Photography Tips - Shooting Flowers

Photography Tips - Shooting Flowers
It's spring in various parts of the world. For those of us who spent the winter trapped inside, spring means, among other things, a tempting chance to grab the camera and start capturing the first blooms of the season. Yet, how do you turn those shots of your beloved blooms into something exceptional? Taking pictures of flowers is comparatively easy because flowers don't hop around, shy away from the camera or protest about the number of shots taken. Nevertheless, just because flowers make agreeable photography subjects doesn't mean taking pictures of flowers is without its own obstacles

Deciding how to capture pictures of flowers depends on the photographer's subject matter. Flower photos can vary from photos of a solitary bloom in a vase to panoramic photos of a meadow of wildflowers. The type of flower pictures you desire to take influences the photography techniques you'll use.

Flower Pictures and Light

Sunlight is not your ally when taking pictures of flowers. Sunlight shining off leaves and petals shadows the details of flower photos and causes problems with over exposure. The first rule of how to take pictures of flowers is to avoid direct sunlight. Walk around the flower to see how it looks with light coming from different directions. Watch carefully when the light is at the back the flower, coming toward the camera. Often, the petals will glow with beautiful iridescence. This is called "backlighting" because the light is coming from the back of the flower. Backlighting is often the best type of lighting for semi-transparent subjects like petals. However, don't despair if there is no sun. Gray and overcast days provide great opportunities for flower photography. Overcast days are ideal for taking pictures of flowers: The softer, more diffuse light lets the petals of the flower stand out and become the focus of the picture. If you can't keep away from sunlight, choose for the warm light of early morning or evening, rather than the cruel light of noon. The lighting is more even and there are no shadows. Rain turns colors more powerful. You can even carry a spray bottle to generate rain droplets on the brightest of days. Even night photography is an alternative. You will be surprised at how eye-catching a flower photo can be when illuminated by flash. If you have to take pictures of flowers in sunlight, try using something as a light filter. Hold a translucent material between the sun and the flower, so the light that hits the flower is softer. Potential filtering tools include white sheers, wax paper or even a shirt. You may find it useful to have someone hold the filtering material while you take the flower pictures.

Using Backlight

Another way to use sunlight when taking pictures of flowers is to use backlight. A standard method of including backlighting in pictures is to have the sun (or bright light source) directly behind the photographer. You can also experiment with backlighting by placing the light source behind your subject. While some flower petals almost glow when backlit, others become translucent. Keep in mind that too much backlight produces a glare that can destroy the photo.

Focus and Backgrounds

Objects in the background can overpower flower pictures, especially those of single blooms. A rose bud, for illustration, may become lost if there is too much material, such as other foliage, in the background. Try interesting angles and backgrounds. Consider getting down low on the ground or shooting with the wide angle setting on your lens. Don't despair if the background behind the flower is unattractive. Try replacing it with a colored piece of paper or fabric. There are lots of different ways you can experiment when photographing flowers! Photographers taking flower pictures have several tricks to make flowers stand out in clear focus. One is to use a low f-stop or wide aperture. These settings produce pictures with the flower in focus and the background out of focus. Flower photos taken in this method can be tremendously striking. Another option is to substitute the background with one of your own devising. Plan for background colors that contrast with the flower: A dark background would work well for pictures of white gardenias, for example, while a neutral color would work better for dramatic flowers like hibiscus. Another alternative when taking pictures of flowers is to take the photos at night using a flash. The flash illuminates the flowers while constructs a dark background.

Macro Flower Pictures

Macro flower photos are pictures of parts of a flower taken at intense close up. While conventional film cameras require a special macro lens to capture extreme close ups, many digital cameras have a macro setting. Macro flower pictures may focus on the texture of a petal, dew clinging to the flower or other interesting parts of the flower. To take macro pictures, a tripod is crucial. Even minor hand movements can throw a macro picture out of focus. Flowers swaying in a gentle wind can also appear out of focus with macro photography, so many photographers take close-up flower pictures indoors, where they can manipulate light and wind.

Composing Pictures of Flowers

To make a flower picture take off, wait until something adds life to the flower, for example, a bee lands on your flower, or a spider crawls up it, or a hummingbird dines on the nectar. It takes persistence, but it pays off if, for example, after you wait a few minutes, a butterfly lands on your flower. The picture you get will be great. A superior flower picture offers something more than the flower. A field of Black-eyed Suzie blowing in the wind can look enchanting in reality but boring and static in a photo unless the flowers are contrasted with something. Try to include people, animals, buildings or attractions in pictures that include flower fields or flower beds that are principally a solitary color. The identical rule applies to taking pictures of flowers up close. Flower pictures that incorporate insects like a butterfly feeding on the nectar of a flower or a green caterpillar on a red rose are usually more interesting than pictures of flowers alone.

The angle of a shot also controls the look of flower photos. A picture of a sunflower field isn't very attractive on its own. What if you took the picture lying down, looking up through the sunflowers? Or what if you took a macro photo of the bees pollinating daisies? Look for diverse ways to shoot pictures of flowers. A little testing can greatly strengthen your flower pictures.

Uses for Flower Pictures

Flower pictures can be used in several different ways. A high-quality flower picture makes a striking computer wallpaper. Numerous people use flower pictures to create greeting or birthday cards. Equally, pictures of flowers can insert some texture and style in scrap booking. Flower pictures could be used as borders or as the focal point of a page. Combining dehydrated flowers with pictures of flowers in bloom is another potential use of flower photos.
Photography Tips - Shooting Flowers | Victoria Knight | 5