Taking shots of Snowdrops and other Spring Wildflowers

February 5, 2020


      Yesterday I noticed that my Snowdrops were blooming.  On February 4th!  A bit early for central Pennsylvania.


       It feels strange to be shooting wildflowers this early in the season but why not.  Above is a shot of one of my Snowdrops that I took this afternoon. The Snowdrop is about 3 inches high. I took the shot at ISO 400, f/22, and 0.4 seconds shutter speed. Shot on my “macro” tripod with cable release.


      I used my Canon 80D DSLR camera with my Canon 60mm macro lens.  Since I wanted to get close to capture the whole plant and have a deep depth of field, I shot in Aperture Mode at f/22.   For a good quality image and low noise, I shot at ISO 400.  With these settings, I could not hand hold the shot.  Everything was blurry!  I soon discovered that the shutter speed needed was 0.4 seconds.  Way too long for a handheld shot!  Back into the house for my “macro” tripod.


     I call it my “macro” tripod because it can get very low to the ground which is needed for wildflower shots.  This tripod is made by Manfrotto and it’s their 190XPROB model.  I don’t think they make this particular model anymore but they do sell very similar ones, e.g., Manfrotto MK190XPRO3-BHQ2 Aluminum Tripod with XPRO Ball Head and 200PL QR Plate that costs $255 at B&H.  You can get different tripod heads. You can use the tripod’s rapid center column in standard vertical mode or swing it into horizontal position like a boom. The three legs can adjust out to be almost level with the ground (3 settings).  See picture below.
My “macro” tripod with center column horizontal as a boom.


         For years I struggled with a cheap tripod with little capability.  Very frustrating!  As a result, I hardly ever used my old tripod!  BIG mistake! Now that I have my good Manfrotto tripod I use it often and my photography has seen a significant improvement!  A good tripod is worth it!  If you don’t have one, consider purchasing one.



Posted by Dan Hyde

Dan is the Chair of the Lewisburg Photography Club.