In a recent 1-2-1 training session on better garden photography, we talked about supports to stop plants waving about in the wind. That movement can lead to unsharp images. There are a number of ways you can support plants; specialist devices such as Plamps, angled sticks with twisted wire, and forked sticks, but I was wondering about the times when it’s not possible. If it’s too windy none of these methods will work.
Here’s an example…
I took this image on a very windy day, and the movement of the flowers was quite extreme. To show the movement I needed a long shutter speed, but it was quite bright, so I fitted a polarising filter and a 2x neutral-density filter. Setting the camera on its lowest ISO allowed me to use a shutter speed of about 0.7 seconds at f32 – on a tripod of course. There’s a lot of movement in the flowers, but enough detail to still to show the individual petals.
No amount of supports or sticks would have stopped this weeping silver birch tree moving around, so taking advantage of its movement was a natural thing to do. I used the same filters, and a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds. The movement of the leaves and branches in the foreground has created an almost abstract impression of the tree.
The moral? If you can’t stop something happening, make a virtue of out the fact that it happens!