Canon makes solid DSLRs, and the EOS Rebel T3i was a great option for me as a casual hobbyist just cutting my teeth on plant photography. I never invested in a macro lens for the Canon, so was always hamstrung on catching the finer details of plant photography. That’s where the LOHA lens, and microscope (below) came in handy. I’m currently in the process of upgrading to something a tier up, with the Fujifilm X-T2. There will be a macro lens investment, here.
The T3i is what I use to take most of the non-macro shots you see on the blog and, with a little help from my wife, I’ve been able to learn the basic settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to achieve my desired aesthetic. I aim for a sharp foreground image and bokeh (blurry) background. I also want to capture the vibrant colors and semi-transparent skins of the plants, so try to shoot in as much natural light as possible. More back lighting helps highlight the white or transparent windows on many Sarracenia hoods, while front lighting brings out the vibrant colors and venation running up the pitcher. Both bokeh and color capture requirements help me figure when to shoot and what my camera settings should be like.
Shooting outdoors at 9am on a Saturday morning in sunny California gives you options to back or front light the plant with diffused sunlight. Shooting against a detailed background helps with bokeh, as many small details blur together when your aperture is wide open. Specifically, I tend to set my camera to aperture priority, “AV,” which let’s me control how much of the frame is in focus, and the camera automatically adjusts the ISO and Shutter Speed. I lined up my shot and this is what I got. This shot was taken with the following settings: 1/64 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200