For this flower photography tutorial, another writer contacted me and asked if I would like to display his tips. I said that my readers would definitely be interested in the material.
So, here are the tips from an avid rose gardener.
Flowers are nature’s perfect photography subjects. They don’t move (thus their common role in “still life” artwork), are rich in color and come in a seemingly boundless variety of shapes and sizes. It’s almost like every flower is posing, waiting for the right photographer to come along…
As such they are a favorite subject for amateurs and professionals shooters alike. If you’re looking to get that perfect shot of that perfect flower you saw while driving down the highway, or in the neighborhood park, or even in your own backyard garden — here are some tips that will help you wow your friends and sell your prints.
Come Down To Their Level
Look, we’re all used to seeing the world from the eye-level perspective, so it’s easy to just pick up your camera and start taking shots of flowers from a standing position. While there’s nothing wrong with that, to truly get some magnificent flower shots you’ll be better served to get down on their level.
Try kneeling or sitting to take the picture, or even lie down on your side and get a shot up at the flowers instead. Mixing things up like that creates a unique, interesting perspective that will really catch the eye.
Get Close And Personal
Another great idea is to take your photos after getting really close to the bloom. To accomplish this without losing focus you’ll need a good macro lens. But trust me, if you want great floral images that will impress and intrigue, the lens is worth the investment.
If a macro lens just isn’t in the budget, you can use extension tubes. No money for a set of tubes either? Try this: take the picture from as close as you can without losing focus, but do so with your camera on the highest pixel setting possible. After uploading the image to your computer, crop the picture in tightly around the bloom.
Today’s digital cameras have such incredible resolution that this is easy to do and still results in a high quality image.
Have Your Head In The Clouds
It’s understandable to think that you need a bright, sunny day to get great floral shots, but that simply isn’t true. The soft, even light of an overcast day removes shadows and prevents uneven bright spots in the image.
Overcast photography produces some of the best photographs in any natural setting, and floral photography is no exception.
Let The Sun Shine In
While overcast photography can make for wonderful flower shots, having the sun in the right position to the blooms can be wonderful as well. Get the sun behind the flowers for some natural backlight. Flower petals aren’t opaque, they’re translucent, and will appear to glow when rays of sunlight shine through them.
This technique is especially effective later in the day, when the sun is close to the horizon. The sun’s perspective will cast a warm hue across the entire image. If you’re taking wide images that include trees, having the sun-dappled effect of the evening sun can be truly stunning.
Wind Is Not Your Friend
You’ve found those perfect petals and have the light just right. You stoop to get a great up-close perspective and tap the shutter button — just as the afternoon breeze decides to strike! That perfect shot instantly becomes a blurry mess.
It’s amazing how much the slightest breeze will move a fragile flower. For close-up shots this can be particularly frustrating. So bring along something that can block the wind. A reflector or diffuser works, but even a low budget household item like an umbrella will keep a light breeze off your flowery subject.
Steady As She Goes
You no doubt want pin-sharp images of those beautiful blooms, and that means you need to minimize movement and camera-shake. A tripod works great for this, but you should also attach a cable release or use a remote shutter button (if your camera supports bluetooth).
That way not even the slight movement caused by pressing and releasing the button will interfere with that flawless frame.
Keep It Fun
As a final note, remember to enjoy yourself and the flowers you’re photographing. The best shots usually happen when you’re having a great time and enjoying the process. Don’t be afraid to experiment with perspective, distance, lighting and mood.
In the end, your images are a reflection of who you are, so make sure you’re having fun and staying “in the zone.” The final result will be much better for it.
About The Author
Jonathan Leger is a gardening and photography enthusiast. His site, CabbageRoses.net, contains information about the history and meaning of numerous rose varieties, as well as gardening and growing tips and tricks.