For growers, nothing feels better than hauling in a nice, bountiful harvest. So what could be more fun than to show off all those green results by sharing them with the community? Thing is, though, that taking great ganja pictures is not as easy as it seems. Here’s a few solid tips on how to improve your cannabis photography.
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High Quality Cannabis Photography
This should go without saying, but even so, we’ll just mention it to be sure. This is vital information, after all: a good picture of bad weed does not make great cannabis photography. Always make sure you grow high quality cannabis seeds and select only the best buds for your photoshoots.
Some strains are true stunners just because of their looks, such as those that feature special colours, for instance. Take our purple lady Chocolato, for example: she’s a pretty picture for sure. If you’re more into CBD strains, Blue Monkey is just the thing for you, which can feature shades of blue that should send any grower scrambling for their camera for sure.
What Sort Of Cannabis Photography Do You Like?
The field of cannabis photography can be divided into various specialist niches. Examples include bud smoking models, smokeable cola flatlays, plant or grow overviews, and macro shots zooming in on trichomes. Every type of cannabis photography has its own preferred techniques. Below, we’ll give you a few handy tips for each of these categories.
Cannabis Model Photography
These are mainly popular for stock photography or artistic cannabis projects. These images are less about the plant itself than about the story they convey. We all know the pics of scarcely clad ladies holding joints and dreadlock-wearing dudes enjoying their spliffs. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but hardly original either. As the common cannabis stereotypes are fading fast, it’s nice to see the associated photography shifting focus, too. Help change that cultural image and head outside with a friend to find some nice spots for your shoot!
Flatlays are popular among foodies and beauty bloggers, but that doesn’t mean cannabis pics can’t use them. These are pictures featuring a wide range of topics shot from above to eliminate depth from the image. A good flatlay should look as if the captured objects are there by accident, no matter how much thought you put into the composition.
Lighting is crucial too, because shadows tend to spoil the effect. The best way to tackle this is top place a light source overhead. In case of outdoor flatlays where sunlight can cast unwanted shadows, picking a cloudy day or a shaded spot works best. Picking a nice backdrop with some coloured paper or a few good props can really help tell a narrative with your flatlay cannabis photography.
If your plants are looking stunning and you want to immortalize them in pictures, overview photography is your technique of choice. Thinking about the best angles really pays off here. Shooting from below can make your plants look enormous, while overhead angles help individual leaves stand out to full effect.
Outdoors, you’ll get the best light in the morning and just before dusk, during what is known as the Golden Hour. Just after sunrise and right before the sun sets, the air turns gorgeously pink and blue, which really makes the leaves stand out and lets them shimmer in the light. Indoor growers with plant under HPS lighting can eliminate the yellow or orange colours of the light adjusting the white balance settings on their cameras to ‘wolfram’ or ‘fluorescent’. These could be named differently on mobile phones, but trying different filters will get you to the best presets without much effort. On the other hand, artificial lighting can get you some great artistic effects of its own if used correctly!
Advanced phone cameras and (semi) professional cameras have diaphragm setting features that determine the focus of the entire shot. Overview cannabis photography usually benefits from overall focus, which calls for increased diaphragm settings. Turn the diaphragm down if you want blurry backgrounds.
Macro Cannabis Photography
Quite a hefty investment, but often worth it for cannabis trichome zoom photography, is a DSLR camera. Mobile phones often don’t have enough zoom capacity to shoot these tiny details, although admittedly, we did manage to shoot some pretty good close-ups using a new iPhone and a magnifying glass. A special phone macro lens should get you even better results, but we would still recommend a DSLR camera for getting the best macro cannabis photography. Here’s a few good budget DSLR cameras to get you started:
Of course, you could try looking for a second-hand DSLR camera online, or just borrow one from a friend.
Close-up cannabis photography usually works best if you use manual focus. Autofocus tends to go for the background, which can get pretty annoying after a few attempts. Apart from macro lenses, tripods are very useful for macro marijuana pictures. Shaky hands are killing for quality shots, and tripods eliminate this problem the easy way.
Cannabis Bud Photography
Last but not least is the subject of bud pictures. Cannabis colas tend to look best when shot in soft lighting. This can be achieved by getting a flash diffuser for your camera, setting up a daylight lamp, or using our low-budget advice and placing some light fabric in front of a bright light bulb. Do make sure that neither the fabric nor the bulb gets too hot to rule out fire hazards. Another good and cheap option is taking the buds outside during the golden hour to profit from optimal daylight.
You can adjust depth of field by adjusting the diaphragm here, too. Diaphragm settings determine how much light enters the camera. If you prefer fuzzy background to really make the bud pop out, just increase your diaphragm settings.
Use Your Imagination!
Of course, the most important tip for stunning cannabis photography is to have fun shooting marijuana pcs and to use your imagination while doing so. How about making the colours pop by using coloured paper as a backdrop for those buds? Or compile a nice flatlay of some leaves and smoking gear in an unusual composition. Just play around and let your imagination run wild – you’ll get the very best examples of cannabis photography once you move beyond the confines of what you already know!