24/09/2020 – Creative Flower Photography with Cherry Larcombe


Creative Flower Photography with Cherry Larcombe

Questions raised during the Break:

Q – Is it all hand-held?
A – I’ve given up using tripod outside, I like to feel free.  If outside, it is more likely that the flower is moving.

Q – All macro images?
A – Sigma 180mm macro lens, it is a heavy lens but I’m used to it now. I know where I’ve got to be to get a good shot, I know the distance.

Q – What’s the best f-stop (sweetspot)?
A – I use mainly f8. I may go to f6.3 or f5.6…… But if I want my subject sharp and my depth of field such as there’s no distraction I would probably be on f8.

Q – Good to know that you don’t need to go to exotic parts of the world and find really odd flowers to take good pictures. Can take some beautiful pictures of flowers which are basically weeds.
A – Doesn’t matter, if they’re attractive.

Q – When you get down on your black bag do you have a tripod or small device, cushion or something to steady your camera or are they all hand-held pictures?
A – Mostly hand-held. Maybe I could perhaps use the camera bag… if it’s handy but I don’t take anything special with me.  I used to use a tripod, and I have a nice tripod, and it does go down really low but I found it such a bind carrying it round, takes we ages undoing it all and getting it into the right position.  I’m too impatient.  So I decided I wouldn’t take it with me and I haven’t really missed it. I do tend to use it indoors…. If I want something really sharp it just gives you that little edge. 

Q – Many of the places you are taking pictures National Trust, English Heritage wouldn’t allow you to have a tripod anyway
A – They don’t seem to mind. I do have a monopod which I sometimes take with me, it‘s not so intrusive.  It does help sometimes just to steady yourself.

Ref Irene Froy? Cherry went to one of her workshops.  Irene sometimes uses up to 20 white layers on an image. She says it’s better to use more and lower the opacity down than to use one layer.  And it does work, Cherry has tried it.

Q – I’ve tried taking photographs of snowdrops, they are very small and very low in the ground, so when on you are on your black bag you must be virtually laying on it, are you?
A – I usually kneel-down or sit.

Q – I am a complete novice.  With the macro lens, would there be a better one for someone that’s just starting out, or does it not matter?
A – It’s not a case of better it’s just a case of different lengths.  If you get a 100mm macro lens then you are going to have to be nearer to your subject to get a good shot.

Q – Regarding the macro lens does it also depend on what type of camera you’ve got as well?
A – Not really. It doesn’t matter what lens you’ve got and the camera combined, it’s the limitations of the two together.  My camera is not a full frame. 

Q – Canon or Nikon?
A – Nikon.  I’m not technical whasoever.  I only got that camera, got that lens because of somebody I know who took absolutely beautiful macro pictures had that camera and lens and so I thought I’d get one of those.  Get to know your own equipment.

Questions raised at the end:

Q – Are you using your Lensbaby with a full-frame camera?
A – No, it’s not a full frame camera, I got a Nikon D7100.

Q – How much is a lensbaby lens?
A – Found online for c.£500.  Since the Lensbaby Velvet 56mm, then they had the Velvet 85mm, and another one which I forget the name, they’re very, very similar but I’m sure you can probably now get a second-hand Velvet 56mm….., which will be a lot cheaper.

Q – With the stacking shot… how on earth did you keep your flowers still enough outdoors to do 12 exposures with different focus points?
A – It was a very still day, very dull and hardly any wind. It was more difficult than indoors obviously but it seemed to work.

Q – How do you get flower shots if it’s a very windy day?
A – I don’t I go and take pictures of churches.


Irene Froy

Pilar Pequeno

The Microfleur is available from Amazon, Lakeland, and Hobbycraft.  It comes in 2 sizes, 5inches and 9inches.  The 9 inch one is preferred as can hold bigger flowers (Hobbycraft £10.99).  Noting that there are microwave Flower Press instructions in the Members Only section of the website.


16 out of 17 attendees voted (this does not include for multiple members on a single login).

1. Will you be giving creative flower photography a go as a result of Cherry’s presentation? ( Single Choice)

Answer 1: Yes – 81%
Answer 2: No – 0%
Answer 3: Unsure – 19%

2. If you answered yes, do you feel you have the skills required to do so? ( Single Choice)

Answer 1: Yes – 50%
Answer 2: No – 12%
Answer 3: Unsure – 19%
Answer 4: Not Applicable – 19%

Liz Smith – 25/09/2020