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Photographing Flowers with The Bucket Method

The following tutorial on how to make and convert a bucket shield to give flowers some protection from the wind and a nice strong background was submitted by our most prolific forum members – JiminyClickit (he’s posted over 1600 messages in our forums.

Are your outdoor shots blurred by wind?
Do you want photos with black backgrounds?
Would you prefer to leave blooms alive?

Flowers-Bucket

With a minimum of cost and effort, you can shield your subject from wind movement, while providing a strong background contrast, and without having to pluck it and set up indoors. By surrounding a bloom, or lower stalk, or tree branch with a suitable bucket device, great photos will be easier to capture without damaging the plant (especially good if it’s not yours).

From simple to more complex, the usefulness of this method will be determined by your individual needs. The size of the container, the material of which it’s made, your choice of holding / mounting it will all play a part in its successful use. Here are a few directions, suggestions and tips to get started.

Some tools you may need:

  • scissors
  • small saw
  • craft knife
  • plastic tape

Some materials you may need:

  • plastic bucket (oval)
  • ¼ inch wing nut
  • ¼ inch bolt, 1” long
  • plastic tape

Bucket

How to Construct Your Bucket:

1. Drill this ¼” hole to attach a tripod. ¼” bolt may be used to attach to other supports.

2. Cut / saw these two slits to hold stem / branch of bloom / flower.

3. Cover slit with tape (both sides) to add grip. Cut tape in center.

Almost anything conical will work. You could form a shape with poster board (like an ice cream cone): hold with one hand, camera in other.

How to Use a Bucket to Photograph Flowers

On a Tripod
The most effective mount is this steady, hands-free attachment to a tripod (old cheap one).

Bucket-Tripod

Notice branch held in place by slit in bucket.

Tripod-Bucket-Flower

Off a Tripod

Off-Tripod

Down and dirty steady shot

Other Mounts

Foldable PVC pipe stand, bucket held with ¼” bolt and wing nut

Bucket-1

Wrist straps allow two-handed control.

Pull at “A” to form neck strap

Bucket-2

A few Results Shots

Results

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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