Photographing those Close-Up Flower Portraits When Tripods or Monopods Are Forbidden

One of the greatest frustrations of floral photography is attending an indoor flower show, fully prepared for close-up photography using long macro lenses, and discovering that tripods or monopods are not allowed. (They’re forbidden inside the New York Botanical Graden Conservatory because they impede traffic on narrow, crowded walkways). How do you handle such a situation when using a long macro lens, F-stops in the double digits, awkward camera placement, and challenging light conditions?

Jeff Falk has spent countless hours at the NYBG, refining his techniques and equipment to allow the use of both DSLRs and Compact System Cameras (CSC) to achieve the results he wanted, without using a tripod. The secret Falk employs is to use the Nikon Creative Lighting System, and he demonstrates this gear utilizing remote Nikon SB-R200 strobes with brackets handheld, as well as a single Nikon SB-900 speedlight. For CSC, Falk will demonstrate the Canon G-11 or G-15, Canon 430 EX speedlight, brackets, and Canon ST-E2 speedlight transmitter. This seminar should appeal to both Nikon and Canon shooters, and help you come away with a great base to take challenging macro shots in restrictive environments. 

Falk also discusses the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx as one of the best places in the world to shoot thousands of different flowers, trees, and plants from all over the world. It has an native forest with myriad birds, amphibians, and small mammals living in it.

View Falk’s slide show of the New York Botanical Gardens Orchid Show 2013 here.