On the surface, flowers may not seem like the most interesting subject for a photo, but I can tell you that if you find a bee or butterfly on the flower, then this really ups the game for photo taking. You’d also think it would be easy to take a picture of some flowers, but I remember in my early days when I didn’t know much about photography, my mother received a vase of flowers, and she wanted to show her sister, so she asked me to take a photo. Boy, did that turn out awful!
I made it my priority right then and there to learn how to take proper pictures of flowers, so that I could at least say I had progressed with my hobby. Here are a couple of my best techniques and tips.
#1 – Remote Release:
The camera shaking is more of a problem with flower picture taking because the flowers themselves move around. To avoid blurry photos, use a remote release. Just the action of clicking your camera is enough to mess up the photo. So attach the camera to a tripod and then attach a cable release to the camera. Your hands will also be free, allowing you to find the best angle, background and foreground for your shot.
#2 – Keep the Photo Sharp:
Generally speaking, I tell you to keep taking many photos and don’t get hung up on every little detail. With flowers, though, it seems the opposite is true. You need to focus on all the details in order to get a sharp, clear image devoid of clutter. Because flowers and plants are not going to run or fly away from you, you do have the time to properly setup your image. Keep checking to make sure each detail is close to perfect. Photographers refer to this as “live view”.
#3 – Use A Reflector:
The use of light is important with flowers because some are so delicate and others are quite sturdy. Plus, the sunlight is going to make a difference. The use of a reflector will help you direct the light where you need to highlight details and to remove shady areas that might not make a nice photo.
#4 – Flower Level:
Get down to the flower’s level. Taking a shot from way above is going to make your subject very small and inconsequential in the photo. Unless you are going for some specific technique, you want to be as up close as possible and that usually means getting yourself down on the ground. And, if you are going to spend any amount of time kneeling down, bring along a light pillow or gardener’s mat to protect your knees.
#5 – Background Makes the Cut:
While background should always be taken into account, be careful of really busy things. The best example I can think of is taking a picture of flowers in the house and you don’t realize that the curtains have a flower or paisley motif. That’s a sure sign of disaster. Also, if there are different kinds of plants around your subject, they might not look as good in the photo when focusing on a small portion or a specific flower.
Lastly, be sure to practice whenever you get the chance. Flowers are everywhere, whether they are planted in your garden, spring weeds in the field, rare orchids at the conservatory, or a plain dandelion in a glass sitting on your window sill.
This guy’s done a thorough and detailed job of showing us to photograph flowers. What I really like is that he does the things right in the video that he tells us to do. Take the time and watch it. It’s well done.