Cannabis is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful plants out there, which makes it an absolute treat to photograph. The species is also very diverse in size, shape, and colour, so photographing new strains in new locations won’t get old or repetitive. Whether you are photographing your own cannabis crop to display to your friends, or you are a professional photographer looking to capture the most eye-catching shots possible, here are a few tips to obtain some truly stunning cannabis visuals.

CAMERA SETUP

Before we explore other factors, let us first focus on the primary piece of equipment, the camera itself. For those who take their photography seriously (and have the cash), a DSLR camera is the best option for creating the best images. DSLR cameras have a wide array of settings that can be manually changed, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These settings alone will allow the photographer to get creative with their shots and work within a range of lighting scenarios. On top of this, DSLR cameras allow users to modify their kit quite a bit. Different lenses can be used to capture an array of shots. Macro lenses are great for up close and personal photography, so therefore, they’re great for cannabis. These will allow photographers to really highlight the sheer amount of trichomes present on the flowers of certain strains.

Camera Setup Lenses Cannabis Photography

If you don’t have a DSLR and don’t want to splash out the cash for one, fear not. As technology moves forward, even the cameras on smartphones are becoming good enough to generate some rather spectacular imagery. The detail provided by these cameras is getting sharper as newer models are released. Additionally, there is now a booming market for smartphone lenses that simply clip onto phone cameras to help photographers obtain the shots they want. When using a phone for cannabis photography, simply clip on a macro lens and shoot away!

CREATE AN APPEALING BACKGROUND

The background of a photograph can be just as important as what is in the foreground. Photographing plants with foil, fans, and light bulbs in the picture can make the image seem quite messy and chaotic. Of course, if you are aiming to display these items intentionally, then do keep them visible. If not, it’s more aesthetically pleasing to only include the greenery of plants in the background, especially for macro shots. Imagine a close-up of a fat bud, heavy with trichomes in the foreground, against a glittering sea of green. Looks pretty beautiful, right?

If your objective is to capture an entire plant within the frame, then you can place the specimen against a pure white background to capture its elegance without any unnecessary objects within the frame. Creating a makeshift studio is very easy to do and the background itself can even be constructed out of non-reflective white paper or cardstock.

USE A TRIPOD FOR STEADY SHOTS

Tripods are used to keep cameras completely stable in order to prevent blurring and tilted frames. They do a much better job than shooting with cameras in hand, and are a worthwhile investment for both the hobbyist and professional “photog.” Tripods are extremely adjustable and will enable you to get perfectly still shots from all sorts of angles, such as from above and very close up. A cheap alternative to a tripod is to simply place your camera on a stack of books or a table to achieve a clear shot. This option can be difficult at times, especially when trying to capture certain angles. Small tripods are also available for smartphones that will allow photographers to get steady shots using these more commonplace devices.

Tripod For Steady Shots Cannabis

USE A FLASH TO LIGHT UP YOUR FLOWERS

A flash can work wonders to really make your flowers start to look like jewels, especially if you don’t have a fancy lighting setup. The flash will light up your picture nicely and really bring out the details. Taking a snap of your flowers in the dark and using the flash to illuminate them creates a great effect and really makes them shine. If your flash is too overbearing and creates too much of an artificial effect, you can simply mute the flash slightly by placing white paper over the light source. Most DSLRs come with a built-in flash, however external flashes of superior quality can be attached. Most smartphones also come with a built-in flash.

USE LIGHTING FOR HIGH QUALITY PICTURES

Although flashes do work well, lighting setups can be used to get sharp images that boost details and minimise any potential blurring. Flash can work great in some situations, but the direct light can often generate harsh lighting. Indirect light causes more of a soft lighting effect that is much more desireable. Soft light can be achieved by bouncing light off of a white surface such as a sheet of paper.

GO MACRO

Macro photography is the art of capturing objects and organisms extremely close up and in great detail. To start with, set your DSLR to macro mode. This will enable your capture to focus well and better detect the small trichomes of the surface of cannabis flowers. Macro mode will pick up on the fine details of plants and make the picture look stunning. Additionally, the use of macro lenses will also really help to get crisp and clean shots of the tiny sections of plant anatomy. There are a wide spectrum of macro lenses for DSLR cameras, and now smartphone owners can utilise this technology by clipping a macro lens onto their device.

Macrophotography Cannabis Plants Cultivation

SHOOTING UNDER HPS GROW LIGHTS

You may think your lighting setup will make a great option for taking pictures, and this is certainly true. However, HPS grow lights can cause unwanted orange and yellow light to appear on pictures. To counteract this, simply change the white balance setting on your camera. Shoot either using the “Tungsten” or “Fluorescent” setting.

EDIT YOUR IMAGES

After taking some good shots with your camera, it’s time to make them great. Post editing is a time to tweak and change certain elements of the image in order to make it perfect. Software for computers and smartphones do a great job at perfecting images. Most software will have slides that allow users to alter the clarity, shadows, highlights, saturation, whites, and blacks. Digital filters and presets can also be used to add that extra aesthetic touch.

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