Adding Perspective to Flower Macro Photography

From time to time I need to remind myself how important scale can be to an image. This short article illustrates how adding perspective to flower macro photography helps to create a sense of scale. All of the images in this article were captured hand-held using an Olympus TG-5 equipped with the Olympus LG-1 LED Light Guide.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Let’s have a look at our first two sample macro flower images.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/160, ISO-800, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/160, ISO-800, microscopic mode

Unless we are very familiar with various species of plants it is difficult to judge the scale of a macro flower image. Now, let’s put these first two images in perspective by including my fingers in an image.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/200, ISO-800, microscopic mode

What follows are three more pairs of images of different flowers. The first photograph in each pair is an extreme close up. Each is then followed by an image which contains my fingers to add perspective.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/160, ISO-800, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 13 mm, efov 72.2 mm, f/4.2, 1/250, ISO-800, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/100, ISO-800, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/200, ISO-200, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/100, ISO-1600, microscopic mode
Olympus TG-5 @ 10 mm, efov 55.6 mm, f/3.4, 1/80, ISO-200, microscopic mode

I’m certainly not suggesting that you should stick your fingers in all of your macro flower images! It can be helpful to add perspective to a few of your photographs. This will enable you to explain the scale of your macro flower photographs to folks who may not be familiar with specific species of plants. This is especially important if you do any presentations of your work to camera clubs.

If you use a tripod for your macro flower photography it is quite simple to insert your fingertip into an image or two. Since I captured  these images hand-held I shot the photographs which included my fingers with one hand. The camera was braced up against my forearm or the palm of my hand that is in frame.

Other objects like a pencil, pen or other familiar items can also be used to create  size perspective.

Technical Note:
All photographs are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping at all. All images were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images used in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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