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How do you handle the wind, for outdoor macro?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BostonRott, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Our peonies are blooming, and since they've started, we've had 10-20MPH winds every day (constant, b/c there's a big ol' storm sitting off shore). :rolleyes: 

    I thought about using an aligator clip on an extendable rod (something I rigged for dog training), but decided the clip would probably damage the flower/stem. I don't really want to cut them, and also thought about "what if this were wild and I couldn't just cut it and bring it in?"

    How do you keep outdoor flowers still on a windy day??
  2. SteveK


    Mar 16, 2005
    Quite simply, you don't. You can try a plastic tarp or something to block the wind, but if you have 20MPH winds, nothing will work. Some people like the look of flowers blowing in the wind, making blurry tracks......if you want to try, shoot at slow shutter speeds to accentuate the blur.
  3. Hmmph! That's kinda what I figured! :tongue: There are so many ingenious people here, I figured I'd ask! :smile:

    I'll see what I can get, the winds aer starting to die down today, as that storm is *finally* leaving!
  4. If you can get some good light on it, you should be able to get decent enough shutter speeds to help freeze the movement. I use an off-camera flash and found it does help. D70 should have 1/500 sync speed which is higher than I normally need.
  5. Try to shield of the wind. And try to find a windbreak :Crunk:

    And continous AF-S and VR help a lot (70-200VR with 500D). Sometimes even Flash (GF with additional diffusor, works very well as a small Softbox)
  6. gvk


    Jun 17, 2005
    Mystic, CT
    I usually wait for a calm morning, and then collect my camera, tripod, macro lenses, flashes and shutter release cable and head out to the garden. Then at just about the time that I have framed and focussed the first shot, the wind begins to blow and gust! My technique at that point is to curse and swear until it stops. This, of course, has no effect on the wind, and does not make me feel any better. So I pack up all my gear and wait for the next calm morning to try again, hoping that the flowers will still be there ...
  7. There is also another possible solution: using a nifty little gadget like the "Plamp" or the "McClamp" to hold the flower by its stem while you're shooting.... This is similar to what you've described, except that the clamp which holds the plant stem is not as forceful as an alligator clip and doesn't hurt the plant. One end clamps to your tripod leg and the other end holds the plant or whatever you want (reflector, diffuser, etc.). I've recently gotten the Plamp but haven't had the opportunity to try it out yet.
  8. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    I used and loved the McClamp until I lost it. I don't even remember how or when I lost it - just did. I'll get around to getting another one one of these days.

    It really helps more for composition than as an aide against the wind. But it does help in some circumstances. For instance, it will help to stop a branch from blowing back and forth, but it won't stop the leaves on that branch from blowing.

  9. In very bad cases I used to use a wind break screen that we took to the beach. You will need soft ground though as they are rather large and do not have very 'pointy' feet.

    Bob F.
  10. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Add a spike to the bottom of the posts Bob
    Or widdle them now that you can see Harry in the next country:>))))))
  11. My technique is exactly the same as Gerry's: get up early enough to get eaten by DEET-resistant mosquitoes while it's calm and then to swear when when the breeze kicks up.

    I've had modest success with make-shift screens, less with raising shutter speed to max sync speed and using flash, because even if I freeze the subject, any movement of the subject throws it out of focus.
  12. I tried the "higher shutter speed" trick today, we'll see what I got (I haven't gone through them yet). :smile:
  13. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    The unethical approach:
    Cut flower. Take picture of background. Take flower home and position against black background. Take picture of flower.
    Photoshop flower into background.:biggrin:
  14. Oh, you bad boy, Chris!

    Ah, but soooo tempting.....

    :biggrin: :biggrin:
  15. I have a similar problem here in Vienna. There is almost always wind of some kind along the Danube valley.

    Short shutter times aren't always possible, especially when youhave to stop down a bit further.

    That reminds me of what Bjørn Rørslett once said to me when I complained about the wind: "Just let it blow" and if you don't mind some creative approach, this and a long shutter time will do the rest :smile:

  16. Shaking an angry fist at the wind does not help. I tried.
  17. adrianaitken

    adrianaitken Guest

    What about getting a big (really BIG) blower fan and putting it on the opposite side of the flowers. Two opposing winds and hey presto, the flower will be stationary (probably, but fun trying it anyway!!!!) :smile:
  18. I use a Plamp too and I added the extension so its very long, making it more versatile. Still, in a 20mph wind a flash might be the best solution.
  19. I've the plamp (I have 2 - 1 with the extension) isnt quite sturdy enough and I still get movement.

    You could always get one of those cubelights and peg it down on top of the flower.
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