Flowers are a beautiful and appealing subject and many photographers choose to turn their lenses to this type of photography. You can find flowers in still life arrangements and in nature photographs but you can also dedicate them their own chapter in your portfolio. So sit back and enjoy our Tips and Tricks for Flower Photography.
It’s not easy to come up with something unique when you work with a common subject like flowers. You need to be creative and really engage with your subject. To have a wider variety of subjects look for seasonal or rare flowers. Visit botanical gardens or look for mountain flowers.
But not always an exotic flower delivers a good photograph. Here are the most important things you need to know about flower photography.
Flower photography often uses close-ups to reveal the most interesting and small details. Use macro lenses and shoot from small distances. If you don’t have macro lens you can use a reversing ring, which allows you to put the lens backwards onto the camera and have macro possibilities.
Experiment different shooting angles and perspectives and take more pictures of the same flower. Some of them are tiny and fragile, be careful not to crush them.
Depth of field and focus
To make the flower the main subject of your composition you need to have a shallow depth of field. Using a macro lens helps you with that. In addition, use a large aperture (small f-number).
A shallow depth of field blurs the background and restricts the area in focus. If you use the smallest f-number available, you risk missing the focal point. Experiment with different apertures until you find the right setting for your composition. Use manual focus to avoid focusing on a blade of grass instead of the flower’s petals or pistil.
Be careful if the flower is moving. It’s very easy to have a complete blurred image when you have a very small area in focus. Use a tripod and a remote shutter release and keep the shutter speed as high as possible. Shooting in the sunlight is the best thing you can do.
Composing with flowers
Although many people choose to place the flowers in the center of the image, using the rule of thirds and the golden rule bring important benefits. Flowers features are more emphasized when they aren’t in the center. Leave space in front of them as you would leave in front of people faces. Allow them to breath and you’ll have fresh and airy images.
Observe the flower’s geometry and use it in composition. If it’s a tall flower, a portrait frame will suit it best. If it’s a symmetrical flower, try photograph it from above to see the entire petal disposal. If it has spirals and curves, use the golden spiral to emphasize it.
Color and Contrast
Color contrast is one of the major features of flower photography. You’ll rarely see monochrome images of flowers. Choose the background to enhance the color contrast. If it’s a red flower, a green background will be perfect. If it’s a yellow flower, try to use the sky as background.
Use patterns and textures and fill the frame with them whenever you find them. Many times garden flowers as well as wild ones grow in bunches and give us amazing opportunities to play with textures and colors. Choose their best feature (petal disposal, color, stem height, etc.) and find a shooting angle that suits you. You can photograph from above, from below, or parallel from aside.
Flower Photography isn’t easy
Flower photography requires diligence and dedication. You’ll have to learn a thing or two about flowers and their environment. You will have to spend time tracking wildflowers or exotic ones. You’ll have to be patient and try a lot of angles and positions until you have the perfect picture. When photographing natural beauty is always rewarding. Even if you don’t get good photographs, you’ll have beautiful memories.
If you liked this article check out this one on Tips for Summer Photography