It doesn’t have to be trite or cliché. Like all other photography, it really depends entirely upon the attitude and approach you bring to it. So leave your assumptions at the door and let’s take a look!
I decided to write a post about shooting flowers because of the incredible, amazing Spring that has burst forth here is south Louisiana these last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it’s due to the relatively cold (and long-lasting) winter we’ve had, the amount of rainfall or what, but the blooming flora around me has been truly amazing, and I’ve been drawn to shoot it.
Like anything else though, you can casually take a few snaps, or you can really try and make some great photos. I’ve gone out on several occasions and made images, many of which you’ll see here, and that’s led me to spend some time thinking about how to shoot flowers without every exposure being simply an exposure, rather than a photograph.
Here are my how-to tips for making more flower photos that you’ll actually be glad you shot:
How you frame the shot is critical. Look for interesting compositions and juxtapositions: maybe a group of blossoms together? Maybe one contrasted to a darker background? Try and challenge yourself to come up with unique and interesting images.
Look for interesting compositions and juxtapositions: maybe a group of blossoms together? Maybe one contrasted to a darker background? Try and challenge yourself to come up with unique and interesting images.
How to get the focus point you need. This can be tricky. Maybe you need a shallow depth of field because you don’t want the background competing, but you need certain things in focus. So be aware of the plane of focus as you shoot. Always remember that the thin focus plane that your camera is fixed on when shooting with wide apertures is parallel to the back of your camera. Keeping this in mind, you may be able to reposition yourself and your camera, changing the angle you’re holding it at relative to your subject, to get more of what you want in focus. Then:
When focused in close, you’ll find that it’s actually more accurate to acquire focus, recompose your shot, then carefully move your body ever-so-slightly forward and back to acquire the sharpest focus point(not on a tripod, obviously). Try this and you’ll see how well it works!
If it’s boring, you’re probably not close enough! This is frequently the case with flower photographs. If you shoot a few frames and find the whole thing is a yawner, try getting in really, really close! Do you see some new possibilities now? Flowers are amazing creations but some of the best aspects are up really tight.
Get out early and late. When the light is softer and nicer. Sometimes you’ll see a wonderful flower image midday, but I like early morning and late afternoon light for this type of shooting. Another great time to flower hunt: right after a rainstorm! There’s nothing like mist and water droplets to bring some of these images alive.
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog
Related articles on the web:
13 Alternative Flower Photography Tips at Epic Edits
41 Delicious Flower Photographs at Digital Photography School
Spring Flowers at the Nature Blog Network