There is a good chance that all but one of the photographs I have published from the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco have been of leaves. A bit odd if you consider the place has the word flowers in it. I do take shots of flowers. Yet when it is time to review all the images in post processing, the images of leaves rate higher for me. Maybe I do not quite have the eye for photographing flowers, not on par with buildings and landscapes (or leaves apparently) which I am comfortable with.
It is useful to know the types of photography where there are skill gaps. Gains in skill set is through seeing how other photographers shoot certain types of subjects or styles and then going out and continuously applying that knowledge into your own photography. Flickr, subject or location specific websites or Facebook groups, and even Google image searching have been helpful in finding other photographers and photographs that just shoot better… and there is almost always someone that shoots it better than you do.
Shooting Notes: Previous notes discussing the Conservatory of Flowers focused on the low light and tripod ban in the building and using aperture and ISO to speed up the shutter speed. Here is the good news, in the Aquatic Plants section where this photograph was shot, there are concrete edging and metal railing around the pond. These two features aid in bracing yourself and/or the camera, reducing camera shake for shots like this. Breathe in, the breathe out calmly, then trip the shutter for the shot. Take multiple shots. For these zoom-in shots with the long lens, even slight camera shakes are easily noticed through the leaf detail or water drops.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO200, 145mm, f/5, 1/80 sec
San Francisco (CA), Tropical Leaf, Droplets. San Francisco, CA. February 21, 2015. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.