Tips for Taking Great Weed Photography
There are tons of challenges with taking pictures of cannabis. Between the awkward lighting in most grow rooms to the complexity of the strain's appearance, it takes a keen eye to produce a quality image. There are a lot of Instagram accounts out there touting the best 'pot porn' available, but Randi's account, @DevilslettucePH struck us as a great example of cannabis photography that portrays the plant in a positive way. While she's been a photographer for years, she's only recently begun shooting the plethora of strains available today. Read on to learn some helpful tips from Randi and improve your cannabis photography.
1. Get Quality Samples
"Let's start with the first: get quality samples. If you are getting the sample from a collective, it has been man-handled like crazy; squeezed, tossed, dare I say licked! Also if it comes in a bag, it's key to transfer it to a jar ASAP so it can puff back up, bags tend to squish it. It's best to get it straight from a grower if you want to take quality shots. You can do it with samples from a collective, but it takes longer to get the shot and is more difficult to find a sample with minimal damage."
2. Adjust to the Lighting
"The next challenge can be lighting, if you're taking shots in a grow room or of a sample of a strain, you need the right lighting to get all the detail and color of the strain. I am always correcting for too much yellow in the lighting."
3. Balance the Focus
"Another tough area is focus. If you have a sturdy hand and good camera it won't be too much trouble. But because there are so many levels and so much complexity to cannabis, it makes it difficult to get the whole sample in focus. I tend to like only a portion in focus and the rest blurred, but others prefer total focus. Lock your focus and create some movement in the shot by picking a focal point other than the center of the screen."
4. Try a Macro Lens
"I shoot with the Canon 7D and primarily the 100mm Macro 2.8 lens. I have shot with the MP-E 5x lens and a few others but those are the ideal macro's out there for my camera. With macro, it's all about focus and depth of field. I love macros, cause they can look like their own alien world, and I like to imagine what it would be like to explore, as if it was some virtual level in a game."
5. Send the Right Message
"Keep pushing positive messages about cannabis, we need to reverse the negative 'drug' image it has in most communities. It's medicine, and a ton of other helpful amazing things, but it keeps getting a bad rep because its affiliated with the criminal drug world. And it doesn't help that people post pictures of it with money and guns. It's a beautiful plant, and it has so many benefits that can help everyone."
6. Feel its Inspiration
"The plant itself is pretty inspirational. Every time I get a new strain, it's fun finding what I can pair it with to make it shine. I love nature, it's so beautiful, I just want to share the beauty I see with the world to try to help make someone's day better. Changing the world one pretty picture at a time."
7. Alter Your Perspective
"Its also good to approach life at odd angles, so try a new perspective than what you are used to even if that means getting down on the ground. I can't tell you how many times I've ruined a dress getting that perfect angle on the ground or under a tree!"
More About Randi, @Devil'sLettucePH:
What inspired your cannabis photography?
Cannabis has done, and is doing so much for me and my family. I've had chronic Lyme disease for the last 10 or so years. It was a difficult few years at first, taking all kinds of cancer grade medicine from doctors that made me feel worse rather than better. Then I found that I could just medicate with cannabis and stop taking all the other meds. Because of this wonderful plant, I can enjoy my life again. I want to give back to the cannabis community. I want to do whatever I could to help, and I believe that by showing how wonderful and beautiful cannabis is to the world I can help make it more approachable to those that need it for medication.
What is your favorite strain?
That's hard! I used to really dig Pineapple Thai a few years back, along with Blue Dream, but now I am more on a gassy kick and loving the OG's. I love flavors, and always have a ton of different kinds on hand for whatever mood I'm in.
Where is your favorite place to smoke?
In the woods, by a stream or waterfall. The beach is a wonderful place too, but I burn too easy lol.