TMI is difficult for us noobs to remember. I agree as far as what size extension tube you’re using in the different shots, that would be helpful information, but there aren’t that many sizes available so repeating what your whole set is would be redundant, I agree.

  15. Nathalie Woodruff on September 23, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    On the Christmas cactus, where was your focus when shooting the pistil & stamens? I’m doing macro flower photography, but having trouble getting the whole flower in focus. I understand the aperture and DOF, but should I use spot focus or light up all of the focal points? I’m using a Canon 6d. Thanks in advance.

  16. john rogers on September 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I saw that "bird" too. I actually thought of some weird alien at first. Great shot. If that was mine, I would seriously think about blowing it up for a wall picture. Just kept staring and realised, especially with the colouration, that females may really find it appealing, hell, I do, and I’m an old white guy (just not rich dammit) lol. Name it something like "Heaven’s Angel" and you could probably sell quite a few; just a thought. Peace man, and warm wishes from Australia.

  17. Alec S on September 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    You’re a Rob Boss in macro 🙂

  18. Drfarzin jazayeri on September 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    how about the yellow double foxes want hugging you?

  19. Mark Harris on September 23, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Visual Art Photography Tutorials I was away in Somerset England with my wife last week and, although I’ve done quite a lot of macro images in the past, I found myself photographing flowers with a flash much more than I have done before. They were "semi-closeup" (stole that term off another YouTuber) because I didn’t have time to set up my macro equipment but I’m going to use flash much more in future as it gave me the darker background and helped freeze my subject. I find even with clamps (or plamps) there can still be movement which is magnified because you are working with such tiny subjects. Do you use flash at all for your subjects? Do you take the images indoors or outdoors? Or like myself wherever the flowers are in or outdoors? Also do you use plamps? If so do you have any tips for using them and getting zero movement outdoors? I can’t imagine you doing anything to harm the flowers in any way, you have a wonderful appreciation in beauty for what it is, not changing or destroying it to get the image. Last question, do you ever do any focus stacking at all?

  20. Serge Couvrette on September 23, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    i followed you explanation but i did not have a macro (yet) so i started with à 50mm and than put on my 200 mm and zoom from someone distance and ended up quite nice but not macro… i ended up discovering low key flower photography and i am in love hee hee. i looked at your pictures in this tutoriel and studied where the light were comming from. really helpful and inspiring work Ray.

  21. yujin landscape photography. on September 23, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I found photography flowers for it is micro, miss colour in the flowers. Thank! visual art….,

  22. ben.s movies on September 23, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    I love your videos – you’re inspiring me so much! It’s great to listen to your awesome tips and your friendly explinations.Thank you

  23. Irwin Lakin on September 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    RAY for the bird of prey photo what settings (camera)did you use  and where was your focus pt on the photo. Loved all the flowers. Which of your videos explains the use of extension tubes!

  24. Truth Seeker on September 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Very nice.

    Good job!

    Keep them coming.

    You’re doing great things.

    Thank you for this valuable info.

  25. Agus Widjaja on September 23, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Thumbs up for you.

  26. Roman Lisunov on September 23, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I can’t stop myself from writing a comment and saying that it is an increadibly helpful lesson. You could film a lit about the equippment and technical stuff that everybody does, but there is not so much lessons that teach people how to get a better taste in their photos. To become more creative and how to feel it better. This video has beautiful and inspiring examples, and thought it seems quite easy to simply make more pictures using different angles, this video has helped me to feel thorough it, not just understanding the theory. Really good job.

  27. welshman2081 on September 23, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Following watching your video you have me interested in Macro photo’s of Orchids,I have looked around in Books and the Web and had no luck in what you have in your video.Do you Know the name of the ones you are using,it has totally amassed me I have never looked at a flower in this way, Hope you can help, Ps I have watched other videos of yours and saved in my History. regards Ron

  28. Ray Torres on September 23, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    very nice but i love to know the exif

  29. Sarah Y on September 23, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for this video. I have a whole slew of flower images taken over the years and was wondering how I could vary the look of the flower images I take from this point on. This video provides the artistic inspiration I need to purchase the extension tubes (in my cart on Amazon, but never took the plunge), and thankfully, they’re not expensive. Beautiful images by the way. Thank you!

  30. Ali Ibrahim on September 23, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Im using Nikon D 5300 and really loves macro photography but do not know what kind of lens should I pick some people told me to use Sigma 105 mm but Im not sure any advice ?

  31. sam nelson on September 23, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    My interest is in documenting botanical specimens so this video really helps.

  32. Sunshine Perry on September 23, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I really enjoy your tutorials Ray…thank you

  33. Alex van den Wildenberg on September 23, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Nice close-ups

  34. Jann Smith on September 23, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    I enjoyed this< Ray. Thank you for posting..

  35. tjalexforever on September 23, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing and I have subscribed

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