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ANDY SEARS

Garden, Macro & product Photography

With a passion for garden and macro photography, photographer Andy Sears started building a library of botanical and macro images. Andy qualified with The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers, gaining his Licentiate in 2016. Like most photographers, Andy finds himself exploring other subject matter, including fauna, food, product photography, and just about anything that catches his eye.

Based in the Hertfordshire village of Graveley between Stevenage and Hitchin, where the garden and greenhouse have been given over to home grown flowers and plants which provide the subject matter for many of Andy’s images.

There is nothing truer than the saying, "You eat with your eyes first."

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Capture One Pro – Getting the look you want

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Capture One Pro - Start Image - Andy Sears
Start Image – Unprocessed

Getting the look that you want for your images can be time-consuming with large image files and required processing power often dragging software down to a crawl. This was the main reason for the switch to Capture One Pro.

Processing multiple files and exporting images is fast with Capture One Pro, there appears to be no drag on the system and very little in the way of freezes and crashes. Cataloguing is fast and relatively simple (after the initial learning curve which actually isn’t that bad).

With you images captured you set about tweaking, getting the best out of your image. The first step after importing is getting rid of any junk, a quick flick through the images and I can easily see what to keep and what to get rid of, again this is quick with no lag.

For the adjustments, you can manually adjust exposure, clarity, shadows, brightness etc as well as a mass of other delicate settings. Cropping is easy and can be to a set constrained ratios or free. Adjusting colours, the temperature etc again is with a phenomenal amount of settings, some self-explanatory and some take a bit of working out. From the colour adjustment panel, you can also switch to black and white.

You can also add layers, to process local areas of an image using selection brushes and gradients to create masks.

You also have pre-defined styles which with a single click can create the entire look of your image including black and white, retro looks, portraiture and selective colours amongst the offerings. Other style packs are also available to suit various needs, some free and other to purchase.

Once you have your start image, you can process your basic settings and then clone as a variant so not having to start all over again for different looks. The variants can also be viewed side by side

 

Capture One Pro - Multiple image selection

 

As can be seen above multiple image variants can be viewed side by side to see the differences between your processes, with all your available imported files and variants on the right-hand side. The final images can be seen below.

So whether you want to give an image some punch, convert it to black and white or just do some subtle colour correction, it is worth giving Capture One Pro a try with the 30 day free trial.

Download Capture One Pro 10 here

Cosmos in vase - Andy Sears Garden Photography

Capture One Pro - Image Variants

Telephoto Flowers

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Dahlia - Andy Sears
Dahlia – ISO320 – 1/250sec f5.6 – 200mm

While most of the time I use my Sigma 105mm macro lens for garden photography, one of my lesser used telephoto lenses is the Nikon 55-200mm f4-5.6 Non-VR Bought second-hand this lens rarely sees the light of day, but on the occasions I have used it, I have been pleased with the results.

Using this lens at the 200mm end actually makes flower photography that much easier, giving me more room to manoeuvre. The depth of field is more forgiving than the macro lens allowing me to capture the full bloom while still separating it from the background. It is also lightweight and gives me the benefit of other focal lengths if needed.

The lens itself does have one major drawback on the autofocus front. It is slow, very slow. Although slow to focus, it does seem to do a good job (given time).

The different viewpoint offered by the telephoto lens is completely different from that of the macro lens. While detail matters I find myself looking at the framing much more closely with the better depth of field using the background flora proved beneficial to the end result.

The Nikon 55-200mm non-vr lens is available second-hand for under £70 and proves to be a real bargain, and offers more flexibility in not just flower photography but in general usage as well.

Pick up the Nikon 55-200mm from MPB

 

 

Dahlia Raindrops - Andy Sears
Dahlia Raindrops ISO500 – 1/200sec – f6.3 – 200mm

 

Rudbeckia - Andy Sears
Rudbeckia – ISO320 1/400sec f5.6 200mm

 

Cosmos - Andy Sears
Rudbeckia ISO 320 – 1/250sec – f8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchid on White

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailTrying out some different lighting for an orchid image, I set up a small infinity curve using a Colorama Colorgloss White background which was lit from behind by a single Elinchrom RX4 and softbox.

I used a couple of small white polystyrene discs to bounce a little light back onto the orchid, as per the setup below.

Backlit Orchid setup

The aim was to get good lighting on the orchid, with the background completely white. Even thoughI was shooting at f8, the shallow depth of field with the macro lens required me to stack the images.

The final images were stacks of 10 – 12 images each with the focus point slightly moved. The images were align using Photoshop and then blended into a stack.

For the second image I got in closer which again resulted in a minimal depth of feild.

 

 

 

Winter Garden Photography

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Thorny FrostWith autumn now passed and winter taking a hold the garden is not looking its best and floral subject matter is minimal. A few leaves are remaining and the birds are finishing off the berries. A damp and cold time of year, but looking closely still provide plenty of different subject matter for winter garden photography.

While most of the colour consists of greens and browns, there are still some colourful leaves and berries adding orange and red splashes. When the frost hits, the crispness and sparkle also gives the garden a different look especially with a bit of added sunlight enhancing the bokeh effect.

Toadstools in the grass.The rain, mist and fog while dulling the day provide more subjects to photograph that would perhaps not be so appealing in their dry state. Toadstools emerge from from the lawn, nestling amongst the grass and on the warmer days start the new growth on the Honeysuckle. Bulbs are starting to show, ready to provide the colour at the end of winter and into spring.

Looking closer at the decaying leaves, fungus, and lichens they all provide remarkable miniature detail and provide excellent macro subjects for the colder months. The ice crystal formations in the frost again provide excellent detail, with even the greenhouse glass putting on a display of natures art.

 

The dull weather can make winter garden photography a little difficult, but the possible quality high ISO of digital SLR’s and a sturdy tripod will help tremendously and allow for a smaller aperture and greater depth of field. One thing that is for certain is the garden is always changing and the more you look the more detail and subjects you will see, and not just the plants, remember the birds and animals will also be feeding and active and with some strategically placed food may come and pose for a shot or two.

 

Photography

Andy Sears offers a range of photography services for small business, sole traders and creatives. Based in the village of Graveley, Nr Hitchin, Hertfordshire, I cover the areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridgeshire.

Some of the areas of photography I cover, include:

  • Garden Photography
  • Macro Photography
  • Jewellery Photography
  • Small Product Photography
  • Photography for the purpose of insurance
  • Outdoor Event Photography / Documentary / Location Photography local area, tourism, outdoor events
  • Food Photography
  • On-site Photography retail premises, cafes, restaurants, gardens etc.
  • Stock Images
  • Photo Restoration
  • Photography for Websites

Photography from Andy Sears including food, product and location photography.

All images taken are post processed using the latest software (Adobe Photoshop / Capture One Pro) to ensure optimal quality. Images can be resized for both web and print use. Image delivery is via secure direct download.

Guide pricing is shown below, however, there are many variations, distance, the time taken and of course the type of job, so please do contact me at andysears@visart.co.uk with further details of your requirements, where I will be happy to provide a bespoke quotation depending on your needs.

  • £22.00 per hour
  • £80.00 half day
  • £150.00 full day

 

Garden Photography from visart

Garden Photography | Deep Red Osteospermum

You love your garden and the flowers, plants and produce your garden presents you with. Garden Photography from visart  can have your plants, flowers and produce captured in finely detailed photographic images.

Your chosen images can be turned into prints to display in your home,  greeting cards to send to friends and family, a luxury photo book, or for use in your own website or blog.

 

Garden Photography in your own garden

Garden photographer Andy Sears is a qualified ‘Licentiate’ member of The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers.  Andy is based in Graveley, Hitchin offers garden photography in and around Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire both in the studio and also on-site in your own garden. Whether you require a single image for a print or a complete set capturing various plant and flower and views of your garden.

Garden Photography using Nikon Camera and Sigma macro lensAll year round your garden changes with the seasons and whether your garden is offering spring bulbs, summer colour, autumn leaves or winter frosts, the seasons give it its own unique look. We can capture the characteristics of your garden during any season knowing the images taken will be completely unique.

Fully insured and using Nikon and Sigma digital SLR cameras and lenses we will treat your garden with the respect it deserves. We will capture the images and each image will be post processed using the latest Photoshop software to remove blemishes, correct colours and ensure your images and subject look their best. All images will be placed online allowing you to view and choose which images you require, these can also be supplied as printed proofs if you do not have access to view online.

We are able to capture full garden scenes, single blooms and even close up stunning macro images from the contents of your garden. In addition to visiting your own garden, we are also able to provide studio still life photography for produce, cut flowers, potted plants using controlled lighting and backgrounds. For more information on our studio still life photography please contact info@visart.co.ukImages of your garden captured in fine detail.

 

If you are planning a project in your garden, we are able to provide before and after images, or maybe a set of images depicting your garden through the seasons as it matures and comes to life.

 

 

For all enquiries please contact info@visart.co.uk