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I have the 60mm macro lens which I am unable to use, ever, because of the light wind blowing in the garden which doesn't allow the flowers to remain still.

I am thinking is there a way by which I can create a blur effect by using the light wind in my favor?

This should not look as if there is a hand shake. Mind it that the wind is quite light.

What are my options?

Will using a macro lens provide a special benefit in this case?

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    Working with the wind and motion blur sounds interesting. On the other hand, one option for "conventional" macro photographs would be to locate a wind break just off camera to create a wind shadow and still the subject's motion. Of course, this is one of those cases where getting a particular shot requires commitment to more work than will be readily apparent in the photograph. A similar alternative would be off camera lighting to allow a shutter speed fast enough to eliminate motion blur. – user50888 Jun 4 '16 at 12:01
  • It might be quite a challenge to get just the amount of blur to satisfy you. Some might take the sharpest shot and apply blur selectively with PShop. – Stan Jun 4 '16 at 17:33
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I am thinking is there a way by which I can create a blur effect by using the light wind in my favor?

There are a lot of possibilities. Some examples:

  • Use a long shutter speed -- several seconds or more -- so that the moving flowers blur into soft shapes and stationary objects like a fence or statue stay sharp. The effect will be like photos you often see of water flowing in a stream, giving a sense of movement and stability at the same time.

  • Combine motion-freezing flash with ambient light to give an image where the flowers are sharp but also have a "ghost" effect around them. Second-curtain sync may work best here.

  • Overpower the ambient light with flash, but have the flash fire several times during the exposure. If the flowers are moving, each one will appear in as many positions as there were flash pops. Moving objects will look translucent in some places and more opaque in others (where they overlap), and stationary object will look more solid. If you're having a hard time overpowering the ambient light, shoot in the evening or even at night.

This should not look as if there is a hand shake. Mind it that the wind is quite light.

The best way to avoid camera shake is to use a sturdy tripod or other fixture. Don't try to hand-hold the camera while trying to use a long enough exposure to capture flower movement -- you can't hold the camera steady that long.

Will using a macro lens provide a special benefit in this case?

Only in that you can, as always, take close-up photos of small subjects. The small motions of flowers in a gentle breeze will look relatively large in a macro shot. Using a higher shutter speed when working close up will help limit the motion.

I have the 60mm macro lens which I am unable to use, ever, because of the light wind blowing in the garden

Even if the garden is your preferred subject, consider using that lens in other places, like indoors, where the wind isn't a factor. Lots of things are interesting at the macro level, and as you use the lens more you'll build experience that'll help you in more difficult situations, such as in the breezy garden.

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One thing you can try is to add a still object to the composition, which may be a toy, a garden tool or anything else. Then use a long shutter time, perhaps using a tripod. This will get the flowers blurred and the other subject sharp, which will make it look more intentional.

Or, you can just raise your ISO and use a large aperture to get a shutter speed of at least 1/125.

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  • I thought to get the blur effect we have to reduce the shutter speed! – Aquarius_Girl Jun 4 '16 at 11:03
  • Indeed, the second part is about trying to get the flowers sharp – clabacchio Jun 4 '16 at 12:05
  • Oh you mean to say that it is possible to take proper focused shot even if the subject moves without flash? – Aquarius_Girl Jun 4 '16 at 12:20
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    @TheIndependentAquarius. That's where the saying, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" came from. Also, question authority. Could be that the one who says something can't be done hasn't got a clue about how. Ignore them. – Stan Jun 4 '16 at 17:31
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    @TheIndependentAquarius - You are an expert questioner. Don't forget to pick-up your equipment, and actually try some of the things you ask about. Try getting some actual experience to go with the answers we generate here. – Stan Jun 4 '16 at 17:44
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You can actually get the subject sharp. As @clabacchio mentioned, a fast shutter speed can freeze the subject rather well. If the flowers are moving quickly or if you're close enogh, 1/125 will actually not be enough, you'd probably need at least 1/200, and take several shots to pick the sharpest one afterwards.

The other obvious option is flash. For serious macro work, the flash is almost mandatory. The flash light is much faster than the shutter speed (around 1/1000 sec for most flashes), so it's more effective than just the shutter speed to freeze the movement. Getting nice pictures with a flash is not easy, but if you can control the flash remotely and/or use a diffuser, you can still get good results.

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