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Editor's Pick

Basil Photo Makes the World Go Round

by Ana Tatu
Ana Tatu
August 11, 2014
Editor's PickHot!Original

We need the viewer to feel he is taking part in the picture. We have established that. Well, from up there, it’s an easy ride. It is a simple principle we can follow a lot and get lovely results.
For instance, you get a pretty little plant to spice up things in your kitchen. You want interesting photos of your little plant. Something catchy. This time we will use a hand. It can be your hand actually, depending on your lens. It can be a 50mm or anything wider than that. It’s a bit uncomfortable especially if you don’t have very long arms. Or you can use a model.

photosquare_basil1

Hold a branch, hold it close, hold it. Be friends with your little plant. Pick a blank background so it doesn’t distract the attention from what is happening on the stage, which is love. Love for being healthy, love for the green. Good vibes and everything nice, because if you want good photos of something green that grows out of the ground, you must be there, affectionately.
That’s the whole idea, no? Health and feel good.
But that’s a lot of action taking up the entire space in the photograph, which can be equally good and bad. It all depends on what you want to do with the image. Some people out there enjoy something with more negative space so let’s try do that, too.
A bit more delicate.

photosquare_basil2

Yes. This is delicate. Hold just a tiny branch. Spreads around a soft atmosphere. You’re on the point on taking up gardening. At least, I am. Seeds and dirt and growing tomatoes.
Now let’s get technical. When you’re shooting at an f stop of 1.8, you’re going to get this effect. Tiny couple of leaves in focus and the rest of the branch a blur. You want that. Stick to the maximum aperture. You want a sharp details and everything else fading away. Delicate 100%.
Shot from above! Otherwise it’s not working. What else? Go creative, full range. Play with everything. Pick a leaf. Pick two leaves. Pick a big branch, pick a small branch, compare and contrast, arrange them in weird shapes. Sort them by size. Invent patterns. It’s not difficult.
There has to be an inner child inside you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be craving icecream bubblegum flavored. So, use it now. Us it as much as possible. Break the mold. Make basil feel the most important plant that has ever grown on this planet.
Make everybody wish they had thought of that. That kind of thing. You may, at first, shoot boring frames. Common frames. It doesn’t matter. Don’t lose time erasing them. Let them be. Play more. Shoot more.
Until you get something like this one. Looks like that basil is growing out of your palm. Perseverence. Patience. Trial and error. Eventually it pays off. Give it time and give it practice.

photosquare_basil3

Now go get a plant and make friends with it. Friends are the best models.

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