Douglas Dubler loves shooting macro images of flowers.
His fascination with flowers began decades ago and it’s a subject that continues to bring him delight to this day. His commercial career consisted of more than four decades of shooting ads and magazine covers for the fashion, beauty and the cosmetic industry. This shaped his eye for beauty which extended into the world of flowers.
One gets the sense of being a bee on the flower.
I arrange their beautiful and sensual shapes as abstract elements of varying color and shape. I thoroughly enjoy the total sense of freedom that working at extremely close distances allows. When printed large (40” x 60”) one gets the sense of being a bee on the flower.
It adjusts quickly and once set up doesn’t move or “settle”.
To realize this vision, I rely on areas of extreme sharpness and detail, working in the garden or studio with my camera on a very stable tripod to ensure the high-resolution files necessary for large prints. My tripod of choice is the Induro CLT303. It adjusts quickly and once set up doesn’t move or “settle”.
Often times I hang a bag of rocks from the center column to give me some additional ballast. When I need a low camera angle I can quickly reverse the center column or use the short column to get me down to an ant’s eye view.
My favorite light for flowers is an hour before sunset when the light is not direct but bounced off of an open sky. Sometimes I use a little fill flash to introduce low-level highlights. Before I begin a session I do a reconnaissance walk around the garden, observing the direction and quality of light and noting where it would be best to begin.
In macro flower photography, when the light changes slightly, the change in the feeling and composition of the photograph is considerable. Consequently, time is always of the essence and being familiar and facile with one’s equipment is key.
As a photographer, I feel technique only has value when it serves the image. I try and make that technique quiet and invisible, apparent only upon very close observation after the emotional impact of the image has been established. As an example, I will use any of Ansel Adam’s breathtaking images.
Nevertheless, it’s that initial emotional impact that makes an impression that once seen never fades.
One is most immediately taken with the play of light on the subject then the composition and lastly the technical quality of the print. For the more experienced viewer, these can present themselves almost simultaneously. Nevertheless, it’s that initial emotional impact that makes an impression that once seen never fades.
Douglas Dubler’s Tripod of Choice: